Trial consulting

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Trial consulting is the use of social scientists, particularly psychologists and communication experts and economists, to aid attorneys in the presentation of a criminal trial or civil lawsuit. Modern trial consultants help prepare witnesses, improve arguments and rhetoric, and select juries.[1]

Although traditionally sophisticated jury selection methods were a mainstay of trial consultants, they now "place far less emphasis on jury selection than they did in the past",[2] and many in the field now prefer the term "trial consulting" to "jury consulting".[3] Since many cases are now settled out of court or decided by arbitration, some trial consulting firms have diversified to include mock mediation and arbitration sessions.[4] This is also the reason that many jury/trial consultants are now referring to themselves as "litigation consultants".[5]

The traditional mainstays of trial consulting remain important. They include witness preparation, shadow juries, mock trials, focus groups, community attitude surveys, and expert assistance with trial presentation.[6]


  1. ^ Matthew Hutson, Unnatural Selection Mar/Apr 2007, Psychology Today.
  2. ^ Kressel, Neil J. and Dorit F. Kressel (2004). Stack and Sway: The New Science of Jury Consulting. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, pp. 86-87.
  3. ^ Franklin Strier & Donna Shestowsky (1999). "Profiling the profilers: a study of the trial consulting profession, its impact on trial justice, and what, if anything, to do about it." Wisconsin Law Review. Pg. 441. Cited at pp 450-51.
  4. ^ Shapiro, Ari. Jury Consultants and Arbitration of Civil Lawsuits. National Public Radio. (June 9, 2005). Retrieved 14 July 2006.
  5. ^ Posey, A. J., and Wrightsman, L. S. (2005). Trial Consulting. Oxford University Press.
  6. ^ "Shadow Juries: A Unique Advantage in Civil Trials | Litigation News | ABA Section of Litigation". Retrieved 2015-12-16. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Franklin Strier (1999). "Whither Trial Consulting? Issues and Projections." Law and Human Behavior. 23 (1): 93
  • R Craig Smith (2006). Prolumina Trial Consulting: "Championship Law: Seven Keys to Winning Performance in the Courtroom." Trafford Publishing.