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Through the application of behavioral insights, jury consultants assist litigators in obtaining the best results for their clients by assisting them in identifying hidden biases that may be present in the selection of and interactions with jurors. However, join us as we review more about jury consulting.
Jury consultants can assist litigators by guiding legal teams before, during, and after a trial. This allows them to present the best possible case to the jury and to tell their story in the most positive way.
Jury consultants today assist legal teams in developing strategies for the best possible jury selection and communication processes by using tools like surveys and practice trials.
Although there is no one way to become a jury consultant, many decide to get educated and gain experience in disciplines like criminal justice, the social sciences, or forensic psychology to get ready for the job.
Graduates who are committed and have a broad education can position themselves as authorities who can assist lawyers in improving the lives of their clients.
In this article, we are focusing on the Jury consulting review. Let’s dive in!
Your duties as a jury consultant will entail advising lawyers on the jury selection process. You may work for the prosecution or the defense; many jury consultants are independent contractors who have worked on both the prosecution and defense.
When a special circumstance surrounds the trial, such as when the defendant is a celebrity or the crime has notoriety, attorneys frequently consult with jury consultants, making it more difficult to find impartial jurors.
In other cases, a client might believe that a jury consultant will benefit their case. You are responsible for assisting your client in screening prospective jurors and learning about their history to ensure they are not biased against your client.
Juries are not left to chance by litigators. Although most trial lawyers are confident choosing and working with juries, a jury consultant is crucial to your trial team.
To improve your case with the jury, jury consultants collaborate closely with your trial team to design, hone, and retool your arguments, evidence, and visual communication tactics.
Trial lawyers have a rare opportunity to refine, restrict, and center their arguments on a few key issues, thanks to mock trials.
If mock trial juries frequently return adverse verdicts, it is evident that a trial lawyer might wish to adopt a different strategy.
Mock trials allow the trial team to assess how their arguments will hold up in front of a jury, serving as a “reality check” for litigators.
For instance, trial teams can develop their case strategy and identify witness themes through in-person focus groups. Focus groups allow litigators to delve into the world of potential jury preconceptions.
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When crip, effective visual aids accompany words, they are far more persuasive. Trial graphics, visual exhibits, and electronic media are tested in a mock trial.
If the fake jurors could receive a team’s graphics better, they might want to reconsider sticking with their existing strategy. After all, modern trial procedures include carefully timed visuals.
Visual communication is crucial through large-format boards, on-site graphics assistance, or strategic visual planning.
Trials are drawn-out processes. A trial lawyer’s perspective may be constrained after working with the same information for days, weeks, or months. A new set of eyes can frequently give a team the objective perspective they require.
A jury consultant is a crucial addition to any trial team, especially when used with a simulated trial to assess the “real world” effects of a trial team’s strategy.
In the preliminary hearing called Voir dire, lawyers question potential jurors and give their early conclusions. This procedure enables the lawyers to ask the jury for pertinent facts and assesses the fairness of the jurors.
Jury consultant assists your trial team’s voir dire plan. These consultants might create a series of inquiries meant to elicit potentially unfriendly jurors for exclusion.
For instance, a jury consultant might change the subject to address drug addiction when drug abuse is a concern. An attorney may raise a challenge for cause if a juror exhibits a blatant predisposition against drug abuse.
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Shadow jurors serve as substitute juries and are compensated for their candid opinions during a simulated trial.
With one exception, shadow jurors will hear the identical arguments, presentations, and evidence as the actual jury. The shadow jury will occasionally offer comments on the defense teams’ arguments and supporting evidence throughout the simulated trial.
From R. Scott Oswald, Managing Principal, The Employment Law Group
“For 20 years, Carolyn has been an integral part of our firm’s litigation process, interviewing clients and working with focus groups. Whenever I’m preparing for trial, I go back and read the memos she wrote for us – sometimes years in advance and on a tight deadline. I am awed by how her assessment of the case has played out each time. Carolyn is a keen observer of people and remarkably accurate in her conclusions. She connects with people viscerally, helping us tell our client’s stories in a way that connects with jurors. I value the clarity she provides, often with a turn of phrase that makes me laugh along with her. As a lawyer herself, Carolyn meshes well with our team. It has been a pleasure to work with her over the years.”
From Adam Augustine Carter, Partner, The Employment Law Group
“I have been a happy customer of Jury Solutions and Carolyn Koch since 2001. Carolyn is a gifted interviewer of our clients (and as a lawyer herself, you can be comfortable that those communications with her are privileged) I have long since believed she has the best BS detector of anyone I have ever met! She is so much more than a skilled jury consultant — Carolyn is a valued partner in helping think and strategize about a case from its inception. We handle plaintiff-side employment and whistleblower cases with which Carolyn has much experience. Still, I am sure she is just as helpful in any high-stakes litigation where a jury trial is possible. Carolyn also runs an outstanding jury focus group if that skill set is ever needed. I recommend Jury Solutions and Carolyn Koch unreservedly and whole-heartedly.”
From Jon Zentner, Partner, Arthur, Chapman Law Firm
“As National Coordinating Counsel for a large Midwest product manufacturer, I have been involved in focus groups and mock trials all over the country, and I would like to compliment you on the work of our recent project. For me, it’s all about deadlines, communication, and deliverables. You jumped on our case with extremely tight deadlines following an impasse at a mediation. Our team was amazed by your ability to retain a focus group, summarize the voluminous information provided to you, and hold individual meetings with local focus group participants. The data and final work product were easy to understand. They provided our executives with valuable insight into the minds of our potential jury pool on a very high-exposure case. Again, thank you for your hard work, and I’m confident we will use your services again should the need arise.”
It is important to understand that there are various routes that one can take to become a jury consultant.
Consultants typically require a bachelor’s degree in a related discipline, such as criminal justice, forensic psychology, or social science. Still, many go on to get master’s degrees, gain professional experience in the legal system, or practice law before switching to consulting positions.
Regardless of the path graduates take, a few fundamental skills are required to succeed as a jury consultant and be in high demand.
More is needed to merely conduct a study on the possible jurors’ demographics or any potential hidden prejudices in order to be a successful jury consultant.
Jury advisors must also be knowledgeable about the law and the various methods a defense team might present their case.
Consultants need to deeply understand psychology and the jury trial process to have the best chance of a successful conclusion.
For example, a forensic psychology bachelor’s degree focuses on psychology and criminal justice, giving graduates a comprehensive viewpoint and practical abilities for various roles.
Consultants can create a persuasive story by understanding how a lawyer may comprehend and present a case and how a juror might view it.
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Jury consultants are charged with a number of tasks, each requiring a particular set of abilities and fundamental competencies.
Jury consultants are responsible for a variety of tasks, including doing pre-trial research, assisting with jury selection, obtaining and evaluating data, and providing advice to a legal team. A few of these are:
It can be challenging to convey to a legal team the psychological angle of a case, which may go against the way lawyers were taught to read cases in law school.
Consultants can highlight the relatable human components of a case through careful planning, thorough research, and effective communication.
Without prior professional experience, it can be challenging for graduates to comprehend the complexities of the criminal justice system completely and what goes into a trial, even while a well-rounded education can teach them the theories underlying the law, human behavior, and case precedents.
In order to put a human face on the psychological or legal ideas they have acquired in school, graduates might put a human face on the process by pursuing real-world experience.
Graduates who want to work as consultants need a wide range of abilities and expertise to present a complete picture of a situation.
Graduates who pursue internships in criminal justice, forensic psychology, or social work can develop a thorough understanding of human nature and the operation of the legal system.
The pay scale for jury consultants varies according to their specialization, amount of experience, qualifications, education, and other attributes. The average cost of a mock jury trial is around $60,000 – the price of an advanced electronic presentation maybe $125,000.
Furthermore, these high fees result in substantial earnings for jury consultants. According to ZipRecruiter.com, incomes can exceed $100,000, and experienced consultants with Ph. D.s may earn significantly more than the starting salary of roughly $26,000 in 2019.
The majority of job openings for trial consultants are in major U.S. cities, according to Law Crossing, an online recruitment directory for legal positions.
Salary levels can differ greatly by geography and employment. According to Law Crossing, a Ph.D.-educated, experienced psychologist’s starting pay as a trial consultant is between $65,000 and $110,000.
Everything depends. The time it takes can differ widely from person to person because no set path or degree must be obtained to become a consultant.
On average, becoming a jury consultant takes five to eight years.
Most people typically take four years to get their bachelor’s degree in a field like criminal justice or psychology. It will take you an extra year or two if you decide to pursue a Master’s. Employers typically prefer candidates with one to three years of work experience, which extends the schedule by at least another year.
However, each person’s version of this chronology will be unique. You might spend more or less time on it.
1. Attention to detail and critical thinking are crucial since jury consultants are behavioral analysts. In order to succeed as a jury consultant, one must also have excellent interpersonal and communication abilities.
2. To help the lawyer and legal team choose the best jury members for the case, you will need to present them with persuasive recommendations and arguments.
3. The ability to make decisions is also essential. Making decisions and suggestions for your customers is your responsibility as a jury consultant. A competent jury consultant will be forceful and sure of their judgments.
Besides a bachelor’s degree, there are no formal educational prerequisites to work as a jury consultant. However, as previously indicated, most of those who become jury consultants also earn a Master’s degree.
Finding work with less experience might be simpler if you have a Master’s degree. You can use higher education to bargain for a higher wage.
Winning the jury is essential to winning a case. Your trial team receives the essential jury research, input, and direction from a jury consultant to ensure your case is as solid as possible.
A staff of skilled jury consultants puts you right in the jury’s head whether they are assisting with jury profiling, focus groups, voir dire strategy, analysis, or reporting.
In addition, I hope you enjoyed this article and you get to know all about jury consulting review