Archive | Jury Research

Social Psych = Groups = Juries

Over the years, many people have asked me what makes me qualified to work as a jury/trial consultant. I explain that I have a Ph.D. in social psychology, which is the scientific study of how people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by other people and situations. Social thinking, social influence, and social behavior are […]

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I have certainly learned a lot about social psychology, by osmosis and directly from Melissa, as well as in a graduate course, taken before I had any intent of working in the trial consulting world, that helped me more than I knew it would.  It is interesting to explain the principles of psychological science to […]

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Almost Like Cheating

I keep a list of things clients have said during or after working with us on mock jury research. These tidbits illustrate the eye opening reactions some attorneys have when observing jurors deliberate. One of my favorites was from (now retired) Pete Burkert in Fort Myers, FL. After a series of mock juries, he said, […]

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Pete Burkert’s quote is memorable, even after many years have passed.  Until his and his partner, Kim Hart’s, retirement, Magnus enjoyed decades of working with these 2 extremely fine attorneys.  Mr. Hart had worked with us several times before we worked with his law partner, Mr. Burkert, and Kim called to tell me what Pete […]

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Premature Decisions

Several recent client/case events prompted this post. My biased view of litigation is that it is best done when as much input (a.k.a. data) is considered. This includes data from various experts, but also data from mock juries used to evaluate the risks of litigation. The first example is with a case that settled prior […]

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I prefer things to be done in an orderly, not a chaotic, manner.  When I make a decision about whether or not a particular person will be a “good” juror for a client’s case, I don’t merely look at the person and say, “Yeah, that one looks pretty good to me.”  Instead, my decisions regarding […]

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Business as Usual

Business as usual is a phrase that typically means “everything is normal.” Except that, sometimes, it is not. And sometimes, it is normal in one place, not another. Because our work happens in the trial venue, we have to adapt to what is happening there. It might be normal there, and not here. An example, […]

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Although I have not lived full time in Fort Myers since soon after my high school graduation in 1976, it will always be “home” to me.  My family came to Fort Myers from Wakulla County, Florida in the 1920s, almost 100 years ago.  The images of many local landmarks and some of my favorite places […]

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Reactive v. Proactive

My mother used to tell me that she, as well as almost everyone else, would “have to get up before breakfast to stay ahead of me.” For readers of this post who are unfamiliar with, as Mom used to say “old South Carolina sayings,” this means that, all things considered, I work and move at […]

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I don’t think of the proactive/reactive dichotomy as just an issue of speed, but of priorities.  And, in fairness to our clients (attorneys), many reactive behaviors are a part of the job.  They must react to rulings by the court, motions or pleadings by the other side, client demands, etc.  It is not just attorneys, […]

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Not Everyone in Purple Thinks the Same Way

Maybe it wasn’t really purple, more like lavender. The polo style shirts by 2 male senior citizens on one of our mock jury panels were very similar. I wasn’t present to witness the events first hand, but I have seen the video of the deliberations many times. The venue was a community where many senior […]

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I know several people who adore the color purple (I am not among them).  It is rare, however, to see 2 male senior citizens wearing purple clothing in the same room.  In fact, the mock jury David is referring to is the only time I have ever seen 2 men of any age wearing purple […]

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Probing Questions and Difficult Answers

I went to my primary care physician recently for my annual check up. (As an aside, my physician is smart: He has a Ph. D. in addition to an M. D.) My physician is committed to helping medical students with their education. He has mentored medical students from The University of Miami for decades and […]

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I loved hearing the story Melissa related about the young medical student shortly after her check up.  It was a classic example of how Melissa’s interactions with the world are sometimes more than what people bargained for on any given day.  I hope that, not only did this make a lasting  impression on this future […]

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What’s the Rush?

Lately, it seems that we have one rush job after another. On the one hand, I’m glad we have jobs of any sort, especially after the impact COVID-19 related chaos on the legal system, and as a result, our business. But, it is a frustration that never diminishes when clients wait to the last minute […]

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As usual, David’s post has reminded me of a song.  As soon as I read the title, “What’s the rush?” I thought of a song by Leon Russell and Marc Benno called “Learn How to Boogie.”  It’s lyrics include:   What’s the hurry? What’s everybody hurrying for? Don’t worry What’s everybody worrying for?   If […]

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Exude Confidence/Lean In

I’ve had a few instances in my working life when clients or customers reported to me, or my bosses, that I exude confidence. They were reporting that my performance stood out to them in some way. I’ve had similar experiences with particularly good workers in numerous settings. I suppose, by definition, most people are average, […]

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I am a lot of things, but “average” is not one of them.  Never has been.  Never will be.  I can’t relate to how it must be to be average.  (People who have heard me play the bass guitar may disagree with my statement that I am not average, however, my long time teacher, a […]

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Share The Positives

I observed Melissa do something today that is worth comment. She complimented our clients for the professional and supportive ways they have worked with us, and as a team, to prepare for a jury research project. The clients seemed taken aback to hear a compliment, and they were surprised their behavior was noteworthy. It is […]

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I believe in giving credit where and when credit is due.  When I notice something good, I usually say something about it.  In fact, I try, diligently, to compliment people and situations more than I complain.  I have found complaining rarely results in positive attitude or behavior change.  (If you don’t believe me, ask yourself […]

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