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Quick trial tips: Blinking, babies and on the left!

Friday, May 21, 2010
posted by Douglas Keene

Sometimes you just have to have quick tips that help you FAST when you need it most. With that in mind, we present three recent research findings to aid you in trials for years to come.

Is that juror blinking?

You want jurors to pay close attention to your case. A recent study finds that when our minds wander (as in, we are not paying attention) we tend to blink more frequently. So if your jurors begin to blink more frequently, do something novel. Surprise them!  They’ll pay closer attention.

Use babies

But only if you want to boost altruism. If you want the jury to award money to your deserving client, baby pictures are your friend. If you want the jury to not give the greedy plaintiff a dime, baby pictures are the last thing you want in the courtroom. Why? Photos of babies appear to kick start caring feelings in us. We identify more with the person who has the baby. Or grandbaby. Or who is holding a baby and looking loving and happy. It could be anybody’s baby. But if you want to increase the likelihood of an award for your client—a picture of them with a baby is a good idea.

Keep those exhibits on the left!

Finally, you want to keep any exhibits to the left of the jurors. Recent research with more than 60,000 participants shows that we tend to remember things more (in the short-term) when they visually appear on our left. So line up your exhibits on the left of the jury box (while casually relocating opposing counsel’s exhibits to the right).

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