September 18, 2013 Articles

Young Lawyers Corner: Observing Jurors During Trial

Once the case is rolling, observation is telling.

By Cynthia R. Cohen

Observation of jurors’ body language begins during jury selection and continues through trial. The best time to get a read of any juror is during voir dire. At that time, you observe verbal and nonverbal behaviors. After that, it is harder to gauge what jurors are thinking because they cannot speak to you. During trial, jurors often communicate nonverbally. While knowing how to read them is an asset to your trial presentation, it is impossible to tailor arguments to each individual juror. Strategies for improving jurors’ responses to your arguments include focus on clarity in graphics and persuasive themes that touch juror emotions.

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