Thursday, January 21, 2010

Everything you ever wanted to know about professional jury preparation

  • Does having a trial consultant help prepare a witness affect the witness's credibility in the minds of jurors?
  • What can opposing counsel ask the witness about their trial preparation?
  • Is a trial consultant's advice confidential, or must attorneys turn it over to the other side during discovery?
  • What guidelines exist to make sure trial consultants practice ethically?
With attorneys increasingly using professional trial consultants to prepare witnesses for court, the latest issue of the Jury Expert (a publication of the American Society of Trial Consultants) tackles these questions head-on. The article, "Out and Proud: Ethical and Legal Considerations in Retaining a Trial Consultant to Assist with Witness Preparation," by David A. Perrott and Daniel Wolfe, summarizes existing laws, ethics, and practice guidelines. It’s available online HERE.

Other current articles of potential interest to my blog readers (all available online) include:

Colorism: The Often Un-discussed "-ism" in America's Workforce
Matthew S. Harrison discusses the issue of skin color bias ("colorism") in the context of workplace research. Three experienced trial consultants then apply this research to what we know about the courtroom and offer their ideas on what we need to pay attention to as we pursue litigation advocacy.

Law on Display
Neal Feigenson and Christina Spiesel, the authors of a new book on visual display of evidence in the courtroom, share their ideas on the impact of technology in trial. Two experienced trial graphics consultants respond and share their own perspectives.

16 Simple Rules for Jury Selection
Criminal defense attorney Mark Bennett offers up his 16 Simple Rules for Better Jury Selection. From the Nike rule to the Shrek rule to the Undertow--reading these will bring your jury selection skills up and leave you thinking about the process in a different way. Four experienced trial consultants offer their perspectives (and one new rule each!) on the ideas contained herein.

Book Review: Principles and Practice of Trial Consultation
Kevin Boully reviews Stanley Brodsky’s new book on trial consulting.

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