Trial Consultants' Roles in Jury Selection

| 0 Comments | 0 TrackBacks
"Basically, jury consulting is applied psychology" - Thomas Diamante

Behind jury selection lies a jury consultant.  There has been an increasing demand for jury consultation, but what is it and is it actually effective?

Jury consultants use their backgrounds in psychology to help lawyers pick jurors who are most likely to side with their client.  During jury questioning, if lawyers suspect any bias in any of the potential jurors, they can challenge them and may eventually be excused by the judge, but the catch is, this is only allowed so many times.  After those times are used, lawyers may turn to consultants (who may come from many different areas of study, but primarily psychology) to help pick jurors.

Trial consultants start the process of jury selection months prior to trial.  Random people are selected to take part in focus groups where the are exposed to the lawyers arguments.  Consultants look to their reactions and deliberation to see what characteristics are important in a particular trial.  Based on these findings, consultants develop questionaires and strategies to select jurors most appropriate for the side they are working on.

Jurors are usually scrutinized based on their personalities, past experiences, and attitudes toward certain situations.  Other characteristics such as leadership potential and how likely they are to conform also get examined.  Consultants also judge the potential jurors by their voice (confident, passive, etc.), how they interact with others during break periods, as well as body language.  

Consultants also work to weed out the potential jurors that may have a bias toward the situation.  For example, the website talks about a potential juror sitting on a case of medical malpractice who has been a victim of one and how it would be difficult for them to just be reminded of the law and not make judgment based on prior experiences. 

Lastly, the website talks about whether or not jury selection even works.  Since it is difficult to really assess the success of jury selection, some may doubt its effectiveness.  Whether or not it is effective, the industry of trial consultation is a thriving business. 

Here is a link to the source of the above information.     


No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL:

Leave a comment

Recent Entries

Welcome to Psychology & Law!
Familiarize yourself with the blog. You'll quickly notice that all of your assignments are listed here in chronological order.…
Using Movies
In time for Thursday's, please read the following link:  as well as the 3 resource links at the…
Book Selection
There are several options for you to choose from to do your book report. They are: Lush Life, The…