Winning at Jury Selection: A Handbook of Practical Jury-Focused Techniques & Strategies
ABOUT THE BOOK
Clarence Darrow once said, "Almost every case has been won or lost when the jury is sworn." The adage is even truer today, when the jury pool is changing dramatically. To win at jury selection, today’s trial attorneys have to approach jury selection with improved skills and techniques. This book covers advanced but practical strategies for determining in advance which potential jurors may be high risk for your case, what questions to ask and effective ways to ask them, and how to manage the information obtained so strikes can be exercised wisely. Don't go to trial without reading this book.
WHY BUY THIS BOOK?
De-selecting a jury is more challenging than ever. How do I know who will be "good" for my case? How do I know who is likely to be biased against my case or my client from the beginning? How do I know who to strike, and in what priority? What if I have more biased jurors than peremptory strikes? What if voir dire time is limited? These are questions every good trial attorney should be concerned about, and these are the issues addressed in the book.
Having an efficient and effective jury de-selection "strategy" is as important (if not more so) than having a sound trial strategy. It begins with having a clear picture of what kinds of people, with what backgrounds and attitudes, will most likely be predisposed to resist your arguments and find for the other side. Knowing how to formulate appropriate questions and how to ask them in a direct but non-threatening way is key. With the right techniques, building rapport and exposing trial themes are secondary goals that can be fit into the framework of good questioning. The book is full of ideas and concrete techniques that can be put to immediate use in increasing your win ratio.
WHAT DOES THIS BOOK COVER?
This handbook is written by a trial consultant to provide practical methods that are used every day by those who are experts at jury de-selection. Chapters cover such key issues as:
- Focusing on the key goals of jury selection
- Using traditional methods: when they are effective and when they are not
- Doing the necessary pre-trial homework
- Composing a high risk juror profile
- Preparing effective voir dire questions
- Listening and observing effectively
- Observing proper courtroom and voir dire etiquette
- Managing information about jurors
- Making effective strikes (cause and peremptory)
- Using juror questionnaires
The Appendices to the handbook contain many examples: a High Risk Juror Profile, jury selection materials, sample voir questions for common types of cases, sample juror questionnaires, and other useful resources. The appendices alone are worth the price of the book!
WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT THE BOOK
"Angela's insights into how human experiences guide behavior have proven invaluable to me and to my clients in selecting juries, which is probably the most important aspect of a jury trial. She provides practical advice for all current and aspiring trial attorneys and I highly recommend her new book."
"This book is a winner. The appendices alone should be a part of every trial lawyer's trial notebook. Her techniques win trials. Winning at Jury Selection is worth more than the cost of any high priced jury consultant."
"Years ago after losing a case I should have won, I started using Angela's winning insights and techniques for picking better juries. Since then I’ve been achieving favorable verdicts in really tough cases. Winning at Jury Selection is a must-read for every trial attorney."
Winning at Jury Selection
About the Author
Angela M. Dodge, Ph.D.
Angela M. Dodge, Ph.D. is a litigation psychologist with 25 years of experience as a trial and jury consultant. Over her career, she has assisted attorneys with witness preparation, trial strategy, jury consulting, and pre-trial research (focus groups and mock trials). She has special expertise in jury de-selection strategy, information management during jury selection, design of case-specific juror background questionnaires, development of case-specific voir dire questions for attorneys and judges, and methods for ranking potential juror risk in order to maximize the effective use of cause and peremptory strikes.
Dr. Dodge has also led hundreds of pre-trial focus groups to assess case strengths and weaknesses, She has conducted many post-verdict interviews to determine how and why juries arrive at their verdicts. Although she is particularly experienced in de-selecting high risk jurors in medical malpractice trials, she has also consulted on a wide range of civil lawsuits, including personal injury, wrongful death, child/sex abuse, insurance coverage, employment issues, product liability, civil rights, and business fraud.