Skip Navigation
Honoring Patricia Friedel Steele Read More Here

Top Ten Blog Insights from 2016

With just a few days left in 2016 we wanted to take one last look back on what made 2016 a great year for us and what our readers and clients found most helpful. The blogs from Litigation Insights listed below were the most read articles in 2016.  As we look back to what our readers visited the most in 2016, we appreciate your continued support and interest in our Insights; we couldn’t have made this past year so great without you.


#10 – What are the Critical Juror Attitudes to Know Before Jury Selection in Medical Malpractice Litigation?

When exposure is high, the stakes are high, and the ambiguity surrounding how jurors will respond to the case increases. This Insights blog delves into some “lessons learned” in medical malpractice cases from our jury research at Litigation Insights, and the importance of utilizing case-specific jury research to continue to foster positive outcomes for the med mal defendant.


#9 – Should a Witness Look at the Jury? Keys to Effective Courtroom Eye Contact

A witness’s credibility can be significantly impacted if he never or rarely looks at the jury. Eye contact is critical to jurors’ perception of credibility.  In our #9 most read Insights blog, Dr. Merrie Jo Pitera looks at best practices for witnesses and how to make sure their eye contact with the jury is effective.


#8 – Is it Ethical to Research Jurors Online During Jury Selection?

One of our most read blogs and frequently asked questions by our clients is about researching jurors online. While we have discussed the benefits of online juror research in a previous blog post, the following discussion examines the ethical considerations of conducting such research based on our years of experience conducting it as well as our continued review of this topic.


#7 – What are the Best Types of Clothes for Lawyers to Wear in the Courtroom?

There is no such thing as a “second” first impression. Attorneys want to ensure their appearance doesn’t compete with or undermine their goal of connecting with their jurors by selecting clothing or accessories that create distance or the impression of dissimilarity. Dr. Barbara Hillmer discusses how to choose your outfit wisely and you’ll keep jurors’ focus where it belongs – on your message.


#6 – 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? Our Insights explore 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.


#5 – What are the Benefits of Having a Diverse Jury Panel?

Even in trials that do not directly involve racial issues, defendants benefit from having a diverse jury. In on of our most read blogs both this year and last, Dr. Christina Marinakis details why diversity in a jury panel matters and why it’s valuable to your case. While the issue of whether race influences verdict outcome is case-specific and far more complex than can be addressed here, the bottom line is that diversity matters in every case.


#4 – Should Jurors Take Notes During Trial?

In most (but not all) jurisdictions, whether members of a jury are allowed to take notes will depend upon the judge’s discretion. However the practice is more widely accepted so our clients often wonder if it’s useful to have jurors fill up notepad after notepad during the days and weeks of trial. Consultant Jessica Baer talks about the disadvantages and advantages to jurors taking notes during trial.


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

Clients often ask us when preparing for trial, “how long should my closing arguments last? What do the jurors need to hear again?” Robert Gerchen discusses the true purposes of closing arguments and what jurors want to hear, to help you strategically plan your best arguments.


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

As often as trial attorneys wonder how long their closings statements should last, they just as often wonder what a good time limit is for opening arguments during a trial. Robert Gerchen again 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.


#1 – The Reptile Brain Strategy: Why Lawyers Use It, and How to Counter It

Recently, our clients have come to us frequently asking about a plaintiff strategy called the “Reptile Approach.”  Dr. Christina Marinakis and John Wilinski, M.A. tackle the topic in this Insights Blog and provide a brief general overview of the Reptile Approach and offer a few simple suggestions for defending against it.


Don’t see an article that interests you? Looking for a specific topic or question? Contact us to email your ideas so we can get working on them.

Subscribe to Our Blog

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.