Gruesome Injury Photos: Consider the Halo of High Impact Evidence

September 27th, 2021|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: After receiving many warnings from the court and counsel on what they’re about to see, the jurors are finally shown the injury photos. Some of them frown, one covers her face, many look away after a quick glance, and a couple study it closely. This is a regular occurrence in cases involving violence or personal injuries. The photos will often come in, any bias notwithstanding, because there is an arguable probative value, especially in a civil case focusing on injury and on pain and suffering.  It is clear to anyone that these dramatic and graphic injury photos

Quantifying Change

September 23rd, 2021|2's Company - Magnus Insights|

It is an exciting time to be a data nerd – the 2020 Census data are trickling out. And, apologies to Bob Dylan, with the times, the data are a-changing! The key data points released thus far confirm the growing diversity of America. I’ve been looking at some of the numbers for Florida, with a population now of over 20 million. Cities like Jacksonville have seen major racial and ethnic changes as well as population growth. Growing up in Jacksonville, I remember when the population of Duval County/Jacksonville was about ½ a million – and that seemed large. Now

See the Social Roots of Bias

September 23rd, 2021|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: At the voir dire stage of a jury trial, the word “bias” gets used a lot. But do we really know what it means? The courts, in practice at least, hew to a simple meaning: If a potential juror admits to bias, that means they know they can’t be fair to both parties, and can’t promise to render a verdict based on the facts and the evidence alone. In psychology, the term has another meaning, and one with a lot more nuance to it: A bias is really any factor that predisposes someone in a certain

The Civil Jury Trial: Treat the Crisis as an Opportunity

September 20th, 2021|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm The American civil jury trial was on life support before the pandemic. For a generation at least, the trend has been toward a reduced scope for a jury’s decision, an expansion in the power of judges to resolve things in advance, caps on the jury’s damages, and a far greater prominence for private arbitration. With less than one percent of all case resolutions taking place in either state or federal court, trial by civil jury was by far the exception rather than the rule. In that setting, when the pandemic came along, it was easy enough

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

September 19th, 2021|ComCon (Kathy Kellermann Communication Consulting)|

Jurors regularly are instructed about circumstantial evidence using pattern jury instructions that many states have rewritten so as to make legal concepts more comprehensible to people without a legal background.Boginskaya (2020) explored how well jurors comprehend simplified pattern jury instructions about circumstantial evidence. Two California pattern jury instructions, one being circumstantial evidence, were audio recorded. The audio recording was played twice to ....

The Punishment Profile: Know the Situational Triggers

September 16th, 2021|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: From the time we were kids, most of us swiftly learned what was likely to get us punished: a spanking or — for more recent generations — a time out. Usually, that was brought out by something we did, or by the situation we found ourselves in. That frame of punishment plays a role in litigation. With or without the category of punitive damages, the motivation to punish (as opposed to the less dramatic motivation to merely compensate a party for its loss) can factor in to the way a jury, judge, or arbitrator makes their