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Top Blog Posts from 2015

As we head into another new year, we thought we would take one last look back on to what made 2015 a great year for us. The blogs from Litigation Insights listed below were the most read articles in 2015. Some are fairly new while others are oldies but goodies. We appreciate your continued support and interest in our blogs; we couldn’t have made this past year so great without you.

#10 – Is There Juror Bias Against Female Attorneys?

Although most jurors are more complex in their thinking about a case, and their verdicts will ultimately rest on the strength of the evidence, research has shown that many jurors do employ some gender stereotypes in their overall assessments of attorney performance. Jessica Baer discusses findings and myths regarding jurors’ opinions of female attorneys.

#9 – What Not To Do In Voir Dire

Most articles about voir dire discuss what you should do during this process but you don’t often read about what not to do. Dr. Merrie Jo Pitera offers great strategy and tips from real trials watching opposing counsel who meant well, but their voir dire delivery backfired on them.

#8 – A View From the Jury Box: Managing Jurors’ Beliefs About Women Attorneys

We have heard numerous stories about jurors’ negative reactions to female members of trial teams throughout the years. If some jurors overtly and explicitly display such outrageous gender-based attitudes and actions one can only imagine the prejudices that go undetected in the jury box. Our consultants offer guidelines for presentations to help take the focus off of gender in the courtroom and put it back where it should be – on the case.

#7 – Selecting Your Corporate Representative

Over the years, we have received questions about how to select a corporate representative to sit at counsel table during trial. All eyes are on the corporate representative. In this article, Dr. Pitera summarizes the key criteria that jurors have said they focus on when evaluating a corporate representative.

#6 – Focus Group vs. Mock Trial: Which is the Best Choice for You?

Jury research that provides valid results you can rely on should always be tailored to your research goals – i.e., what you want to learn. So when clients come to us and ask us, “Should I do a mock trial or a focus group?” the answer is almost always, “It depends.” Dr. Barbara Hillmer discusses the advantages and disadvantages of both types of research to help you get the answers you need.

#5 – When Will Jurors Find the Plaintiff Sympathetic?

Because no two plaintiffs are alike, attorneys often wonder, will certain plaintiffs generate more sympathy from jurors? Or What is the best way to identify jurors who may be more sympathetic? John Wilinski explores when jurors will find a plaintiff sympathetic and more based on what jurors have told us during our years of conducting hundreds of mock trials and post-trial interviews.

#4 – What Does Adding a “Hot Seat” Operator to my Trial Team Cost?

One of the most frequently asked questions we hear from trial teams is: How much does it cost to have a “hot seat” operator run the technology in the courtroom? This might seem like an easy question to answer, but there are several factors that go into this decision. Adam Bloomberg goes into some general guidelines to help answer this question.

#3 – How Long Should Opening Statements in a Trial Last?

Clients often ask us when preparing for trial, “how long should my opening statement last?” Robert Gerchen delves into this question and discusses how opening statements are more than a “movie trailer”; when combined with jury psychology, they help develop a story of the case and persuade jurors’ framing of the case.

#2 – Witness Tip: Anxiety is the #1 Barrier Affecting Communication

Anxiety will impact a witness’ presentational style and consequently affect his or her credibility. However, understanding the source of a person’s anxiety can help a witness begin to keep her or his fears at bay. If a witness is not responding to your prep, Dr. Pitera provides potential reasons for the source of their anxiety.

#1 – How Long Should Closing Arguments Last in a Trial?

As often as trial attorneys wonder how long their opening statements should last, they just as often wonder what a good time limit is for closing arguments after a trial. Robert Gerchen again discusses the true purposes of closing arguments and what jurors want to hear, to help you strategically plan your best arguments.


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