Our country is divided along many dimensions. One realm where this phenomenon exists is in the world of politics. We see in poll after poll a near-even split in the way the country views the president, his policies and now with impeachment. Roughly half want the president impeached and removed while the other half are firmly entrenched in the idea impeachment and removal is unfair and unwise. Perhaps this needle

A stealth juror is a prospective juror who attempts to make it onto a jury in hopes of attaining a pre-determined outcome in the deliberation. More often than not this juror will say very little during voir dire to try and fly under the radar, or if they do speak, will tailor responses to convey they could be an entirely fair and impartial juror. There are some misconceptions about what

So, why do so many of us fear public speaking? We’ve all been there – your hands are shaking, your heart is beating and your mind is racing about your initial presentation to the jury.  As your time gets closer and closer, your focus shifts from the content of the opening you’ve rehearsed countless times to whether you are competent to deliver it. Research tells us more than one-third of

Attorneys love it when their expert witness possesses a degree (or two) from a highly prestigious academic institution. Of course, this is not a coincidence, as lawyers routinely consider educational background when seeking out good candidates to be an expert witness. An impressive resume, the thinking goes, means the ultimate decision maker, typically the jury, will perceive the expert as highly credible. And a highly credible expert goes a long

I was recently asked by a lawyer friend getting ready to pick a jury whether he should ask members of the panel whether they have any tattoos. My general reaction was unless the case involved someone suing a tattoo shop then it probably wouldn’t be a meaningful area of inquiry and that time would be better spent asking about something else. Then again, part of jury selection is to not

Trial Methods set out to take the pulse of the public by questioning jury-eligible people across the country about their attitudes pertaining to litigation at the outset of 2017. Respondents were from geographically, politically and demographically diverse regions and asked a series of questions online. The same survey with the same methodology was administered in January of 2018 and January of 2019 to different respondents to see how attitudes have

How did you feel when you received your jury summons? My first reaction to receiving the summons was a feeling of inconvenience; how I would have to miss work and sit in a room all day with people I didn’t know. I had received a summons before and did not have to serve on a jury. I was hoping it would be the same again this time. It wasn’t. What

Jurors often connect empathetically with the “key players” involved in a lawsuit. For commercial cases, however, this occurs much less frequently. General commercial litigation involves virtually every type of dispute that can arise in the business context, including breach of contract cases, partnership/joint venture disputes, class actions, business torts, civil RICO claims, breach of fiduciary duty allegations, and shareholder issues. It is by far the exception rather than the rule

Kelly Ann Conway was prescient with her introduction of “alternative facts” to American political discourse. But what she really was describing was alternative tracks of syntax. In today’s political environment people seek out and embrace news that fits within their pre-existing firmly rooted overarching political narrative. The news is ubiquitous which means seeking specifically tailored news confirming one’s perspective is always just a click away. News that isn’t tailored to

What happens when civil jurors discuss pain and suffering during deliberations? Certainly the specific facts of the case, including what a plaintiff had to endure, affects the way jurors conceptualize “pain and suffering.” This concept of pain and suffering is well known to lawyers but jurors are given little guidance when asked to award money for this category. Sometimes jurors look to the jury instructions for direction, yet here is