Jury Behavior Posts

  • Jurors Are Always Watching… And Making Judgments

    Recently, Hulk Hogan was awarded $140 million against Gawker for posting a private video of him on their website without his permission. This trial received extensive media coverage and the jurors have offered interviews giving insight into their decision-making, which, …

  • Does it work or not? Communication Style versus Effectiveness

    Lately, I’ve had the opportunity to watch segments of both the Republican and Democratic presidential debates with friends. Regardless of which debate I’m watching, someone always comments on the candidates interrupting each other. Once, out of curiosity, I asked, “What …

  • Religious Discrimination Cases in the Secular Pacific Northwest

    The South has Evangelical Christians, the Midwest has Protestant Christians, the Northeast and Southwest have Catholics, and the Pacific Northwest has “nones.” In 2014 the Public Religion Research Institute’s American Values Atlas found that Seattle was tied at second place …

  • Published in The Jury Expert: Identifying Googling Jurors

    The Googling Juror is becoming increasingly important to identify. In the December 2015 issue of The Jury Expert, researchers Alexis Knutson of Tsongas Litigation Consulting with Edie Greene and Robert Durham of University of Colorado Colorado Springs published an article …

  • This Is Your Brain On Narrative...

    A stock bit of advice that is frequently used by trial consultants is that you have to “tell a story” to be successful in trial.  The mere “stacking of facts” is not enough to successfully persuade a jury to accept …

  • More Than a Feelin': Using Small Group Research to Inform Settlement Decisions in Civil Lawsuits

    We are excited to share with you the recent publication of Alexis Knutson, M.A., Tsongas Research Associate, with Natalie Gordon and Edie Greene, Ph.D. of University of Colorado, Colorado Springs in the Georgia State University Law Review. The article describes …

  • Mock Trials Reveal Jurors' Uncommon Wisdoms

    Mock trials have many benefits. Attorneys hire jury consultants to conduct mock trials to learn (or confirm), among other things, the strengths and weaknesses of a case, the story jurors will adopt when deciding the case, and what questions jurors …

  • Keeping Juror Internet Use in Check

    Consider for a moment how frequently you search the internet in a given day. While some of the searches are probably just for fun (like this one of bulldog puppies), most of your searches are probably conducted to learn more …

  • Overcoming Appeals to Nature and Distrust of Science

    I was having lunch on a beautiful spring day with a very smart attorney friend of mine recently. He had a big civil trial coming up that involved having to persuade a jury on some relatively complicated scientific evidence. The …

  • A Trial Consultant Walks Into A Courtroom—And You Won’t BELIEVE What Happens Next!

    If you have spent any amount of time on social media sites like Facebook, you have inevitably seen headlines similar to that of this blog. Other favorites include: “Your Jaw Will Drop at What Happened Next!” and “Tears Will Roll …

  • Disregard This Blog: Why Instructions to "Disregard" Evidence Often Fail

    Let’s try an experiment: For the next 5 minutes, don’t think about Kim Kardashian. Keep a tally of each time your mind slips and you do think about her, but again: don’t think about her. How did you do? Of …

  • Curiosity Promotes Learning

    A teaser trailer for the new Star Wars movie came out recently, sending fans of the series, including my 3-year old, Emperor-obsessed niece, into a frenzy. The trailer is roughly 90 seconds long and provides very little information about the …

  • Metaphors as a Teaching Tool

    There are times when I’m working with clients when I’ll suggest a colorful metaphor as a way of communicating an idea about the case.  Sometimes these suggestions are well-received, and other times an attorney might be reluctant to implement the …

  • Jurors bias evidence to help "their side"

    When I studied juror decision-making in graduate school, I was most concerned about the ecological and external validity of my research. That is, does the design of the study sufficiently replicate real life and are the findings generalizable to the …

  • The Spotlight Is Not As Bright As You Think

    One of my favorite topics from the world of social psychology is the “spotlight effect.”1  This describes our tendency to overestimate the degree to which other people notice us. Because we are egocentric, we are very aware of our own …

  • Brain Games

    It’s not often that my 15 year-old son tells me there’s this “great” show he wants me to watch with him that doesn’t involve car chases, fights, and some bad jokes.  But that’s  what happened last week when he told …

  • The Eyes Have It, Or Do They?

    A common strategy I always taught my students when teaching public speaking, and that has now carried over into my work preparing attorneys and witnesses for trial, is the importance of maintaining eye contact with your audience.  The textbooks I used all emphasized …

  • Is Something Wrong with Your Face?

    “Smile!” “What’s wrong?” “Are you mad?” “I can see you don’t agree with me.” At first these questions and statements caught me off guard. “Nothing’s the matter.” “No, I’m not mad.” “Why do you ask?” Now, I’ve gotten so used to …

  • 'Obamacare' and the Power of Language

    As trial consultants we strive to capitalize on the power of language by finding the right words and phrases that will help shape jurors’ understanding and recall of a case. Our goal is to find language that will activate frameworks …

  • Secrets to Working With a Highly Educated Jury

    While Western Washington isn’t known as a prime location for Intellectual property suits, some of the publicity around the recent Microsoft v. Motorola case might change that perception.  Judge Robart commented on the high level of education in the jury …

  • What the "Game of Thrones" Novels (not the show) Teach Us about Juries

    One of the things that makes George R. R. Martin’s series of books, A Song of Ice and Fire (which the HBO show is based on) such a success is that each chapter is written from a single character’s point …

  • We Want Justice!

    But what does “justice” look like? Providing care to an injured party? Stopping corporate greed? Getting defective products off the market? Giving back what was stolen? Honoring truth? Promoting competition or protecting one’s invention? What does “justice” not look like?  …

  • Jurors Ignoring the Law - Don't Count on It.

    Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that Casey Anthony killed her daughter, according to a recent poll. Furthermore, nearly twice the amount of women than men said they were, “angry about the verdict.” The gap between the court of public opinion and …

  • DON'T MISS AN ARTICLE