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April 15, 2008

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Ron Miller

I think you have to be a little careful about this kind of research/advice. I had jurors tell me that it did get a little exhausting when they had to hear the same theme over and over again. Yet I've also had jurors tell me they didn't understand thing they were told numerous times. You think Obama and Clinton have people saying, "Gee, you think we are repeating our themes too often? I hope no one has heard our theme too many times?" The same goes here. I would tell any trial lawyer to err hard on the side of repeating your themes often than not often enough.

I can't read the article but these snippets tell us that juries are real smart and they decide things on the basis of real facts, not emotions and they don't bring their personal baggage into the decision making process. I think there is a lot of truth to this on some level. But let's all remember jurors are regular human beings and all that comes with that. If you try cases assuming all jurors are smart and not swayed by emotion, and don't come in with bias and preconceived notions, you are absolutely kidding yourself.

I think the worst way to try to figure out how to talk to and make your case to jurors is to listen to their advice on how you should approach them. Going back to the Obama/Clinton example, 95% of people say they are not influenced by political ads. Political gurus take this advice, completely ignore it, and then continue to throw millions of millions of dollars into it. Why? Because all of the evidence shows that no matter what people say, it works.

A Voice of Sanity

After the verdict, jurors say what they want you to believe, even if it makes no sense ("We fit all the pieces together"). I would trust mock juries more than post trial comments. And you aren't accounting for the effect of one juror who is prepared to ram his preconceived views on the others no matter what. He is often smart enough to fade into the background post trial.

Ray

I think the legal system can be fair provided that the proper jury is selected.

Jury selection is very important and Lawyers obviously research how to best select a Jury. I am actually promoting a book on this same topic entitled, "Voir Dire and Summation", The Law and The Practice. It has been receiving great reviews and it is currently on sale at http://www.voirdiresummation.com.


Peace,

Ray

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