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  • As a component of our constant effort to track and monitor jurors’ attitudes toward key issues affecting our clients, DOAR Litigation Consulting recently conducted its own research into Manhattan jurors’ views of financial institutions.  As the economy begins to emerge from the financial crisis, and we move temporally farther from it, we began to consider whether juror attitudes toward financial institutions and fraud allegations against them would change.  To measure attitudes using a timely issue, we chose to study juror attitudes about financial fraud and their reactions...

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  • Recent attention to the role of the Internet in jury selection by the New York City Bar Association (2012) underlined the importance of conducting Internet searches of prospective jurors during jury selection (i.e., not doing so may be akin to incompetence of counsel). At the same time, a total ban on communicating with jurors must be assured. Even inadvertent signs of an attorney’s visit left behind – electronic footprints – are forbidden as they have been deemed to constitute communication with the juror(s) being searched. The tension...

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  • With regard to testifying in criminal cases, research suggests that defendants are “damned if they do, damned if they don’t.”  When defendants choose not to testify, judges often instruct juries not to conclude anything (e.g., guilt) from their choice not to testify.  Studies have shown, however, that limiting instructions actually have a boomerang effect in which they make more salient a defendant’s lack of testimony (Antonio & Arone, 2005; Jones & Harrison, 2009).  Thus the choice not to testify, despite judicial instructions, influences how jurors perceive defendants.

    ...

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  • Judge Shira A. Scheindlin (US v. Viktor Bout, 2011) turned to jurors’ pledges to stop jurors from researching cases online. Her hope was that having jurors sign pledges promising not to research a case online (or elsewhere) would make their oaths more salient and stop jurors from conducting online research. It probably did not hurt that those who signed the pledge faced perjury charges if they did not honor it.

    No one knows whether a written pledge will keep jurors more faithful than an oral one....

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