Sound Jury Blog
The Importance of Graphics as Courts Shift to Telephonic Hearings
Thu, 19 Mar 2020 19:02:03 +0000
By Thomas M. O’Toole, Ph.D. How do you start a blog about what we are all going through right now? Most of us have never experienced anything like this before and making the adjustments that we are being asked to make is difficult at times. I was telling my kids earlier today that I am […]
The Causes of Social Inflation and “Nuclear” Jury Verdicts
Wed, 12 Feb 2020 17:37:36 +0000
By Thomas M. O’Toole, Ph.D. Last year, Johnson & Johnson was hit with an $8 billion verdict by a Philadelphia jury, an amount that exceeded the gross domestic product of more than sixty countries (included Monaco, Belize, and Greenland) in that same year, according to data from the International Monetary Fund. In fact, Johnson & […]
The Importance of Letting Jurors Be Egocentric in Voir Dire
Fri, 24 Jan 2020 15:44:23 +0000
By Thomas M. O’Toole, Ph.D. If you follow this blog or read our column in the King County Bar Bulletin, you know that I have been working with another well-respected jury consultant, Kevin Boully, to develop the study of Jury Economics, which is behavioral economics applied to jury decision-making. Behavioral economics has become a critical […]
An Introduction to Jury Economics
Wed, 06 Nov 2019 16:57:30 +0000
By Thomas M. O’Toole, Ph.D. and Kevin R. Boully, Ph.D. *A version of this blog was published in the October 2019 issue of the King County Bar Bulletin What is jury economics? If you google it, you will find no matching results. If you search any of the books written on jury persuasion or decision-making, […]
A Moving Timeline of the Mueller Report
Tue, 29 Oct 2019 18:43:49 +0000
  Sound Jury Consulting has the ability to make sense of complex issues through custom moving timelines.  Here is an example of a visually compelling and organized representation of a complex timeline. This timeline is based on the Washington Post’s extensive review of the Mueller Report, which can be found here:
Jury Verdicts are Products of Jurors’ Focus
Thu, 24 Oct 2019 21:09:47 +0000
By Thomas M. O’Toole, Ph.D. One of the most important sayings in our industry is that a verdict is a product of what jurors choose to talk about and focus on most during deliberations. Focus in deliberations is zero sum. If jurors are talking about one thing, they are not talking about something else. Every […]
Give Jurors a Clear Process for Deliberations
Wed, 09 Oct 2019 17:13:24 +0000
By Thomas M. O’Toole, Ph.D. A key milestone in any jury deliberation is the selection of the process for deliberations. At some point early in the deliberations, a process for the discussion is established. Jurors either verbally decide on a process or they simply default to one. By process, I mean the way in which […]
Making Your Case Relevant to Millennial Jurors
Thu, 03 Oct 2019 16:29:28 +0000
By Thomas M. O’Toole, Ph.D. It’s hard being in a place where you don’t speak the same language as those around you. Where everyone dresses differently. Where you don’t understand their values or what causes them to act in certain ways. It can make you feel overwhelmed, vulnerable, and make you long for home. Am […]
Six “Talk Triggers” for Jury Deliberations
Wed, 18 Sep 2019 18:26:17 +0000
By Thomas M. O’Toole, Ph.D. Why do jurors talk about some testimony in deliberations, but not other testimony? Why do jurors start deliberations by talking about an issue that is not related to the first verdict form question? Why do they seem to want to talk about the one thing you repeatedly told them was […]
Examining Defense Strategy for the Upcoming Landmark Opioid Trials in Ohio
Thu, 05 Sep 2019 16:07:05 +0000
By Thomas M. O’Toole, Ph.D. Next month, the largest jury trial to date against opioid manufacturers, distributers, and sellers will take place in northeastern Ohio. The trial will involve the first case among the consolidated lawsuits brought by about approximately two thousand cities, counties, tribes, and others. In light of the recent decision in Oklahoma, […]