Are eyewitness memories distorted by talking with other witnesses? Online Jury Research Update

May 1st, 2022|ComCon (Kathy Kellermann Communication Consulting)|

Multiple witnesses often observe an incident and, on average, 86% engage in post-event discussion with their co-witnesses (Paterson and Kemp, 2006). Witness communication can contaminate the memories of co-witnesses. Information suggested by one witness becomes, over time, part of other witnesses' memories and the other witnesses then remember seeing information which they only heard from another eyewitness. Co-witness communication leads to conformity in memories across witnesses....Garry and colleagues (2008) investigated co-witness suggestibility by having pairs of participants sit together and watch a crime video....

Apply Two Tests to Any Battle Between Stories

April 28th, 2022|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: It’s America’s case of the moment: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, Hollywood’s former power-couple, now exchanging accusations of physical abuse in a Fairfax, Virginia courtroom. The defamation case initially brought by Depp has now centered on two starkly different stories about what went on in the marriage. At it’s heart, it is the traditional “He said, she said” circumstance, but read in the context of the #MeToo movement as well as a more subtle but emerging backlash against giving presumed credibility to anyone who alleges abuse, it has quite a bit more nuance to it. I have

Commercial Litigation: Benefits of a Trial Consultant, Part 1

April 28th, 2022|2's Company - Magnus Insights|

I had a conversation with a friend/client recently. He previously hired us in a personal injury case, but now works in a firm that does mostly commercial litigation. The question arose about what we, at Magnus, do in commercial cases. I explained that a high percentage of our cases are commercial cases. Sometimes, clients or prospective clients have a mistaken perception that we only work on personal injury cases. Nonetheless, we know there are many reasons that we, as jury or trial consultants, bring a perspective to commercial cases that is helpful in unique ways. This post is the first

3 Common Defense Themes That Routinely Fail

April 26th, 2022|The Sound Jury Library (Sound Jury Consulting)|

“So, you’re telling me there’s a chance,” Lloyd happily declares in Dumb and Dumber as his dream girl clarifies that his chances of a relationship with her are “more like one in a million” than one in a hundred. It is this same absurd and unreasonably optimistic view that I imagine must drive defense attorneys who rely on the same old, failed defense themes over and over again. The best defense themes are the ones that grab jurors’ attention immediately and draw them in. They show jurors there is an entirely different world to the case than what they

Reserve Your Opening? Three Ways that Rare Strategy Might Make Sense

April 25th, 2022|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: The reserved opening statement is a strategy that, in all my years helping in the courtroom, I have never seen applied. In theory, a defendant typically has the right to wait until the plaintiff or the state has put on its case, and then offer their opening statement just before putting on the defense. In practice, however, there are very good reasons not to do that and those reasons generally end up being decisive. But a current article in Law 360, entitled, “‘Our Heads Were Spinning’: Trial Atty Explains Rare Strategy” sheds some light on the approach that is written