Voir Dire & Jury Selection Archive

  • In her autobiography, Justice Sonia Sotomayor highlights emotion expression as a powerful persuasion tool—an argument that dates back to the 4th century B.C.E. (Aristotle, Rhetoric). Yet, expressing emotion has not always served her well. Her minority dissent from the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Michigan’s affirmative action ban (Schuette v. […]

    Expressing Anger Increases Male Jurors’ Influence, but Decreases Female Jurors’ Influence, During Mock Jury Deliberations

    by Jessica Salerno, Ph.D. and Liana Peter-Hagene, MA and Justin Sanchez, BA In her autobiography, Justice Sonia Sotomayor highlights emotion expression as a powerful persuasion tool—an argument that dates back to the 4th century B.C.E. (Aristotle, Rhetoric). Yet, expressing emotion has not always served her well. Her minority dissent from the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Michigan’s affirmative action ban (Schuette v. […]

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  • One of the biggest challenges lawyers face is witness examination. You know your job, you have done the preparation and yet, somehow, at some point, your witness seems to transform right in front of your eyes. You know the story. Witness “X” has presented in your office as thoughtful, credible, […]

    Understanding the Traumatized Witness

    by Lorie Hood, M.S. One of the biggest challenges lawyers face is witness examination. You know your job, you have done the preparation and yet, somehow, at some point, your witness seems to transform right in front of your eyes. You know the story. Witness “X” has presented in your office as thoughtful, credible, […]

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  • Flip on the television, open the laptop or sit down around most dinner tables across the country these days, and it seems clear that we are experiencing interesting times. Americans are gravitating to grassroots, populist political movements on both sides of the traditional political divide. What the campaigns of both […]

    Citizen Juror:  Justice Sotomayor and Steve Susman Discuss Why Jury Duty Matters

    by David Barnard and Tara Trask Flip on the television, open the laptop or sit down around most dinner tables across the country these days, and it seems clear that we are experiencing interesting times. Americans are gravitating to grassroots, populist political movements on both sides of the traditional political divide. What the campaigns of both […]

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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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  • 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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  • Do trial consultants spell the end of justice? Or the other way around? Or, perhaps, somewhere in the middle?

    Do Trial Consultants Spell the End of Justice?

    by Adam Benforado, J.D. Do trial consultants spell the end of justice? Or the other way around? Or, perhaps, somewhere in the middle?

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  • An exciting new project at NYU: The Civil Jury Project. Here's a conversation between Steve Susman and Tara Trask about the project.

    Hunting Dinosaurs? A Conversation with Steve Susman and Tara Trask on the Vanishing Jury Trial

    by L. Hailey Drescher, M.A. An exciting new project at NYU: The Civil Jury Project. Here's a conversation between Steve Susman and Tara Trask about the project.

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  • How should you act differently on joinder when in a civil or criminal trial? Here's research to aid you with two trial consultant reactions.

    Juries, Joinder, and Justice

    by Krystia Reed, M.A. and Brian H. Bornstein, Ph.D., MLS How should you act differently on joinder when in a civil or criminal trial? Here's research to aid you with two trial consultant reactions.

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