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Top 10 Litigation Insights Blogs of 2019

As we move into the New Year, don’t miss out on our top blogs of 2019! Whether recently published or old favorites, here’s what our readers enjoyed most during the past year:


Top 10 Blogs of 2019


10)  Should My Client Say “I’m Sorry”?

As a corporate defendant, does it help or hurt to apologize for past conduct? Does it show weakness? Fault? Honesty? Sincerity? It will all depend: Apologies and contrition can be important tools for reducing damages and persuading jurors to listen with an open mind, but in the wrong circumstances they can appear hollow, even insulting. In this blog, Dr. Jill Leibold explores whether an apology might be right for your case.


9)  What Are the Benefits of Having Diversity in a Jury Panel?

It’s easy to make assumptions about who is likely to be a good or bad juror for your case. But while demographics can be one form of information to gather when thinking about jury selection, they are often one of the weaker predictors of which way a juror could lean. Here’s why a diverse jury actually may be exactly what you need to ensure your case is heard – and deliberated – thoroughly and fairly.


8)  How Do I Present My Expert Witness in the Courtroom by Video Conference (aka: Skype)?

The ability to present live testimony by video conference or video chat has been around for several years, but the ability to use it to its full potential is a more recent development. This blog focuses on the potential benefits of using programs like Skype to present expert witnesses, as well as the special steps your witness will need take to prepare themselves, and their environment, to provide effective live video testimony.


7)  How to Counteract the Anchoring Effects of a Plaintiff’s Damages Request

Years of experience researching jurors have taught us that the amount they award in damages, after finding for a plaintiff, is almost always influenced by the amount of the plaintiff’s demand; in psychological terms, we call that “anchoring.” This blog offers a few different techniques you can use to try to counter the effects of those anchors – and keep jurors’ damages considerations safely within this stratosphere.


6)  Should Jurors Take Notes During Trial?

It is increasingly common that a judge will allow jurors to take written notes during trial. However, just because a juror takes notes doesn’t mean that his or her notes are thorough or support your case; rather, note-taking allows for more accurate memories of the information that best aligns with that juror’s attitudes and beliefs. This blog outlines several of the pros and cons of juror note-taking, and some methods to improve how these notes are ultimately used.


5)  What Are the Best Colors for Your Trial Graphics?

Color can evoke an emotion, create a negative or positive impression in a juror’s mind, and help focus the narrative and clarify your position. There’s no such thing as a bad color, but it’s certainly possible to misuse them or, conversely, to fail to use those that would have better accentuated your points. Understanding proper color usage leads to more effective trial graphics – and this blog focuses on helping you do just that.


4)  Who Is the Ideal Juror to Look for During Voir Dire?

Instead of asking, “What type of people do I want on my jury?” Dr. Jill Leibold suggests asking, “Which jurors pose the greatest danger to my case?” In this popular blog, Dr. Leibold explains why attorneys should think of the process as jury de-selection, and why mock trials can help create a jury profile aimed at identifying your bad jurors – without exposing your good jurors.


3)  How Body Language Can Impact Witness Credibility

Public speaking is already a high-stress situation; now, imagine you’re under oath in front of a judge and jury. Despite this reality, unfortunately the same body language many people display when they’re nervous – fidgeting, poor eye contact, etc. – are also behaviors that suggest to jurors that a witness is insincere or dishonest. This blog covers the major body language that can damage a witness’ testimony.


2)  What to Ask in Voir Dire

While discussing potential questions an attorney might consider asking prospective jurors during voir dire, our clients often inquire, “You don’t actually ask that question, do you?” But in fact, often there are interesting, even counterintuitive reasons to ask – or to avoid – certain questions. This blog dives in to those reasons, discussing what you should and should not ask in voir dire.


1)  The Reptile Brain Strategy: Why Lawyers Use It and How to Counter It

Once again, our blog covering plaintiffs’ “Reptile Strategy” nabs the top spot – no surprise, given how common, and dangerous, this plaintiff tactic continues to be at trial. Dr. Christina Marinakis and John Wilinski, M.A. tackle the topic in this Insights Blog, providing a general overview of the Reptile Strategy and offering a few simple suggestions for how you can defend against it.


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