Litigation Advocacy Archive

  • It comes as no surprise that when a witness is perceived as being credible, his or her messages will be more persuasive to the jury. Much academic research has been conducted to determine the primary characteristics that measure credibility. There has even been a scale developed to measure the perceived […]

    How Does My Retained Expert Witness Improve Credibility?

    by Merrie Jo Pitera, Ph.D. It comes as no surprise that when a witness is perceived as being credible, his or her messages will be more persuasive to the jury. Much academic research has been conducted to determine the primary characteristics that measure credibility. There has even been a scale developed to measure the perceived […]

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  • Every year we identify the top 10 articles chosen by our readers as most interesting in the calendar year. This year these articles are our top ten. Have you missed any of them? This is your chance to catch up! Does Deposition Video Camera Angle Affect Witness Credibility? By Chris […]

    Top 10 Most Accessed Articles of 2015

    by The TJE Editorial Staff Every year we identify the top 10 articles chosen by our readers as most interesting in the calendar year. This year these articles are our top ten. Have you missed any of them? This is your chance to catch up! Does Deposition Video Camera Angle Affect Witness Credibility? By Chris […]

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  • 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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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Are we witnessing the death of the civil jury system? Perhaps. A GWU professor lays out the case for abolishing the civil jury and Susie Macpherson (a trial consultant) and Tom Melsheimer (a litigator) respond.

    The Collapse of Civil Jury Trial and What To Do About It

    by Renée Lettow Lerner Are we witnessing the death of the civil jury system? Perhaps. A GWU professor lays out the case for abolishing the civil jury and Susie Macpherson (a trial consultant) and Tom Melsheimer (a litigator) respond.

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