As spring moves toward the heat of summer we hope you can take The Jury Expert with you wherever you may go—either reading us online or downloading our pdf file of the entire issue. This issue is a good depiction of the variety in thought, research and advocacy that we bring you in The Jury Expert. Whether it is helping a defendant present more effectively, addressing pretrial publicity, preparing your witness to not fall for that old trick by the opposing attorney, considering the research literature on the female expert witness, thinking about whether PowerPoint is really all that horrible and how to make it more effective, educating yourself on the polygraph, or being aware of the power of moral outrage—you can find it all in this issue of The Jury Expert.
The last few flights I’ve been on, heading for projects across the country, have been sold out on every leg. While it makes it a little more cramped to work on the flight, it seems to be an indicator of an uptick in business travel that is reflected in many of our calendars. I’ve been working in this area since 2000 and I still find myself curious, stimulated and intrigued by how seemingly straightforward case facts often are interpreted differently depending on who hears them. It makes for challenging and enjoyable work. I never stop learning.
For the same reason, I enjoy working on The Jury Expert. Academic researchers are busily conducting research with direct relevance to litigation advocacy. My trial consulting colleagues (many of whom have been at this much longer than I) are busily working and learning and thinking and writing practice-oriented articles for us that are relevant and useful. I see this publication as a place where people who don’t know each other can come together and share their thoughts and findings in the same virtual space and together, we create a body of knowledge that is current, provocative, and directly relevant to practice.
We just finished a mock arbitration project and I was struck by not only how smart the arbitrators were, but also by how clearly they enjoyed meeting their colleagues rather than working alone as is their typical experience. They ate dinner together. They went for ice cream together. They shared experiences and truly seemed to enjoy each other’s company.
That is exactly how I think about The Jury Expert in my head. Many of us work alone. While the work is tremendously challenging, interesting, stimulating and always changing—it can also be lonely. Think of us as a virtual workgroup. Read what we think and write. You can email us. You can comment on our website. You can even eat ice cream while you read. It isn’t quite the same as being in the same room but then again, no one will judge you if you have a second helping.
As always, if there are things you would like to read about, let me know! We’ll do our best to cover it. See you in the height of summer heat! Our next issue is in August, 2014.