What Kinds Of Questions Do You Ask Potential Jurors In High Stakes Cases?
If you have a very technical case, you might want the type of people who fix their own computers or always read manuals. Sometimes, you want people who are very detailed oriented and sometimes you want people who make decisions based upon their emotions. If you have a case where the credibility of a witness is going to be important, you might want people who know how to tell when someone is lying.
How Important Is Understanding The Locality Of The Jury Pool?
If you are in a jurisdiction where it is predominantly republican and there are mostly high income, well-educated residents, those are ideal if you have a business dispute. People who have a background in the military or law enforcement tend to understand and support punitive damages. Knowing the locality is important. Everything plays into the selection of the jury.
How Much Of A Handle Do You Get On Potential Jurors When You Are Going Through This Process?
There are two different theories that I follow for jury selection. One is schema and one is personality traits. If you do not have time to evaluate both, focus on personality traits. Personalities are either effective or cognitive. Cognitive personalities are people who are detail-oriented and logical, like accountants or engineers. Effected personalities are caring and sympathetic, like teachers or nurses.
Another personality trait is authoritarian or anti-authoritarian. For example, if you have a business case and you want to seek punitive damages, you might want someone who is authoritarian. This is generally the person who is more rigid, shows a strong belief in authority, and believes in a strong police force and military.
Some personalities are like lions, others are like lambs. You want to make sure to define, immediately, the lions and the lambs. The lions are dressed appropriately for court and they are confident. The lambs are in awe and intimidated by their surroundings. You want to make sure you have at least one lion on the jury who is going to be favorable to your case. You do not want a lion who is going to be against your case, because the lions persuade the lambs to go along with them. It is very important to identify those personality traits extremely early on and try to determine which lions would favor your case. Then, try to eliminate the lions who would be against your case.
Do You Try To Avoid Having Too Many Lions To Avoid Further Conflicts Down The Road?
You do not want to have too many lions on a jury. You want mostly the lambs, who are going to be open to the case. You just never know what people are going to rely on. If you have one lion that favors your case, that is ideal. If you have two that favor your case, that is even better. Anything more than that, though, tends to bring conflict.
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