[I]n court, Mr. Lanier gave a blistering two-and-a-half-hour opening statement that moved quickly through a lot of material in folksy, easy to understand language. He told jurors that they are to be “detectives” in this case. “If we were going to put it into a TV show, this would be ‘CSI Angleton’ because this is your chance,” he said, according to a court transcript. “You’re going to follow the evidence, like any good detective would. You follow the evidence.”
At the second Vioxx trial in New Jersey, it was Merck's lawyers who chose to play the CSI theme, according to another account:
Merck lawyer Diane Sullivan denied [plaintiff's] allegations on both counts, telling jurors Merck's witnesses would prove Vioxx had nothing to do with Humeston's heart attack and that the company researched the drug's effects and reported the problems when it found out about them. She told them the testimony in the case would be thick with medical and scientific terms and that they would be the ones to sift through it. "You folks are going to be like detectives, like `CSI,' where you test the allegations they've made against the evidence," Sullivan said.
What is it with the TV show CSI? I've never seen it, but it's apparently having a big influence on juries. Here's an article, for example, from USA Today: "CSI effect has juries wanting more evidence."
If you're a trial lawyer who thinks it's important to understand juries, you should probably read the article. You might even consider watching the show. It would be a sacrifice, sure, but if that's what it takes to win . . .