Trial team members, not vendors or facilitators

September 3rd, 2021|2's Company - Magnus Insights|

I’m writing this on a Monday, so I’m going to vent a little. This is a topic I’ve had on my list to write about for quite some time; I just never got to it, in part, because I don’t like to venture into areas of self importance. But, here I go. As trial consultants, we at Magnus believe that, when we are retained, we become professional members of the trial team, offering our perspectives and expertise which come from a different place than the perspectives of the lawyers who are litigating the case. For example, Melissa has more education

Peremptories: Don’t Learn from Arizona

September 2nd, 2021|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: In my last post, I wrote about how the state of Arizona has been a leader in testing options for online trials. That same day, however, Arizona became the first state to eliminate peremptory strikes in criminal and civil cases. So far, the media is covering the move as a bold stroke against institutional racism. Ultimately, however, I believe the prohibition is well-intentioned but flawed. It is true that minorities are often under-represented on juries, and also true that the resulting lack of diversity has an effect on deliberations. Further, it is true that the solution to

Trial team members, not vendors or facilitators

August 30th, 2021|2's Company - Magnus Insights|

I’m writing this on a Monday, so I’m going to vent a little. This is a topic I’ve had on my list to write about for quite some time; I just never got to it, in part, because I don’t like to venture into areas of self importance. But, here I go. As trial consultants, we at Magnus believe that, when we are retained, we become professional members of the trial team, offering our perspectives and expertise which come from a different place than the perspectives of the lawyers who are litigating the case. For example, Melissa has more education

Online Trials: Learn from Arizona

August 30th, 2021|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: Arizona may not be the model when it comes to partisan post-election audits. But when it comes to online or virtual trials, the “Cyber Ninjas” in that context seem to be doing much better. In the Grand Canyon state’s most populous jurisdiction, Maricopa County, civil parties can choose virtual juries in order to expedite the process. Leaders in the Superior Court for that venue did not simply default to that option, they studied it carefully. The current edition of the ABA’s Litigation publication features an article, “Virtual Juries: We Can, But Should We? And If So, How?”

How well are instructions on preponderance of evidence understood by jurors? Online Jury Research Update

August 27th, 2021|ComCon (Kathy Kellermann Communication Consulting)|

In both civil and criminal trials, jurors are instructed about the burden of proof of the parties with pattern jury instructions. Many states have re-written their instructions to try to be more juror-friendly, that is, more comprehensible to people without a legal background. Boginskaya (2020) explored how well jurors comprehend rewritten and simplified pattern jury instructions about the preponderance of evidence. Two California pattern jury instructions, one being the preponderance of evidence, were audio recorded. The audio recording was played twice to each of 44 native English-speaking undergraduate and postgraduate students who had never before served on a jury. Each

Avoid ‘Glass Houses’ Arguments When Comparing Experts

August 26th, 2021|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: This is the general sentiment I sometimes hear when one side in an opening statement is talking about the other side’s experts: …and they are going to be bringing Dr. Smith up here to tell you that their theories are true. But when they do, remember who is paying Dr. Smith to be their hired gun and to offer that testimony. And what about the experts hired by the side making that argument? Well, in most cases they’re paid too, but their sponsors will believe that they hired a real expert, paid them for their time