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….
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