In Jury Psychology Can Undermine Plaintiffs’ Expert Witnesses authors Neil Goldberg, John Freedenberg, Joseph Mooney, and Joseph Hanna write that cross examination of plaintiff’s expert witness should be geared to thwart the emotional hijacking of jurors that plaintiffs endeavor to secure. This strategy includes hiring a jury consultant expert witness. They explain:
Most trial attorneys are familiar with the Chicago study that found that 85 percent of jurors vote after deliberation in a manner consistent with the impressions they developed after the opening statements. A study conducted by Angela Abel of Decision Quest distributed at DRI’s 2006 Preeminent Trial Lawyer Seminar found that the ultimate evaluation a juror reaches in a case on both liability and damages essentially remained unchanged by the voir dire process. One interpretation of these two poignant nuggets of information is that at the moment of accountability, when many jurors engage in the deliberation process, the critical factor that most significantly influences how they analyze the case is their longstanding predispositions.
Determining what those longstanding predispositions are and what themes will influence jurors the most are reasons defendants in catastrophic injury cases more and more find that there is great value in engaging in “mock jury” exercises.
Excerpted from Jury Psychology Can Undermine Plaintiffs’ Expert Witnesses, For the Defense, December 2007.