Seasoned Jury Consultant Chad Lackey helps attorneys understand jurors’ mindsets on high-stakes matters

DOAR Director Chad Lackey, Ph.D. is one of the nation’s top jury consultants, having worked on a wide range of complex, high-stakes cases throughout his 20 years career. With experience working on high-profile cases—dating back to working with prosecutors on matters like the OJ Simpson robbery trial and the Phil Spector murder trials, Dr. Lackey specializes in designing and conducting jury research events that test the persuasiveness of case themes and arguments, and routinely advises attorneys on jury selection.

“Winning at trial is obviously one of the most satisfying parts of the job, especially on those cases you’ve poured your heart and soul into,” said Dr. Lackey. “But figuring out a case and what case themes resonate with jurors are equally rewarding.”

Dr. Lackey has consulted on hundreds of civil and criminal cases nationally, working with both plaintiff/prosecution and defense attorneys on matters involving insider trading, securities fraud, murder, terrorism, the death penalty, political corruption, antitrust, patent infringement, trade secrets, contract disputes, employment issues, and complex commercial matters.

As a well-regarded expert in jury consulting, Dr. Lackey regularly lectures on jury selection and presentation strategy to civil, criminal, and regulatory attorneys. He has also authored a study, “Venue Differences for High Tech IP Litigation: Comparing NDCA, WDTX, and the District of Delaware,” that examines the key attitudinal differences among jurors across three popular venues for patent litigation. Additionally, he recently wrote a brief follow-up piece to that study that reflects on the recent changes to patent case assignments in the WDTX.

When asked about the type of consulting service he enjoys doing the most, Dr. Lackey cited conducting focus groups and mock trials.

He said, “I enjoy listening to jurors discuss a case and analyzing those discussions to discover the psychological underpinnings of a case.”

Moreover, he offered the following three tips to consider when conducting a focus group:

  1. Focus on recruiting a panel that mirrors the diversity you will see in jury pools in the venue not only with respect to race, education, and income but also occupation, e.g., higher-end business and finance professionals, office workers, blue-collar workers, education professionals, health care workers, etc.
  2. Present both sides of the case fairly and honestly, warts and all, ensuring each side reflects how the case will be presented at trial.
  3. Really listen to how different jurors discuss the case and their back-and-forth debate to reveal how they think about the evidence, themes, and arguments, and what factors will lead them to decide the case.

In addition to conducting focus groups and mock trials, Dr. Lackey has been successfully advising many of the best lawyers in the country on all aspects of jury selection, including helping them negotiate issues with the court and opposing counsel, identifying personal experiences and attitudes that bias deliberations and decision-making, and drafting and grading supplemental juror questionnaires. Most recently, Dr. Lackey assisted attorneys with jury selection for one of the defendants in the historic chicken antitrust trial, which led to two hung juries and an ultimate acquittal of the defendants on all charges.

“Picking juries is very demanding, requiring hyperfocus on what jurors are asked,” Dr. Lackey said. “You have to pay attention to not only what they say but how they say it, what they don’t say, and how other jurors react to the questioning as well as the relative risks each prospective juror poses.”

With DOAR’s full-service, integrated approach to trial services, Dr. Lackey’s jury consulting expertise is evenly paired with the company’s unparalleled graphics consulting and evidence presentation capabilities.

Regarding what distinguishes DOAR from other trial consulting firms, Dr. Lackey said, “We function in a real team environment. Jury consultants, graphics consultants, and presentation consultants each bring their expertise and years of experience together to discuss and develop an effective trial strategy on any given case.”

Contact us to learn more about how DOAR can help you with your next trial.

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