Steve Wood, Ph.D. and Bill Kanasky, Jr., Ph.D. discuss trial testimony, preparing witnesses for trial, and the steps necessary for the best results at trial. They talk about the process that should be followed and where witnesses and even attorneys fall short, leading to bad outcomes at trial. Plaintiffs are continuing to increase demands and are wanting to go to trial as they see that as an advantage for them, especially against ill-prepared and under-prepared defense counsel. And the only way to be ready for trial is to invest in the weaponry (mock trials, jury research, witness training, jury selection, trial consulting, counter-anchoring) necessary to fight fire with fire and win. Bill shares the result from a recent case that just went to trial, where the demand was a nuclear demand and what led to a non-nuclear verdict that the legal team and client were thrilled with.
Dr. Steve Wood [00:00:06] Welcome to another edition of the Litigation Psychology podcast brought to you by Courtroom Sciences Inc. Episode 99 one away from one hundred. And what better way to start? Episode 99 with my guy. My co-host Bill Kanasky and the Kanasky rant. Bill what are we ranting about today?
Dr. Bill Kanasky [00:00:29] Yeah, I don't want to just hop in, right? Everybody's got to think I'm a real jerk. I was going to ask you, how was yourr Thanksgiving holiday?
Dr. Steve Wood [00:00:37] It was good. I ate way too much food. I watched a lot of football, won some money on DraftKings. So all in all, it was it was a good weekend. Dr. Bill Kanasky [00:00:46] Can you believe after the weekend beforehand, I find myself in the same predicament of four days of space dust. Again, not good. My cousin brought it over. He likes space dust and I was like, Oh man,
Dr. Steve Wood [00:01:02] did you have PTSD flashbacks from earlier?
Dr. Bill Kanasky [00:01:05] Yeah, well, yeah, yeah. I was in trouble all weekend because of that, so I'm still trying to get my cognitive function back. Great holiday, but I kind of needed a break and I needed some rest. And that's not what space does space dust does to ya.
Dr. Steve Wood [00:01:25] I think it literally says on the bottle that this is not intended for rest.
Dr. Bill Kanasky [00:01:29] Yes, exactly. Well, I'm glad that your you got your microphone back. You're in your studio. As you can see, I am not in a studio today. I am in Raleigh, North Carolina, for a mock trial. But as you can see by the shirt, I'd rather be in Chapel Hill and I will be in Chapel Hill drinking beer in roughly two point five hours and will be heading to the Michigan North Carolina basketball game. And by the time people view this, this we'll figure out who the winner is going to be. But I'm getting out of Raleigh as fast as possible, but I got to come right back. So what are you going to do? What are you going to do? You know, did you have you been? This is number 99. This is ninety nine. Yes. You know, you would think this would be a more significant episode. I mean, we were planning the big stuff for next one. But man. Well, thank you for all your work. This has been fun.
Dr. Steve Wood [00:02:23] Yeah, we've been getting a lot of feedback. That's one of the things, a lot of feedback.
Dr. Bill Kanasky [00:02:26] I mean, random random attorneys sending us messages telling us how much they love the podcast. So I think we're doing something good here, right?
Dr. Steve Wood [00:02:36] Yeah, no, I definitely agree. I think we haven't said enough that we appreciate the listeners. So I think I want to go on record now to say that we appreciate everybody Dr. Bill Kanasky [00:02:42] who's absolutely Dr. Steve Wood [00:02:43] this long. And this sent us a lot of good emails, questions and feedback and stuff. So we appreciate it.
Dr. Bill Kanasky [00:02:51] Yeah, absolutely. You know, the other thing that just happened recently, which again, by the time and this is still going to be going on by the time this is broadcast next week, I think the sports world is like upside down. I mean, well, first off, college, I like college sports, just rip my heart and my soul out of my body, and they just stomp on it, Steve. They stomp on it. That's what they do. The players do it, the coaches do it and what Lincoln Riley just did and the domino effect this has. I mean, if you're like, if you're an Oklahoma fan right now, you are just throwing up all over yourself, right? If you're a Notre Dame, you know how many Notre Dame clients I have. They won't talk, they can't talk. They're they're appalled at this, this this, these coaches bouncing around and Steve, have you seen the contracts.
Dr. Steve Wood [00:03:44] Yeah, they're they're they're nice, they're big, they're big contracts. And like, say, Michigan State did the same thing to keep Mel Tucker. So I think everybody's getting paid now, the college coaches.
Dr. Bill Kanasky [00:03:55] Should you and I ask for a raise? Maybe we should. We got a podcast, you wrote that to the contract and you get the podcast one hundred, you get a bonus or something like that.
Dr. Steve Wood [00:04:04] There you go. I like it.
Dr. Bill Kanasky [00:04:05] I mean, I mean, that's what I'm talking about. So we're not going to be long here today, but we're going to start this rant, OK, because I'm really upset and here's why I'm upset. And two things. We just got a really nice I forget the guy's name, but he posted today. He posted, he posted the link. I don't even know this guy. I think it is in Arkansas, right? He's a trial attorney in Arkansas. He posts our podcast, says how great it is. Shares it with this all of his followers and says this particular episode is really good. It's on trial prep tips. You know, going forward, you know, post COVID or whatever you want to call it, I don't know what to call this right. And. We just went we put that on two weeks ago that that episode I did that one solo from Vegas. I was in Vegas doing that one solo. Steve, I swear either I really screwed that one up or no one listened to the podcast because in the last two weeks, what have you and I been through? I know, I mean, my mind boggling. Defense counsel, please, please. And for those of you listening and watching, I'm just like squeezing my head. I'm going to lose my mind, and I mean, I'll tell you my story. So I walk in the office and the attorney says, I'm going to get some coffee, I'll grab. It wasn't a bad guy. We have trial in a week. He the witness. Is like, Hey, I'm so glad for you, help us. So while the attorneys out, I say, Hey, very important homework as I go. Where's your where's your deposition? Can you get it out because I want to go? And he goes, What deposition? I want the one that they took of you two years ago. Oh, you know what? I never got a copy of that. This is the the named defendant in the case Steve. How in the world just explain to me why the defendant? Has it? No, I have not reviewed your deposition seven days before travel. They haven't. They don't have possession, right? They I mean, I and so then they attorney, comes back and I'm going, what? No. Oh yeah, we're getting around to that. We're we're getting him a binder and I'm going. It's seven freaking days until the trial. So what ends up happening is what you're going to talk about after this is they had a very tough liability case. I think they were going to get screwed on liability. But what we did was we worked on was the big thing there, mitigating damages because they're going after nuclear verdicts. That's what the class was doing. And these guys went in and asked for 20 million dollars and the jury came back at like four point five. So I'm still not happy. Apparently, the witness performed pretty well, but you know, there was some sticking points when they didn't have the time to go over there, their deposition. So I guess it was, I want to say, I mean, I know this sounds like common sense stuff, but it actually happens quite often. Before I get there, before Dr Wood gets there, before Dr Parker gets there, you have to have gone over the documents, the exhibits and the damn deposition with your witness. I'm not there to go over exhibit. No, that's not what I did. That's your job attorneys and I come in and no one's ready. And so possibly could. But we had to keep stopping, I've got to get familiar with this all, I got to get familiar with that. When you could have done that yesterday, you could have it last week. It's just unacceptable. I okay, baby. You know, listen, we've all been sitting around for a year and a half, two years, OK, I get it. Come on, people. That's my that's my rant for the day, but I want to hear your story because it's I just I just don't, I don't understand. I just don't understand.
Dr. Steve Wood [00:08:17] Well, mine was actually even worse, and it was more frustrating because, you know, you and I what we I mean, primarily the biggest thing that we do is work with witnesses. Now on top of mock trials, but we do a lot of witness work, you know, and I spend a lot of time making sure that my witnesses are prepared. And I take a lot of pride in having prepared witnesses and making sure that when the attorney sends me an email, when I check in that they say the witness did well. But I had a certain situation recently where going back to you, talking about preparation where I worked with the witness and then gets on the witness stand and then abandons everything that we had talked about that we had spent time with and went back and did what they believed was, you know, screw, screw everything that you did and talked about before. I'm going to go back and do what I believe works and abandon the game plan. And there was was was a bad verdict in the case. And not only that, when they talked to the jurors after the case, the jurors told the attorneys that they detested the witness and he did all of the things that we told him not to do, but he decided to do them on the witness stand. And I think that comes down to, like I said, just making sure being prepared and having the witness understand that will follow the process. If you follow the process, good things are going to happen. You want to go out on your own, you want to abandon the process. And there's a reason why you didn't do well in your deposition. And now there's a reason why you didn't do good in the trial testimony.
Dr. Bill Kanasky [00:09:49] You know, I think this comes down to a couple of things. And and again, I'm just I'm telling everybody this Gulf War because I'm tired of cutting corners. Trial prep for trial testimony is a two day minimal process. And that's us. Right. The attorney has to do their own thing and other days, I mean, it takes time. Not hey, can you come spend the afternoon with my witness and teach you how to be a good witness in front of a jury? No, that's not how this happens. You got to prepare, prepare them usually for adverse examination, and they're going to get clobbered in the face. And what are they going to do right? Are they going to follow the system? And then afterwards, they have to be rehabilitated. But their attorney, completely different skill set, completely different objective takes two days. You try to cram in the one day, really. It's just not smart. It's really, really unwise. But another thing that I think it's taken for granted and when witnesses go rogue, I think this is one of the main factors. There's not enough trust. No, no, no. Trust and faith has been established between the witness and the legal team.
Dr. Steve Wood [00:11:02] Now, one hundred percent agree.
Dr. Bill Kanasky [00:11:04] that is the problem because you skip over that stuff and you bring them in your office, you start throwing documents out of you, start talking legal stuff, legal. You can't do that with your with a. We've already talked about this multiple times. Everybody, the whole world has a mental health problem right now. OK. People are on edge. People are distracted. People are stressed. And you expect them to come into your law firm and just trust you and do whatever you say. No. Now you need to take care of these people, I'm not saying maybe a therapist. However, there is some therapeutic communication you can do to make sure these folks are OK because I think a lot of times these witnesses go rogue again. They just they don't care enough about the process. They haven't bonded with the legal team. The legal team just assumes the witness is on board. I mean, Steve, that's not always the case.
Dr. Steve Wood [00:12:02] Now and I think going back, you know, the cases that we've had really, really well that were the witnesses perform really well is those situations where they know and trust. And I make a really big point of doing it, say, hey, you know, trust in your counsel that they'll come up. And if the answer is yes or no and there's an explanation, say yes, say no, sit there. And if opposing counsel wants to ask follow up, they will, which they won't, probably. Trust that your council is going to come up and do that and ask the follow up question and allow you to get out that explanation rather than you trying to force it because you don't trust it. And when you get the witness to understand that, yeah, OK, my attorney has my best interests in mind and I don't need to explain it now because I can trust they will give me an opportunity. Yeah, that's when they don't go rogue to your point, because when they don't trust the attorney to do that, they want to force the explanation and they want to force and do things like you saying go rogue because they want to preemptively strike rather than wait and follow the plan.
Dr. Bill Kanasky [00:13:01] Yeah, I believe another part of your story, which you have failed to mention, yet maybe you're going to go on a two part series rant was I'd like you to tell our audience OK without obviously not naming names. Or the case right now? I don't know to know the sex/ gender of this person. I'll ask you the question this way. How important is it to have a really solid script of mock questions for your prep session to really go over the witness with, because if you just try to wing that, you're not simulating the process. Like, I think they may ask you this. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. We have to simulate this process and you need to attack the witness you have to have you want them to go rogue during the during the prep session, right? But if you sit there and you dilly dally and you're just kind of informally going over questions and topics. I mean, Steve, that's not enough.
Dr. Steve Wood [00:13:58] No, and no. I mean, yeah, you need to. And I think it needs to be clear to it for, like you said, the attorneys who are listening and anybody else who's listening is that there needs to be an expectation that you'll come in and have a set long list of questions that you plan to ask the attorney, like you said, rather than ask the witness, excuse me, rather than just plan to do it on the fly. Because, like I said, when it goes on the fly, it never works. And then there's instances where, you know, they turn to us and say, OK, do you have questions that you want to ask? And then all of a sudden, now we come up and have we we can manage to do it when we're on the spot. But at the same time, we're not attorneys and we don't know the case as well as the attorneys do. So having us ask the questions is not going to be as effective than an attorney who is skilled in doing that and knows what opposing counsel is going to ask in the way they're going to ask it. So, yeah, I think if you're not preparing those questions at a time, I think you're doing your case and your witness a great disservice.
Dr. Bill Kanasky [00:14:58] So, so so I had I've had to address this recently because here's the excuse I get as well. It's the week before trial. I'm doing all this other stuff. I don't have time to sit here and prep a witness. OK, well then why don't we back up this timeline? I mean, I think it's pretty obvious what's going on in most of these cases. You don't have to do is that you could do a booster session the week before trial. OK. I tell Mike, I go, I want this witness four to six weeks out because I'm going to pound them. I'm going to crush him and I need them ready and I need to get them going. And then we could do as many booster sessions. So by the time we get right before trial, your hair's on fire, you're busy writing motions, right? Creating exhibits. You don't have to worry about your witness crap because it was done in a stepwise process starting four to six weeks ago. Right. But the problem is, if I get the call, hey, what are you doing next week? Oh, by the way, our trials in two weeks. Like, like, we're all kind of scared at that point, right? I mean.
Dr. Steve Wood [00:16:02] Yeah. And then like you said, it's just way too much stuff. I mean, and when we do our training and, like you said, beating up on witnesses, I mean, we always say it's like drinking water from a fire hose. We're putting out through a bunch of stuff. We're throwing a lot of stuff at them. And now layer in, you know, exhibits and having them to reread their deposition and layering all these things. I mean, you're really setting yourself up. It's just information overload. You're already overloading on top of overload. And there's only so much the human mind can really handle. And I think you're really setting yourself up, like I said, for the witness to crash and burn because it's just too much for them with too short a period of time. It's like cramming for it's like cramming for the bar exam a week, you know our exam.
Dr. Bill Kanasky [00:16:42] Well, here's another thing which we're in a perfect transition. I think a lot of legal teams take their foot off the gas because they're expecting things to settle. OK, and guess what? My data shows they're not settle. These guys are not settling, so I have. I went back. I mean, this year's still been kind of very slow, a lot of courtroom and open up. But I have eight eight cases I consulted on that went to verdict this year. OK, now. How how do you define the win and loss column? I think things have been very redefined because what's happening is, again, my cases aren't settling right. And so and we have liability problems. And that's why they're not settling number one, but number two. Everybody wants a chunk of this nuclear verdict there at the plainness bar by Steve You. You saw that seminar back in the middle of COVID. Remember where they're like, We're not what we were doing. It was yelling at guys selling. No.
Dr. Steve Wood [00:17:50] Yeah. Oh yeah. I mean, you look at them. Yeah. Essentially, the nice PG way of saying is that you're settling cases. You're weak, right? There's no reason why you should be settling cases.
Dr. Bill Kanasky [00:17:59] So the plaintiff's bar is talking in the current theme they have is don't like Morgan and Morgan in Florida. Don't settle. Don't you take them to trial because the odds that you're going to outmaneuver them are high? Right. It's a it's a it's a fact. So I got eight of these days going to trial. I am going to give myself an eight no record and I'm going to tell you why. Because before each of these verdicts, I asked the client. I said, what is a win? In this case, what is what is a win? And every single time they told me between this dollar amount or underneath this dollar amount, right? That's a win. I'll be happy. Clients happy. Yeah, liabilities and liability. So the nice thing is that for these eight, we went on liability. You know, there you go. And I tell you what's in common these cases on the other four. Lost on liability. And kind of knew we were OK, Steve, every one of these. OK. And so today, right here in the great state of the art, right here in the Tar Heel state. I'll give you the kind of overall figures. I cannot tell you what name of the cases any like. The verdict came back this morning. OK, so I'm so glad I'm actually here. We're going to meet with these guys tomorrow for coffee. And this plaintiff attorney asked for roughly and was giving you round figures roughly 50 million dollars. Fifty five zero going for the jugular. This is like a two and a half week trial, almost three week trial, and this jury comes back and it was a tough case, Steve. Very unique case. Very testy. Didn't this jury comes back? Under $7 million. That's that gets put in the W column, right, attorneys, happy legal teams, happy clients, happy to demand the settlement demand on the case. And this is what they do every time that I try to tell you guys what they do, because that's what happens. They were saying, Hey, give me twenty five million. This is the this is on the the 30 days before trials, Steve give me twenty five million because I'm asking for 50 a trial and you don't want to get hit for 50. Well, we just gave them the big middle finger on that one, and I'll tell you why we gave them the big bill finger. Back to our methodology, Steve. Not one to mock trials. We knew what the damages were. We knew, we knew. I knew that 80 percent and an 80 percent chance of this coming in under 10 million. Why I scientifically researched it with two sets of juries twice. OK, we knew it was going to be. Now we knew we had some risk there, but I'll take maybe 20. It's better than 50 50, but we really, really knew. We also learned about some things that were the most damaging to us that we need to address and change. All right. Second thing we did with our main two witnesses who are technically name defendants, star witnesses, multiple days of trial prep and we ready for this? We started the trial prep. Four months ago. Four for, for trial, right, and then multiple sessions and every 30 days kept getting kept, getting them ready, kept getting ready, OK? We sent one of our colleagues, Dr. Speckart who's been on the show, set him up because I wasn't available. I was out in Las Vegas with you. Sent him out to consult on jury selection. OK. I mean, one of the top guys on this planet in jury selection. He helped with the supplemental jury questionnaire. So, OK, so what does this mean? This this client invested in the weaponry to avoid a nuclear verdict. Right. And on the other cases, I tell you about the same thing happen weaponry. They know what they got to do. They've got to do the research. They've got to get the witness. They've got to scientifically be ready for jury selection in this new day. And every single one of these W's, that's exactly what we did. And then you're going to love this. Well, I'm not going to tell you which verdict it is because I don't want to start a shitstorm I already got enough people mad at me. There was a very, very, very large verdict recently that we have a slide about. You know what I'm talking about? Yeah, well, I was up in New York City the last two days working on a huge, huge case like case in the media. Very. It's a bad case. And I talked to that attorney. And as he was dropped me off at the airport, he goes, I know that guy that tried the case, the defense attorney down down, you know, am I going, I am I going to approach the name of this case? And I go, really? Because, Oh yeah, I talked to him and he looked at me as he was driving Steve, and he goes, they didn't do shit to prepare. Then to shit. They didn't do mock trial they did they do anything to prepare because their client wouldn't, they didn't want to invest in the weaponry. I think that's the biggest verdict I've seen in a long time. I remember my night, my phone was ringing after I'm going, what the hell is going on? But he talked to that attorney and said, What happened? What did you like? What? And he goes, I didn't get authority for a mock trial. He should have done three mock trials with that case. Holy shit. Didn't prep the witnesses with people like us, and they went through their cost saving. This is what the whole reptile things about, right? Or now Keenan's edge, depending on who you listen to. Exactly. I had to get Keenan in there again. I'm sure he had a nice Thanksgiving, too. I'm sure that guy puts on a hell of a Thanksgiving party. I know I didn't get invite it now
Dr. Steve Wood [00:24:24] and say, I don't think. I don't think we're getting invited anytime soon.
Dr. Bill Kanasky [00:24:27] But here's my point is. All of my clients are avoiding nuclear verdicts. This is what the whole world is worrying about on the defense side, right? How many speeches am I giving this year? Nuclear critics, I can't even count them. The ones I have lined up for next year, I can't even count them in, it's the same formula that we're following. And look at the differences in demand versus outcome. Now it's great when the outcome zero. It's great. Some of these cases is not going to happen, right? Because you did screw something up. All right. But maybe you have a good causation target. Maybe you have really likable witnesses. But when the other when the other person asked for $75 million? And that verdict comes in under 10. Do you know? Do you know what that plaintiff attorney feels like? Oh, and by the way, so today, rumor on the street is this plan of attorney who asked for the 15th got got under 10 very, very unhappy attorney. Well, not a happy camper. I love this job.
Dr. Steve Wood [00:25:39] Yeah, that's right, that's what we live for. I love to frustrate the opposing counsel,.
Dr. Bill Kanasky [00:25:43] But it's like it's this is great. I mean, but then you go see some of these other verdicts. It's funny. The nuclear verdict formula we know. Yeah. Well, I'll tell you. You want nuclear verdict doesn't show you how to get nuclear verdict, right? But if you want to avoid one, this is what you got to do. And so everybody's going to start looking in the mirror. I had our guy, Matt Moffitt, call me if he calls me like at five thirty on Wednesday before Thanksgiving. And he's like, I'm trying to convince my client that they got to spend this money because these of these attorneys are raised in the demands. It's scaring, it's scaring everybody shitless. And it should because they're sending the message. And I think this is just a blanket strategy across the players bar is for these defense counsel and client force them into the courtroom. For some in there, because that's where you're going to get them if they're not prepared. I think they're right. But then I can go to show you if they are prepared. Nuclear verdict avoided hell. Nuclear settlement avoided. I mean, you know, you really got a look at the numbers, so I think going forward, Steve, then you guys can we can wrap this up. I think you have to define a win a certain way. You're not just going to go out there and go undefeated on liability, you're not going to do it. But if you know what you're doing and we you talked about before the podcast, I've talked about this on several. So this again, this case that the verdict came out this morning. Of course, on Thanksgiving weekend, what am I doing? I'm on the phone with defense counsel going over. Here's how we're going to outline her closing argument. I didn't. I was not drinking space dust at this time. I can fully assure you of that. OK? And we went through. We talked about when to bring up damages, how much to bring up the counter anchoring effect because we knew the other guy was going to ask for 50 million. I've done this over and over and over again. We went through the whole formula. Here's how long it should be. Here's the order of information. Here's how many times you say this particular phrase. Like the whole Johnny Cochran, right, right, does not fit, you must acquit, etc. He said it 19 times you can do the same thing, right? Things like fair, reasonable evidence burden of proof you've got to say this stuff over and over and over and over. OK. And then to keep them on track, I told him to bring up the mistakes that we saw in our mock trials, where jurors would say yes on negligence and just kind of skip over causation, right and go right to it's like, No, no, you can't do that. And here's why to keep these people on track. So. You know. I'm pretty happy with the outcome. Every outcome I've had this year, I'm going to put in the W column and the reason why is my clients define the W before the trial. I said, What's it, what's a W and what's going on here? I think clients need to get this through their heads. It's you got to start looking at W's in dollar signs because I don't care what the. I don't see these plaintiffs until some significant time goes by. I think the go to trial, go to trial or go to trial theme. Right? And to double and triple demands. Steve, that's not going anywhere. That's not going anywhere. This is a big game of chicken, right? Right. Who's going to flinch first? You remember the game chicken, right? Yeah, dumb ass game. I mean, what? What a dumb ass game. But this is what it is, and they're they want the other side to flinch. And if you don't, you better get prepared, right? Well, if you make either of those mistakes, you're going to be paying out multiples of what you what you would pay it out. So I'm I'm a happy camper. What do you want to? Let's see. So we're doing one episode 100 here. Yeah. And a couple of days. I'm looking forward to that. Dr. Steve Wood [00:29:56] Yeah, it should be fun. I know we've teed up our guest list. And on a prior episode, but I'm looking forward to it. A lot of a lot of good attorneys on there. We're just going to spend a lot of time with them,
Dr. Steve Wood [00:30:06] just just bullshitting with them and talking to them and having a good time. So I'm looking forward to it. I think it's going to be good and hopefully the the viewers well and listeners will get something out of it.
Dr. Bill Kanasky [00:30:17] I think it will. I want it to be entertaining, but I also I want to get their perspective on particularly like almost what we just talked about is going forward. We have to redefine some things. Steve I already have for two thousand twenty two. I already have roughly 12 national speaking engagements. Twelve. Many of them, many of them paid for. Look at that. So obviously doing something right, but I really do think based on the feedback we're getting. Listen, when I started this podcast and the drag you into it, I didn't know where this was going, I thought it was something cool I enjoy. I have fun with it and I find it a way I can communicate with clients because we bank these days. You can go back. Start from episode one. It's a really good way to share information. And it's also a really again, I told you last week, you know, if plaintiff attorneys get on here and they want to watch my play good, that just gets my viewership up. Welcome, Plaintiffs Bar, because I'm going to tell you exactly how I'm going to beat it. But you know, they have their they have their podcast and you can go listen to them. I mean, I just listened to Nick rally on podcasts. And I mean, you know, it's a way it's an even playing field when it comes to that. So I think we I think we need to keep this thing going and will line up for some. Some more guests are young guys.
Dr. Steve Wood [00:31:45] I got some guests lining up, actually, I got some people coming on one of them when we mentioned earlier from Arkansas. So yeah, well, we'll have him on and we'll talk to him.
Dr. Bill Kanasky [00:31:54] Yeah, I think that's going to be good. I also want to do which we've done a couple of times. I want to more of one do more panels, new panel. You take forty five minutes and maybe get three people on right and we can bounce questions off of them from different perspectives or different types of litigation. There's all kinds of things we want to do, and then I keep I have viewer mail. It's sitting on my desk at home.
Dr. Steve Wood [00:32:18] All right, well, maybe we can we can tackle some of that with with our panel on the 100th episode, or we'll just come on and do a viewer viewer mail episode just because the one the most significant thing I have to repeat back to this trial prep say it's making me nuts, which you have to counter anchor damages. You have to. I'll tell you exactly how to do it. I'll tell you how much or probably and I'll tell you, I'll tell you how to phrase it. But if you don't do that there, you have no chance. But it's it's back to that, you know, necessary, but not sufficient, right stuff like that alone. That alone is necessary, but it's not sufficient to win the case. You have to have these other things that we've talked about and plays your witness performance, right? You're your jury selection strategy. Your opening statement. Order of information. Your counter anchoring. All these things are a constellation that come together to produce great results. One of the things you know?
Dr. Steve Wood [00:33:27] Well, I was just going to say, when you're talking about, you know, when we talk about trust in the process, I think going back to counter anchoring is really another one of those where the attorneys have to trust the process. Because when we've talked about this on the podcast before and we've written about this as well as how many times have you got where you've heard an attorney say, Well, I don't want to offer up counter or an alternative damages or what if I offer alternative damages? Our jury is going to think that I'm basically conceding liability, so I don't feel comfortable doing that. So I think, you know, what do you think about that?
Dr. Bill Kanasky [00:33:54] We've studied this for decades. It's not true, right? It's not true. It's not true. Now there's a certain way you got to do it. Right, you could do it in a really bad way, and it may look like that, but if you do it the right way? Absolutely not, because you're going to start this in jury selection, and voir dire, hey, you know, panel of jurors, you know, here's what, here's what I'm going to do. He's going to give you an absurd number. I'm going to give you a different number because I think his or her numbers are absurd. And by the way, that doesn't mean I'm saying I'm liable anyway. I'm just saying I have an ethical obligation to attack that. No. Everybody here OK with that. And the moment you do that, you've just essentially poisoned the well. Right? And that's what you want to do. In other words, stop poisoning the well, it's called priming. You're going to prime them. So when it happens, they go, Yep, knew that was common. If the boy did attack that number, right, and everybody's OK with it, but that's how you have to start that process and open things. You had two different podcasts, but some Hey, great number ninety nine. Steve, take us away and I'll see you in a couple of days. Number 100.
Dr. Steve Wood [00:35:03] All right. Thanks for joining us. This has been another edition of the Litigation Psychology podcast brought to you by Courtroom Sciences Inc. Check out our website courtroomsciences.com on their blogs posts a lot of good material on there for anybody who's looking to get more information from the legal psychology perspective. Good luck to the Tar Heels tonight. As you know, I always root against the University of Michigan. I apologize to any of our Michigan fans, but I don't apologize.
Dr. Bill Kanasky [00:35:29] Do not apologize.
Dr. Steve Wood [00:35:31] No, I'm not apologizing. Oh, you know, like I said, go green. And in this situation, hopefully the Tar Heels take down the University of Michigan. We'll talk soon. And thanks for joining us for another edition of the podcast.