Best Article I Read This Week: The Science of Jury Selection and the Art of Conversation

Theodore O. Prosise Ph.D.

Tsongas Litigation Consulting

The goal of jury “de-selection” is to reveal jurors with attitudes and experiences antithetical to your case themes and messages.  Effectively and thoughtfully observing juror data and reactions, and then interpreting and evaluating communicative expressions, takes experience, expertise, organization, and effort.  Creating, through performance, the environment conducive to such public expression in a court of law is critical.

The courtroom is an intimidating place; especially for potential jurors.  For many, it is their first time in a courtroom. The formality of the process and the unique elements of the communicative environment can impede their comfort in expressing their views.  In addition, they are often unfamiliar with issues that are deeply embedded within a trial team’s experience.  As such, what can roll off a lawyer’s tongue in questioning may take extra time for potential jurors to process, assess, and react to.  Because the lawyers cannot (or at least are not supposed to) discuss their evidence or the law in voir dire, jurors are often asked many abstract questions which they need time to process before considering how they should answer.  But here is the conflict….

Read the full article here:

Best Article I’ve Read This Week: What Litigators Can Learn from Newscasters

by Ken Lopez
A2L Consulting

Of course, there are big differences between litigators and newscasters. Litigators don’t simply read what is in front of them (at least not the good ones). Preparation for a newscast takes hours or days, not the months or years a trial might take. And of course, the skill set of a litigator is quite broad outside of the courtroom performance aspect of the job, typically requiring the ability to negotiate, write well, organize well, think on your feet, lead a team, sell and much more.

Still, I believe there are some very useful lessons to be learned from watching how the news is put together. The Nightly News with Brian Williams is a good example of a high-quality newscast, and about 10 million people watch it every day. Whether the evening’s anchor is Brian Williams, Lester Holt or Savannah Guthrie (she happens to be an attorney), the presentation is well-refined, the delivery is exceptional and overall, it serves as a good model for how to communicate in the courtroom.

Let’s look at 10 things that litigators, especially those who participate in jury trials, can learn from a high-quality news broadcast.

1) Newscasters never speak in jargon

Read the full article here:

litigators newscasters similarities