Videos from the ABA’s 2012 National Symposium of the American Jury System: The Optimal Jury Trial are now available for viewing on line.

The symposium included panels on jury size and jury selection, jurors asking questions, giving preliminary jury instructions on the law, allowing attorneys to make interim statements to the jury, and other procedures designed to improve juror comprehension and assist jurors with decision making.

The edited videos are broken out by topic and feature pre-recorded examples of each procedure being used in a sample case, followed by a panel of judges and other well known experts on the jury system discussing the issues related to using these procedures. The “show and tell” approach takes the viewer over the first hurdle of not being able to imagine “what that would look/feel/sound like” to change what goes on in the courtroom.

There is also a short video of Steven Landsman interviewing some of the judges who participated in the 7th Circuit study on jury innovations, with a good summary of the results of how jurors, attorneys and judges evaluated each new procedure.

These videos are a great resource for attorneys and judges who want to investigate any of these topics, or for those who need “hands on” examples to encourage other judges and attorneys to implement new procedures.

Submitted by Susie Macpherson of NJP Litigation Consulting