Why You Should Invest in a Jury Consultant
Jury selection is one of the most important parts of a trial. Just one or two unfavorable jurors can lead to millions (or more) in damage awards and wipe out millions in expenses and thousands of hours of trial preparation work. Even though jury selection holds significant influence over the outcome of a trial, the amount of time and resources dedicated to the jury selection process is often minimal. This is where jury consultants can come in.
Jury consultants are behavioral experts who help trial attorneys uncover hidden biases of potential jurors that can foretell what jurors will do in response to a dispute, its fact scenario, evidence, witness testimony, and so on. A powerful tool for case evaluation and trial preparation, a jury consultant can also assist in evaluating which potential defense theme may be most effective. Engaging a jury consultant as early as possible in litigation is most beneficial.
Courtroom Sciences’ jury consulting services apply a psychometric methodology to fully assess juror profiles in voir dire to learn about pre-existing biases to help compose the optimal jury. Our scientific approach to juror assessment provides invaluable information and is critical for achieving superior litigation outcomes.
Can a jury consultant really help win cases?
Properly trained jury consultants predict human behavior by collecting and analyzing data, and building predictive models on how jurors will react to a case on liability and damages. Scientifically-valid research and data collection of insights from mock jurors help defense attorneys assess likely outcomes and inform their trial strategy. This can drive critical settlement negotiations and trial strategy decisions, resulting in better financial outcomes.
Demographics are Not Predictive of Juror Behavior and Decision-Making
Although attorneys have used demographics to pick jurors for a long time, they are notoriously not predictive of verdict outcomes or damages. Defense attorneys often believe they must strike social workers, assuming they always side with the plaintiff. They often want an accountant on the jury because they think an accountant will never award high damages. In reality, these stereotypes are nothing more than myths. Instead of demographics, attitudes, beliefs, experiences, and personality types more accurately predict and influence juror behavior. Identifying these beliefs and attitudes that influence a juror’s decision-making requires a scientifically-valid assessment by a trained expert.
Jurors also notoriously don’t make decisions as told. While jurors are instructed to listen objectively to both sides, evaluate the evidence, and then make a judgment, that’s not how jurors make decisions. Instead, they do the opposite. Referred to as motivated reasoning, jurors make preliminary conclusions based on their pre-existing beliefs and attitudes. Everything that is presented to them is filtered through these biases. They will selectively evaluate the evidence to fit their predetermined conclusion, accepting the information they like and ignoring anything that contradicts or doesn’t fit.
Defense attorneys that inaccurately evaluate potential jurors may select suboptimal jurors in voir dire. As a result, these attorneys will be behind when starting their case against the plaintiff.
Jury Consultants Improve the Jury Selection Process
Trial attorneys must ask the right questions during voir dire, either orally or on a juror questionnaire, to tap into these attitudes, beliefs, experiences, and personality types - the conditions highly predictive of verdict orientation and damages. Jury consultants can help defense attorneys design their voir dire questions and make sure they identify and assess these psychological variables that go well beyond demographics.
Jury consultants are responsible for predicting human behavior, collecting data, analyzing data, and building predictive models on how jurors will react to a case. It is most beneficial to engage a jury consultant as early in the litigation process as possible. Their expertise helps attorneys make informed decisions about the case, providing valuable data to drive critical decisions in settlement negotiations and trial strategy, resulting in better financial outcomes.
Courtroom Sciences’ Ph.D.-level litigation research and psychology professionals deliver the most predictive jury research programs, generating scientifically valid estimates of litigation risk and exposure for deriving settlement strategies and trial decisions. Speak with one of our experts to get started.
● One or two unfavorable jurors can lead to millions (or more) in damage awards.
● Demographics are notoriously not predictive of verdict outcomes or the amount of damages.
● Jury consultants are behavioral experts who help trial attorneys uncover hidden biases of potential jurors.
● Courtroom Sciences' Ph.D.-level litigation research and psychology professionals deliver the most predictive jury research programs
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