Monday, September 13, 2010

Why are the jurors most similar to the client the least sympathetic?

   At a recent seminar, the presenter shared the surprising information (backed by studies) that the jurors most difficult to persuade are the jurors that have the most in common with the accident victim.  While one would think these jurors would be the most supportive, the reasoning is that they need to find fault with the client in order to convince themselves that these jurors would not experience a similar tragedy.

   Examples of this bias include:

    Homemakers acting as jurors for stay-at-home mothers.
    Persons with back injuries acting as jurors in a back injury case.
    Motor vehicle accident victims acting as jurors in motor vehicle accident cases.

Of course, there are exceptions to every Rule but the lesson is to be careful and to not assume that a juror with a similar background is the best juror in your case.

   Always play your hand smartly.  See