Current Issue - November, 2015 Vol. 27, No. 4
  • The problem of jurors researching on the internet used to be referred to as the "Google Mistrial" but now has become ubiquitous. This article describes the development of the Juror Internet Research Scale (JIRS) which is used to identify those jurors who will insist on doing research on their own despite judicial instructions to the contrary. The complete measure is presented here with scoring instructions.

    The Juror Internet Research Scale (JIRS): Identifying the Jurors Who Won’t Stay Offline

    by Alexis Knutson, M.A.
    and Edie Greene, Ph.D.
    and Robert Durham, Ph.D.

    The problem of jurors researching on the internet used to be referred to as the “Google Mistrial” but now has become ubiquitous. This article describes the development of the Juror Internet Research Scale (JIRS) which is used to identify those jurors who will insist on doing research on their own despite judicial instructions to the contrary. The complete measure is presented here with scoring instructions.

  • We've been discussing how to stop (or at least minimize) the number of jurors doing internet research while they are serving as jurors. Here, the idea of a "juror pledge" is presented as a way to educate jurors about why not doing research on their own is important and to, hopefully, decrease the incidence of "googling jurors".  In this article, a summary of a number of conversations over the years is presented and strategies in use are described. Language is provided for a number of juror pledges being used currently with hope this strategy will take root.

    Jurors Googling & Blogging – Can a Juror Pledge Stop Them?

    by Diane Wiley

    We’ve been discussing how to stop (or at least minimize) the number of jurors doing internet research while they are serving as jurors. Here, the idea of a “juror pledge” is presented as a way to educate jurors about why not doing research on their own is important and to, hopefully, decrease the incidence of “googling jurors”. In this article, a summary of a number of conversations over the years is presented and strategies in use are described. Language is provided for a number of juror pledges being used currently with hope this strategy will take root.

  • Schadenfreude, the experience of taking pleasure from the distress of another, is often in the courtroom. While schadenfreude might be a natural and understandable reaction to the contentious and possibly emotional environment of a courtroom, these researchers also address whether it can lead to harmful effects, and end by discussing ways to examine this phenomenon empirically.

    Schadenfreude In The Courtroom: Nonobvious Pleasures at Obvious Distress

    by Adele Mantiply
    and Michelle A. Jones
    and Stanley L. Brodsky, Ph.D.

    Schadenfreude, the experience of taking pleasure from the distress of another, is often in the courtroom. While schadenfreude might be a natural and understandable reaction to the contentious and possibly emotional environment of a courtroom, these researchers also address whether it can lead to harmful effects, and end by discussing ways to examine this phenomenon empirically.

  • As the litigation environment continues to evolve, we need to prepare witnesses for whom English is not a first language and those with limited English proficiency (LEP). Here, two trial consultants walk us through the issues inherent in witness preparation when your witness is not proficient in English and give strategies for sensitivity and success in witness preparation with LEP witnesses.

    Untying Tongues: Preparing Witnesses Who Have Limited English Proficiency (LEP)

    by Alexis Forbes, Ph.D.
    and Will Rountree, J.D., Ph.D.

    As the litigation environment continues to evolve, we need to prepare witnesses for whom English is not a first language and those with limited English proficiency (LEP). Here, two trial consultants walk us through the issues inherent in witness preparation when your witness is not proficient in English and give strategies for sensitivity and success in witness preparation with LEP witnesses.

  • Prospective jurors "know" the "right answer" to the questions on whether they can be fair and unbiased. But in this research, two academics show us how traditional  voir dire and survey questions pose the question in a way that elicits a drastic under-reporting of individual biases. This article shows how to ask questions to help jurors acknowledge their biases (which we all have) in ways that does not shame them or make them feel like "bad people" for having biases.

    Revealing Juror Bias Without Biasing Your Juror: Experimental Evidence For Best Practice Survey And Voir Dire Questions

    by Mykol C. Hamilton, PhD
    and Kate Zephyrhawke, MA

    Prospective jurors “know” the “right answer” to the questions on whether they can be fair and unbiased. But in this research, two academics show us how traditional voir dire and survey questions pose the question in a way that elicits a drastic under-reporting of individual biases. This article shows how to ask questions to help jurors acknowledge their biases (which we all have) in ways that does not shame them or make them feel like “bad people” for having biases.

  • As you plan the structure of your case narrative, here's a novel idea for figuring out what prospective jurors find most intriguing about your case. These researchers used a card sort task to have jurors identify which aspects of the case they wanted to hear about first. It's an intriguing look at case presentation planning.

    Jury Decision-making in Excuse Defense Cases: A Novel Methodological Approach

    by Christopher S. Peters, Ph.D.
    and James Michael Lampinen, Ph.D.

    As you plan the structure of your case narrative, here’s a novel idea for figuring out what prospective jurors find most intriguing about your case. These researchers used a card sort task to have jurors identify which aspects of the case they wanted to hear about first. It’s an intriguing look at case presentation planning.

  • 13 lessons gleaned from mock jurors over more than 15 years of patent and intellectual property work. In cases involving computer hardware and software, industrial processes, mechanical devices, logos and color schemes, tag lines and slogans—jurors have told us what is important to them about disputes involving patents, copyrights, trademarks, and creativity.

    Uncommon Wisdom from Everyday People: 13 Lessons from Patent and IP Mock Jurors

    by Douglas L. Keene, Ph.D.
    and Rita R. Handrich, Ph.D.

    13 lessons gleaned from mock jurors over more than 15 years of patent and intellectual property work. In cases involving computer hardware and software, industrial processes, mechanical devices, logos and color schemes, tag lines and slogans—jurors have told us what is important to them about disputes involving patents, copyrights, trademarks, and creativity.

  • Like many of you, we travel all the time. And we have secrets that help us get around faster, more comfortably and tips on what to make sure and carry with you in the air, on the ground or even, underground! Thanks to the generosity of these frequent flyers—these trial […]

    Road Warrior Tips for November 2015

    by ASTC Member Trial Consultants

    Like many of you, we travel all the time. And we have secrets that help us get around faster, more comfortably and tips on what to make sure and carry with you in the air, on the ground or even, underground! Thanks to the generosity of these frequent flyers—these trial […]

  • As crisp fall weather comes in (finally) for some of us and snow is falling (and piling up) for others, we are happy to bring you our last issue for 2015. This is an eclectic issue with multiple articles we think you will find of interest! We start with some […]

    Note from the Editor: Jurors Researching, Schadenfreude in Court, Non-English Speaking Witnesses, and So Much More!

    by

    As crisp fall weather comes in (finally) for some of us and snow is falling (and piling up) for others, we are happy to bring you our last issue for 2015. This is an eclectic issue with multiple articles we think you will find of interest! We start with some […]


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