Jurors make judgments based on perceptions rather than witnesses' or attorneys' intentions. Since these decisions often evolve from emotion, and not hard facts, witnesses' and attorneys' communication skills can be crucial in determining a verdict on liability and damages. Jury communication services enhance the case presentation. It is important not only to know what you want to tell the jurors, but also how to tell the story.[Back to Top]
Post Trial Juror Interviews
— In the Minds of Jurors
Dr. Cynthia Cohen in alliance with Courtroom View Network (CVN) interviewed jurors from Tellez v. Dole, et al. Jurors awarded 6 of the 12 plaintiffs damages for the pesticide DBCP manufactured by Dow and used by Dole Food Company in Nicaragua. Five plaintiffs were awarded punitive damages against Dole.
To purchase the entire two-hour interview session from CVN, click here: JShin@courtroomconnect.com
Juror interviews are an excellent tool for gaining knowledge about specific perceptions of witnesses, lawyers, and issues during a past trial. Using an objective jury consultant, who understands the issues and makes sense of the group dynamics, is important for subsequent trials and appeals. Juror interviews are the most economical form of jury research.
— Knowing which path to take when there is a fork in the road.
Brainstorming sessions create winning themes and solutions for problem areas. Productive, creative sessions are essential in articulating meaningful analogies & graphics that hold up under attack as well as strategies for illuminating opponents' weaknesses.[Back to Top]
Courtroom Analysis/Shadow Expert
— What are the jurors communicating?
During the course of the trial, a trained pair of eyes and ears is beneficial for assessing jurors' reactions to opening statements, evidence, and witnesses. Detecting subtle cues from jurors can assist in designing questioning strategies and closing arguments.
— Daily focus groups
We set up focus groups outside the presence of the jury in high profile cases where cameras are used in the courtroom. We assess jurors' reactions to opening statements, evidence, and witnesses. Daily mock jury feedback assists in designing questioning strategies and closing arguments.[Back to Top]
— Detecting deception in adverse witnesses is critical in discovery.
Did you ever feel that the witness was hiding information? What if you could get more from deposing your opponent's witnesses than the opponents planned to reveal? Thorough analysis of human behavior is supported by over thirty years of original research by Paul Ekman, Ph.D,, a pioneer in the field of behavior and emotion. Dr. Ekman, recipient of the American Psychological Association's Distinguished Scientific Contribution award in 1991, is internationally recognized as the expert with the most cited research on lying behavior. Dr. Cohen collaborated with Dr. Ekman for several years.
— A picture is worth a thousand words.
Jurors better understand concepts when they are presented visually. Attention to graphics is crucial because charts and graphs can bolster witness credibility and assist retention on key issues and themes.[Back to Top]
— Optimizing a strike list.
Being prepared for voir dire can make a difference in correctly removing a potentially negative juror. Jury questionnaires in the courtroom are more frequently used today. There is an art to eliciting rich qualitative responses from the courtroom questionnaire. In conjunction with jury research studies, we incorporate predictive questions.
Jury questionnaires used in court are distinct from jury research questionnaires. For high risk or media sensitive cases where large jury pools are used, we computerize jurors' questionnaire responses for easy retrieval during jury selection. Individual juror analyses with suggested follow up voir dire questions, as well as strike lists, can be gleaned from jury questionnaires.[Back to Top]
Jury Selection and Voir Dire
— It all happens so fast.
Asking the right questions during voir dire is important in determining bias. Scientific jury selection with rigorous research to test hypotheses is preferred. With a sufficient number of mock jurors, predictors that differentiate jurors who favor plaintiffs from those who favor defendants generally surface. Secondarily, understanding body language and observing jurors' reactions to questions is critical. We also educate on Batson and Wheeler challenges.[Back to Top]
— Vividly tell the story
Build better case presentations through analysis of opening statements. We analyze written opening statements or give feedback on rehearsals. In our opening statement clinic, we focus on style and presentation through videotape feedback integrating what jurors are likely to perceive and comprehend. We evaluate the delivery, then refine phrases to vividly communicate the client's story.[Back to Top]
Witness Analysis and Preparation
— Stress busters for effective examinations.
Each witness has a unique style. We examine idiosyncrasies and analyze jurors' likely perceptions. Often a witness' stress level makes the case less manageable for the attorney. It is important for witnesses to present themselves as naturally as possible. During preparation, we videotape the witness under direct and cross-examination. During feedback sessions, we integrate communication theories in resolving dilemmas. A strong witness during discovery can greatly affect trial strategy.[Back to Top]