Sound Jury Blog
Dealing with Juror Fatigue in Zoom Trials
Tue, 15 Sep 2020 17:31:37 +0000

“Six months into the pandemic, trial-by-video-jury – at least in the civil context – is beginning to morph from experiment to expectation. And while lawyers aren’t totally sold on the concept, a growing chorus of judges is making it clear that it may be the only way to keep their dockets moving” (Law.com). Clearly, with […]

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The Role of Defensive Attribution in Jury Verdicts in Traumatic Injury Cases
Thu, 10 Sep 2020 16:58:42 +0000

One of the first memorable studies that I read about jury psychology in graduate school was the 1997 study by Neil Feigenson and colleagues on the relationship between injury severity and blameworthiness. This was early in my graduate studies when I was focused on the effects of injury severity, particularly on attributions of fault. My […]

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3 Key Strategy Insights from a Debate Coach
Wed, 02 Sep 2020 19:26:58 +0000

By Scott Herndon, M.A. When I joined Sound Jury Consulting 5 years ago, I entered with a unique background – I am a college debate coach. College debate is a high-speed, research-oriented, game of words that operates a little like verbal chess. Teams present and apply arguments about complex public policy questions to persuade a […]

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Rethinking Your Takeaways from Mock Trials and Focus Groups
Thu, 27 Aug 2020 17:40:54 +0000

With every project, I’m reminded of the power of a mock trial to effectively and efficiently inform one’s litigation strategy. Too often I think attorneys and their clients view a mock trial from an “outcome” perspective only, or primarily – a “Will I win or lose?” and “If I lose how much will it cost […]

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Jury Selection During COVID: Tips for Creating Useful Supplemental Juror Questionnaires
Thu, 06 Aug 2020 18:49:26 +0000

This past week, King County Superior Courts in Seattle, Washington laid out their plans for the resumption of civil jury trials. In an effort to avoid having large groups of jurors in the same place, jury selection will be conducted mostly over Zoom, which is a fascinating development that should cause many to rethink their […]

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The Myth of Juror Rehabilitation
Wed, 29 Jul 2020 06:02:00 +0000

Protests, COVID, health care, stimulus package, Trump, news (fake or otherwise), monuments, and on and on and on. This country is more divided than ever on nearly every subject. A recent PEW research poll conducted between July 13-19 shows that one’s political leanings (e.g., their political opinions) are an important factor for determining their beliefs […]

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Recognizing the Emotional Volatility of Your Jurors
Thu, 23 Jul 2020 19:58:19 +0000

Yesterday, Seattle Public Schools announced that remote learning will continue indefinitely, meaning public school kids are not going back to school in the fall. A city-wide collective groan followed the announcement. While parents recognize the importance of protecting the health and safety of our community, they also recognize that it is incredibly difficult to have […]

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The Pandemic Highlights the Power of Personal Experience in Persuasion
Thu, 16 Jul 2020 07:01:09 +0000

“I don’t think it would make a difference at all. I’m not even convinced this whole coronavirus thing is real. I don’t know anyone who’s had it.” The irony is that Robert, the mock juror who made this statement during deliberations, was exactly the kind of person who should be most concerned about the virus. […]

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Research Shows COVID-Related Opinion Shifts in Nationwide Jury Pools
Wed, 01 Jul 2020 18:50:34 +0000

  For the past couple of years, we’ve been conducting national surveys on a variety of subjects in order to find out what kinds of widely held beliefs jurors bring into the courtroom. This data has helped inform many litigation strategies, witness preparation efforts, and jury de-selection strategies. Recently, we put all the questions together, […]

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Understanding Heightened Juror Emotions During the Pandemic
Tue, 16 Jun 2020 06:10:15 +0000

Traumatic national events, like the COVID-19 pandemic elicit a broad range of emotions in potential jurors. Jurors, like all of us, worry about the safety of our family and loved ones, keeping jobs, the state of the economy, or the stress of taking on new family and educational responsibilities. Recently, we have conducted some national […]

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