Theodore O. Prosise Ph.D.'s Posts

  • Tsongas Receives 2017 National Law Journal Top Honor for Jury Consulting

    Please forgive the brief moment of self promotion. We were honored to learn that Tsongas Litigation Consulting was recently recognized by the National Law Journal for National Top Honor for Jury Consulting in 2017. We would like to thank our …

  • “Alexa” Hears Everything and Jurors See Everything

    Recently there was quite a stir over the possibility that Alexa, Amazon’s highly successful and useful home device, could be listening to everything everyone says (it’s too late, she has already heard what you have said), and that it could …

  • Speaking to Your Jurors' Core: Core Trial Strategies for Success

    The Holy Grail of trial persuasion is to speak to jurors in a manner in which they can adopt an advocate’s or witness’s words, language and themes when they think about the case and deliberate to a verdict. Language shapes …

  • Telling the Truth Well and Witness Preparation: Controlling False “Confessions” and Misperceived Deception Cues

    We are in a “Golden Age” of television, so feel free to sit back and enjoy the quality of characters and stories offered. But it is not all just entertainment. Recently, I was watching HBO’s new limited series The Night …

  • Four out of Five Dentists Prefer Brand X, But There is Only a 20% Chance of That: Juror Decision-Making and Statistical Idioms

    Statistics are everywhere—used, over-used, misunderstood, misused. Data, in the form of descriptive or inferential statistics, can be useful in developing understanding of conditions and events, and potentially informing or predicting outcomes. But there is considerable mistrust of statistics, as well …

  • Advocacy and Attitude

    Recently I had the pleasure of being a guest lecturer at the University of Washington’s Trial Advocacy class, taught by Bill Bailey, Esq., practitioner turned law school educator. The students were bright and engaged. We discussed principles of human and …

  • A Picture's Worth Part 2 -How to Use Graphics to Complement the Rhetorical Effort

    In a previous blog, we discussed the usefulness of graphics in trial. In part 2, we delve deeper to address not only when to use graphics, but how to use them in a way that will be most persuasive to …

  • A Picture’s Worth - Using Graphics in Trial

    The phrase, “a picture is worth a thousand words” has never been more appropriate than when applied to the use of graphics during trial. Jurors not only understand messages more thoroughly when attorneys use a combination of spoken words and …

  • Gauging Your Jury: Thinking Outside the Box about Those in the Box

    One of the benefits of having a large team of Tsongas jury consultants and a broad practice reach locally, regionally, and nationally, is that we are able to gather so much unique information about jury selection from hands-on experience. We …

  • Ten Key Questions: Evaluating the Quality of Mock Trial Research

    It is important to recognize that mock jury and focus group research projects come in all shapes and sizes; not all are created equal. This article offers ten key questions to help you assess the quality of mock trial research …

  • Finding the Flow in Every Case, Big or Small

    I was recently reminded of a conversation I had with two attorneys near the beginning of my career as a baby jury consultant. I was working with a senior partner and an associate on a witness preparation for trial for …

  • "We've Been Everywhere, Man," and We Always Pack a Sound Approach to Jury Selection

    We feel like Johnny Cash: “Across the deserts bare, man, / I’ve breathed the mountain air, man; / Of travel I’ve had my share, man, / I’ve been everywhere…” More appropriately for us, the song should sing, “We’ve been everywhere,” …

  • Jury Consultants or Litigation Consultants? Why Not Both?

    Several high profile criminal cases are currently underway in our country: that of Erath County trial of Eddie Routh, accused of murdering former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield, the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the accused Boston Marathon bomber, …

  • Wait for Your Blockers in Voir Dire

    As college football enters the grueling month of November and the professionals advance in their campaign for division championships, I have been watching as many games as I can between stints of in-court jury selection. Recently, I noticed a parallel: …

  • The Science of Jury Selection and the Art of Conversation

    Recently I was asked to participate in a jury selection seminar to provide insight on the most contemporary views on jury selection, scientific jury selection, and the role of supplemental juror questionnaires. As I was preparing my presentation, a 24/7 …

  • Confronting the “Reptile” Strategy with a Classical Human Perspective

    In the 1960s, neuroscientist Paul MacLean posited a model of the human brain consisting of three parts: the reptilian, the paleo-mammalian, and the neo-mammalian.  The “r-complex,” or the reptilian element, which includes the brain stem and the cerebellum, is the oldest part …

  • Danger! Peremptory Challenges Under Attack from Washington State Supreme Court Justice

    Recently the highest court in Washington seems to have set their sights on the issue of peremptory strikes in the jury selection process.  The article, “Wash. justices decry race bias in jury selection,” discusses an argument made recently by state …

  • Satisfying a Key Juror Need in Closing Argument

    A recent study of 3,202 jurors by Sprain and Gastil (2013) reveals a critical opportunity for trial attorneys.  The researchers found that although jurors thought very highly of their fellow jurors, felt their service to be extremely rewarding and meaningful, …

  • 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 …

  • The Dilemma of Defense in Civil Jury Trials

    The dilemma for civil defendants is simple.  Although the plaintiff has the burden of proof, the plaintiff frames the issues of the case first. They establish the initial narrative structure they want the jurors to adopt.  Second, the plaintiffs, in …

  • Your Witness--Prepare Before Stepping Into the Sun

    King County Bar Bulletin, July 2004 Theodore O. Prosise, Ph.D. shares four principles that help you and your witness testify more credibly. Read the Full Article Here: http://tsongasit.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Your-Witness-0704.pdf

  • Managing the Message: Visual Case Presentation

    King County Bar Bulletin, November 2004 Ted Prosise, Ph.D. suggests how to make case presentations more persuasive and interesting wtih effective visual advocacy for both alternative dispute resolution and trial. Read the Full Article Here: http://tsongasit.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Visual-Case-Presentation-1104.pdf

  • Strategy, Planning Lead to Success

    King County Bar Bulletin, October 2005 Ted Prosise, Ph.D. discusses methods for getting an advantage in litigation. Specifically they discuss: Using a Courtroom Setting; Increasing Witness Comfort; Developing the Case Story Early; and Working with Consultants. Read the Full Article …

  • Anatomy of a Medical Malpractice Verdict

    Montana Law Review, Winter 2009, v. 70, no. 1 Tom O’Toole, Bruce Boyd, and Ted Prosise explore, “Three key theories of juror decision-making and courtroom communication” in their article, “Anatomy of a Medical Malpractice Verdict.” The three theories explored include: …

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