Welcome to the first issue of our new quarterly publication schedule and, our last issue for 2013. In the coming year, we will publish in February (Winter), May (Spring), August (Summer), and November (Fall). This schedule allows our authors (and editors) to experience the holidays without the intrusion of writing, editing, and other responsibilities for meeting our publication calendar.

This year has been a challenging one for The Jury Expert as an apparent increase in work (which is a good thing) has left our publication calendar in almost constant flux (this is not so much a good thing). We are grateful for the increase in work for both trial consultants and trial attorneys and grateful to our authors for alerting us as soon as possible to conflicts in work and writing that make meeting our deadlines impossible. Our Editors are learning to breathe deeply when these messages come in and tap a few other writers on the shoulder. Our connections with ASTC-member trial consultants and the strong connection we enjoy with the academic community have each helped us continue to bring you fresh and original contributions.

This issue contains articles on wide-ranging topics with immediate relevance to your day-to-day litigation practice. A Defense response to the Reptile Theory in wide use by the Plaintiff bar; two different articles on truthiness—one focused on visual evidence and the other on the myriad extra-evidentiary evidence that can distract juror focus from the actual facts in evidence; and an article on addressing negative pretrial publicity. We also have an article on how the speed with which you makes decisions leads to presumptions about your character and ethics; another on how what we think we know about our own politics may simply be inaccurate, and a book review on Social Media as Evidence. We also have a new Favorite Thing which is one with which you are likely all familiar.

As we close out 2013 (a bit early), we invite you to let us know what you’d like to read about in our pages. Just send me an email. While we are always on the lookout for interesting ideas for content, we also like hearing from readers as to topical areas of interest. Enjoy this issue.

Rita R. Handrich, Ph.D.
Editor, The Jury Expert