Preparation for Jury Trials

  • While preparation for any trial is involved, preparation for a Jury trial is typically more intense. While trials in front of judges tend to be very law and fact based, trials in front of juries have a much stronger emotional component. The jurors will not know the law before your trial begins. They will know only what your attorney and the opposing attorney tell them. The jurors will also make judgments about you and your case that will affect their decision. As an example, pretend you are walking down a street and meet another person. You shake his or her hand, say hello and then depart.  In that short amount of time you have made judgments about this person, unfair or unreasonable as it may be. You have made judgments about his honesty, his faith, his sense of responsibility, even his political persuasion.  When you take the jury stand, the jury will likewise make judgments about you due to your posture, your speech, your attire, the manner in which you answer questions and even the way you smile or cry.   Experienced attorneys in Jury cases can assist the injured in their preparation and their presentation to the Jury for a more favorable result.

Choosing the Jurors

  • Of course, choosing a jury is a talent in itself.  In more serious cases, a forensic psychologist may join the attorney at the trial table to assist in the jury selection process. Literally hundreds of books and articles have been written to assist experienced attorneys in choosing juries in particular cases. In high profile or very serious injury cases, mock juries are employed. Here the attorney will go out to the community and hire a cross section of citizens who would likely make up the jury.  The attorney will then present the case to this random selection of people, sometimes with the testimony of the injured.  The mock jury members then give feedback to the attorney as to the strength(s) or weakness(es) of his/her case and thereby assist in the actual trial of the case.
  • Another manner in which a mock jury is used which is unique to Abramson and Rand is to hire three or four individuals who represent a cross section of the jury already selected.  These individuals would know nothing about the case and would sit in the courtroom during the trial and confer with the attorneys during the various breaks of the trial in order to give them feedback as to the presentation of the case and thereby assist the attorney. 
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