Trial consulting

Trial consulting

Trial consulting is the use of social scientists, particularly psychologists and communication experts, to aid attorneys in the presentation of a criminal trial or civil lawsuit. Modern trial consultants help prepare witnesses, improve arguments and rhetoric, and select juries.Matthew Hutson, " [ Unnatural Selection] " Mar/Apr 2007, "Psychology Today".]

Although traditionally sophisticated jury selection methods were a mainstay of trial consultants, they now "place far less emphasis on jury selection than they did in the past", Kressel, Neil J. and Dorit F. Kressel (2004). "Stack and Sway: The New Science of Jury Consulting." Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, pp. 86-87.] and many in the field now prefer the term "trial consulting" to "jury consulting". [Franklin Strier & Donna Shestowsky (1999). "Profiling the profilers: a study of the trial consulting profession, its impact on trial justice, and what, if anything, to do about it." "Wisconsin Law Review". Pg. 441. Cited at pp 450-51.] Since many cases are now settled out of court or decided by arbitration, some trial consulting firms have diversified to include mock mediation and arbitration sessions. [ Shapiro, Ari. [ Jury Consultants and Arbitration of Civil Lawsuits] . National Public Radio. (June 9, 2005). Retrieved 14 July 2006.] This is also the reason that many jury/trial consultants are now referring to themselves as "litigation consultants". [Posey, A. J., and Wrightsman, L. S. (2005). "Trial Consulting". Oxford University Press.]

The traditional mainstays of trial consulting remain important. They include witness preparation, shadow juries, mock trials, focus groups, community attitude surveys, and expert assistance with trial presentation.


Further reading

* Franklin Strier (1999). "Whither Trial Consulting? Issues and Projections." "Law and Human Behavior". 23 (1): 93

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