As we approach 8 months of immersion in the ever-changing “new normal” during the pandemic, my firm Trial Methods surveyed members of the public to gauge how people generally feel about being called to in-person jury duty. We also explored what people think about litigants who are essentially asking citizens to show up and resolve disputes with origins that pre-date the pandemic. The results over the last several months have

With the Covid-19 pandemic complicating in-person mock jury exercises, more jury research is being conducted online. Online focus groups and online surveys can accomplish an array of litigation objectives. Online surveys, which can reach 200 respondents in 3-4 days in some heavily populated venues, help litigants preview the venue and ascertain what arguments are the most compelling, scrutinize damage considerations and start to build a jury profile. How do online

Trial Methods collected data online from 204 jury-eligible people from 15 counties across the country between May 27 and June 5, 2020. These counties were selected because they represent a range of geographically, demographically and politically diverse subsets of the population. One goal was to quantify the percentage of prospective jurors who express reluctance to appear for jury duty if called to serve in the near future, and what “type”

There is no telling exactly how and in what way COVID-19 is going to spread and wreak havoc on the nation, disrupt routines and challenge our institutions. As each day brings us new information about COVID-19 and how people are reacting to it, litigants are wondering how this recently designated pandemic will affect future jury trials across the country. Currently there are some trials going on but most have been

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-related topics 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, January 2019 and now January of 2020 to different respondents to

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