Although jurors come from all walks of life, they hold some common beliefs about what they like and dislike from attorneys in the courtroom.
A judge in Chicago asked 500 jurors who served in her federal district court trials between 2011 to 2017 five open-ended questions regarding what they thought about the attorneys’ performance and behavior during the trial. Through the study, several common themes arose regarding what jurors like and dislike from the attorneys:
- Be Prepared: The attorneys’ preparedness and efficiency was the most mentioned topic by the respondents. Jurors wanted the attorneys to present clear, organized, and relevant evidence. It irritated them when the attorneys were not prepared. They did not like overly dramatic presentations or presentation that bounced around without a clear organizing theme.
- Jurors expected attorneys to be professional. They paid close attention to how the attorneys treated others in the courtroom, including the witnesses and opposing counsel. They expected the attorneys to be respectful and professional in all of their contacts with others in the courtroom.
- Evidence preparation was vital for the jurors because they did not like having their time wasted through irrelevant or confusing evidence. Many of the jurors mentioned that they were irritated by counsel’s repetition of evidence or a particular point. When describing one attorney’s repetition of the same point, a juror said, “If we [the jurors] do not get the point the first or second time, then we are unlikely to ever get it.”
- Technology can help if used properly. Jurors liked it when the attorneys used technology to explain some aspect of the case, but they found it distracting if there were technological glitches of any kind. The jurors noticed when one side lacked the technology that the other side had.
First Court can help attorneys to fine-tune their presentations, and gain powerful insights from real people in your trial venue. Contact us to learn more!
To read the full article about the survey, click here.