Cynthia R. Cohen, Ph.D. 

Cynthia R. Cohen, Ph.D.

Local Knowledge with a National Presence. Dr. Cynthia Cohen specializes in jury research, trial strategies, and settlement decision-making. Harvesting knowledge of the local venue through jury studies, she applies scientific methods for jury selection predictors and develops themes with jury appeal to help trial lawyers win major complex cases across the country. As a past President of the American Society of Trial Consultants, she has a vast network to support trials in any U.S. venue.

Credible Research and Communication Insight. Dr. Cohen's education includes psychology degrees at UCLA and USC. Her career began with teaching research design to psychology graduate students and facilitating communication courses for business professionals. With 30 years of trial consulting experience, she consistently spots the issues relevant to jurors. She is sought after to speak at bar associations and media outlets on jurors' decision-making behavior, detecting deception, and elimination of bias.

Consumer Survey Expert. Dr. Cohen's surveys have been accepted in Federal Court as an expert in consumer studies for trademark infringement cases. Through familiarity with defining the universe, she validly measures likelihood of confusion rates among consumers.

Leadership and Awards. As a Vice Chair of the American Bar Association, Section of Litigation Trial Practice Committee, Dr. Cohen organized creative, leading edge CLE programs. She chaired the Los Angeles Regional Workshop "Closing Arguments that Rock." Dr. Cohen won five ABA Section of Litigation awards including the best theme adaptation for the Trial Practice Committee. For the Products Liability Committee, she helped launch the first annual Food & Supplements conference at Coca Cola World Headquarters in Atlanta. As a member of the ABA Section of Litigation Task Force on the Image of the Profession, she designed programs at the USC Annenberg School and the University of Texas (Law and Journalism Schools). She organized the Trial Practice Committee's first annual diversity reception in the Chambers of the Hon. Ruben Castillo at the Federal Courthouse in Chicago.

2018 Invited Speaking

May 2, 2018. Beating Bias in Hiring Lawyers and in Jury Trials, ABA Section of Litigation Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.

May 22, 2018. Social Media Impacts on Consumer Behavior in Likelihood of Confusion Surveys, INTA’s 2018 Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA (Table Top discussion).

2017 Invited Speaking

Jan. 10, 2017. Demeanor, Deception and Credibility. California Administrative Law Judges Annual Meeting, Sacramento, CA.

Jan. 26, 2017. Beating Bias. LACBA and WLALA Joint Task Force, Los Angeles, CA.

Nov. 15, 2017. To Speak the Truth: Voir Dire Rhymes with “Beer,” The Hon. Benjamin Aranda III Inn of Court, Redondo Beach, CA.

Dr. Cohen's History of Invited Speaking Engagements: Cynthia_Cohen_Invited_Speaking_Engagements.pdf

Law Firm and Bar Association CLE Seminars

Demeanor, Deception and Credibility. Cynthia Cohen contributes to the world of psychology and law. Her curiosity led to collaboration with Dr. Paul Ekman in teaching lawyers about micro-expressions and lying behavior. Besides CLE presentations to law firms and associations, she also taught trial skills with the LACBA Trial Advocacy Program.

Elimination of Gender and Race Bias in Hiring Lawyers and in Jury Trials. This participatory CLE on elimination of gender and race bias integrates original research, studies on implicit bias, and an overview of Batson v. Kentucky and its progeny. Our groundbreaking empirical study of mock jurors’ impressions of lawyers and issues in a case scenario using a civil case regarding a police shooting randomly assigned 460 mock jurors to eight online surveys that were identical except for varying the gender and race of the attorneys. (CA State Bar approved for 1.0 bias hour.)

Education

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, Ph.D., Educational Psychology and Annenberg School of Communication, 1984. Dissertation: Communication Skills and Cognitive Processes in Productively Reducing Uncertainty in Ambiguous Instructional Messages.

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, M.S., Counseling Psychology, 1979. Master's topic: Effective Leadership in Small Groups.

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES, B.A., Psychology, 1977. Thesis: Masculine/Feminine Differences in Aggressiveness and Assertiveness.

HONORS: Educare Fellow (1981-1982), California State Fellow (1978-81), USC Education Alumni Award (1978).

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Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association

— Litigation Section

  • Trial Practice Committee, Vice Chair (2007-present)
  • Products Liability Committee, Membership Co-Chair (2004-2011)
  • Image of the Profession Task Force, Member (2004-2006)

— Section of Intellectual Property Law

American Psychological Association

— Division 41: American Psychology-Law Society

American Society of Trial Consultants

  • President (2009-2010)
  • President-Elect and Annual Conference Chair (2008-2009)
  • Executive Committee (2007-2010)
  • Pro Bono Publico and Awards Committee Board Liaison (2006-2008)

Association of Business Trial Lawyers

Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association

Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles

— Golf League Founder and WLALA SCGA Club President

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Publications

Cohen, C.R. (2015). "Not in My Backyard!" – Juror Perceptions that Affect Verdicts. ABA Section of Litigation, Environmental, Toxic Torts & Products Liability Committees Joint CLE Seminar Program Materials. Aspen, CO.

Cohen, C.R. (2014). Jury Selection for Your First Trial. Chapter in Trying Your First Case, ABA Section of Litigation, Trial Practice Committee, First Chair Press.

Cohen, C.R. (2013). Demeanor, Deception and Credibility in Witnesses. ABA Section of Litigation Program Materials.

Cohen, C.R. (2013). The Billion Dollar Question: Bias or Misconduct? ABA Section of Litigation, Trial Practice, 27 (2).

Cohen, C.R. (2010). Forget what you Fear about Shadow Juries. Go Virtual! ABA Section of Litigation, Products Regional Meeting.

Cohen, C.R. (2010). The Heart and Soul of Your Case: Secrets to Crafting Winning Themes. ABA Annual Meeting, San Francisco.

Cohen, C.R. (2009). Response to Sex and Race in the Courtroom: Shifting Gender-Role Attitudes in a Changing World. The Jury Expert, Vol. 21 (6).

Cohen, C.R. (2009). Media Effects from Television Shows - Reality or Myth? Lawyers in Your Living Room, ABA Press.

Cohen, C.R. (2009). Determining Juror Perceptions that Affect Verdicts in Product Liability Cases. Chapter in Current Law, Strategies and Best Practices in Product Litigation, Practising Law Institute.

Cohen, C.R. (2007). Calming Fears in the Chemical Products Liability Trial. ABA Section of Litigation.

Cohen, C.R. (2007). Different Venues, Different Verdicts. ABA Section of Litigation.

Cohen, C.R. (2006). Determining Juror Perceptions of the FDA that Affect Verdicts in Pharmaceutical Lawsuits. ABA Section of Litigation.

Cohen, C.R. (2006). Test-Driving Trial Strategy: Crossing the Finish Line First. ABA Annual Meeting, Section of Litigation. Honolulu, HI.

Cohen, C.R. (2006). Communication Skills in Revealing Bias: The Plaintiff Juror and How to Exclude for Cause. Trials and Tribulations, the Winter Newsletter of the DRI Trial Tactics Committee.

Cohen, C.R., (2002). Asking the Right Questions: Current Events Shadowing the Jury Pool. Raleigh, NC: Trial Briefs, North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, August.

Cohen, C.R., (2001). Effective Defense Voir Dire: Making Sense of Jurors' Experiences. Chicago, IL: International Association of Defense Counsel, Defense Counsel Journal, 68 (3).

Cohen, C.R., (2000). Getting What You Want from Jury Research. Southern California Directory of Experts & Consultants. Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles County Bar Association.

Munsterman, G.T., Hannaford, P.I., & Whitehead, G.M., editors, (1997). Jury Trial Innovations. ABA and National Center for State Courts. (Contributor to the ABA Task Force on Jury Initiatives.)

Cohen, C.R., (1992). Evaluating Jury Research, chapter in Managing Modern Litigation. Chicago, IL: American Bar Association.

Cohen, C.R., (1992). Understanding Jury Research, ALI-ABA's The Practical Litigator, 3 (1).

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Community Involvement

City of Manhattan Beach, Construction Issues Committee (2003-2005)

Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce

— Chair of the Board (2003-2004)

— Executive Committee (2001-2005)

Leadership Manhattan Beach, Project Manager (1999-2000)