Jury Experiences Archive

  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Do different camera angles during deposition affect how observers will assess the credibility of the witness? Take a look at this research!

    Does Deposition Video Camera Angle Affect Witness Credibility?

    by Chris Dominic, MA and Jeffrey W. Jarman, Ph.D. and Jonathan M. Lytle, Ph.D. Do different camera angles during deposition affect how observers will assess the credibility of the witness? Take a look at this research!

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  • Is plain language an important factor to consider in a jury charge? Yes. Here's a look at the latest knowledge.

    Jury Instructions: Work In Progress

    by Steven E. Perkel, DSW, LCSW and Benjamin Perkel Is plain language an important factor to consider in a jury charge? Yes. Here's a look at the latest knowledge.

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  • Stop asking jurors to do the impossible!

    Why Do We Ask Jurors To Promise That They Will Do the Impossible?

    by Susan Macpherson Stop asking jurors to do the impossible!

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  • All potential jurors have biases and prejudices. Individual bias stems from all we experience, and shapes the perceptions we, as jurors, have of evidence. These perceptions can certainly influence final jury verdicts.[1] Identifying juror bias is critical. Yet, “the detection of juror bias is a serious challenge in contemporary jury […]

    Strategies for More Effective Voir Dire

    by Ronald J. Matlon, Ph.D. All potential jurors have biases and prejudices. Individual bias stems from all we experience, and shapes the perceptions we, as jurors, have of evidence. These perceptions can certainly influence final jury verdicts.[1] Identifying juror bias is critical. Yet, “the detection of juror bias is a serious challenge in contemporary jury […]

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  • This scenario happens at some point in nearly every voir dire. First, a juror reveals a bias for or against one of the parties. Juror: I just really don’t trust big companies. What with all the media stories and all the scandals, well, I just think that they are in […]

    Getting Beyond “Can You Be Fair?”: Framing Your Cause Questions

    by Ken Broda-Bahm, Ph.D. This scenario happens at some point in nearly every voir dire. First, a juror reveals a bias for or against one of the parties. Juror: I just really don’t trust big companies. What with all the media stories and all the scandals, well, I just think that they are in […]

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  • Why focus groups? Properly conducted focus groups are extremely useful in getting reactions to a wide array of aspects of the case. While it is not prudent to expect that the “verdict” of a small group research project will be repeated at trial, it is very likely that the same […]

    The “Why” and “How” of Focus Group Research

    by Douglas Keene, Ph.D. Why focus groups? Properly conducted focus groups are extremely useful in getting reactions to a wide array of aspects of the case. While it is not prudent to expect that the “verdict” of a small group research project will be repeated at trial, it is very likely that the same […]

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  • The Problem Human beings, especially jurors, like to believe they can prevent bad things from happening if they do the right thing. As a result, when something bad occurs, jurors find it comforting to assume, with the benefit of hindsight, that someone did the wrong thing and that they (the […]

    Managing Hindsight Bias

    by Merrie Jo Pitera, Ph.D The Problem Human beings, especially jurors, like to believe they can prevent bad things from happening if they do the right thing. As a result, when something bad occurs, jurors find it comforting to assume, with the benefit of hindsight, that someone did the wrong thing and that they (the […]

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  • It’s time for voir dire, but is anybody listening? Are jurors listening to attorneys? Are attorneys listening to jurors? More often than not the answer is no. Regardless of case type or jurisdiction, jurors are checking out. Their attention spans are flat-lining during a crucial phase of trial – voir […]

    Knowing When and How to Indoctrinate

    by Alan Tuerkheimer, M.A., J.D. It’s time for voir dire, but is anybody listening? Are jurors listening to attorneys? Are attorneys listening to jurors? More often than not the answer is no. Regardless of case type or jurisdiction, jurors are checking out. Their attention spans are flat-lining during a crucial phase of trial – voir […]

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