What Is Jury Consulting, And Why Do You Need It?

Your legal representation may have suggested that you get jury consulting for your case. What is it, and why do you need it? Read on to find out. 

What is Jury Consulting?

Jury consultants are professionals who have mastered the social science of choosing a jury for a trial and ensuring that the jury behaves appropriately. They also provide advice on how to best reach a jury. Their training is both legal and psychological in nature. 

Examples of Cases Where Jury Consulting Would Be Wise

Jury consulting is often recommended when a jury is not likely to side with you. Take an example of a company that's fighting to argue that it didn't pollute land. Most individuals would have some level of bias against a large company defending itself in this position, especially if they were going up against a private individual who had had their land polluted. You can't always guarantee that jury members won't be biased, but jury consulting professionals can help you ask the right questions to identify potential bias and argue for the most neutral jury possible. 

The other part of what a jury consultant would do in this case is consult the legal representatives and the client about how to best reach this jury. For example, what lines of reasoning would be most effective and convincing this group of people. What personality would be best from the lawyer? What kinds of evidence do you need to collect before the trial? How should the defendant act when they are on the witness stand? A lawyer can do all of these things, but a jury consulting team is especially equipped to provide advice in this specific area of legal proceedings. Their advice will go on top of the experience your lawyer has, and both will work together to prepare you for an upcoming trial. 

Another thing a jury consulting team might do is evaluate how a jury is responding to your current trial tactics. Every single jury has a different collective personality, and sometimes you have them pegged a certain way, but their responses end up being different. In these cases, it can be helpful to bring in an outside jury consultant to reevaluate the group's social dynamics. They might give you tactics for persuading a single individual on the jury or the group as a collective. While this is just one example, hopefully it gives you an idea of how jury consultants can be helpful in a variety of legal contexts.