The Litigation Psychology Podcast

The Litigation Psychology Podcast

The Litigation Psychology Podcast presented by Courtroom Sciences, Inc. (CSI) is for in-house and outside defense counsel about the intersection of science and litigation. We explore topics of interest to the defense bar, with a particular emphasis on subjects that don‘t get enough attention. Our hosts are Ph.D.-level Social Scientists, Clinical Scientists, and Psychology Experts with a wealth of knowledge about science, research, human behavior, and decision making, which they apply in the context of civil litigation.

Episodes

June 20, 2022 40 min

Dr. Steve Wood is joined by CSI Crisis Communications Practice Leader Sean Murphy to discuss the Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard trial. Sean describes how public opinion was being influenced daily during the trial and the narrative that was being communicated in the court of public opinion. Sean shares the approach that should be taken in litigation communications and what seemed to work for Johnny Depp's side and worked against Amb...

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Dr. Steve Wood gives an update on The Litigation Psychology Podcast schedule for the summer and a preview of some of the topics that will be featured in new episodes when the podcast returns from a short summer break. Those topics include the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial, preparing a former employee for deposition, the fallacy of the reptile brain, social influence in the courtroom, top excuses we hear for not conducting jury ...

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Doug Marcello, Chief Legal Officer with Bluewire, joins the podcast to talk about the genesis of Bluewire and the benefits for trucking and transportation companies. Bluewire software analyzes vulnerabilities for motor carriers and provides recommendations to reduce or eliminate those vulnerabilities. It allows for a strategic, proactive response to help trucking companies avoid nuclear verdicts. Doug also talks about Bluewire Conn...

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Dr. Bill Kanasky, Jr. revisits the very first paper he wrote titled: "Four Lethal but Preventable Mistakes in Civil Litigation". Bill discusses these four mistakes in detail including: #1 making witness prep the last priority; #2 a weak visual presentation; #3 overreliance on expert witnesses; and #4 going on the defensive early. Watch the video of this episode: https://www.courtroomsciences.com/r/o4p

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Baxter Drennon, Partner with Hall Booth Smith in Little Rock, Arkansas, joins the podcast to talk about the different ways the defense can define a win. The definition of a win may not be simply a defense verdict or a zero dollar verdict. The definition of a win needs to be based on the goals of the client and the legal team needs to understand what the client's expectations are. Steve and Baxter talk about a few different ways...

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Defense attorney Billy Davis, Partner with Bovis, Kyle, Burch & Medlin in Atlanta, joins the podcast to talk about his experience participating in a recent Courtroom Sciences Corporate Representative Witness Evaluation and Training with his client and provides his perspectives on the difference between standard witness prep and Courtroom Sciences' witness training program. Billy shares his thoughts on how the Corporate Rep ...

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Dr. Bill Kanasky, Jr. covers two critical witness testimony topics: the dangers of long answers and the risks of pivoting. Long answers, which often include commas, are dangerous at deposition and at trial. At deposition, long answers from witnesses lead to the sharing of more information with opposing counsel, which leads to even more questions, and cognitive fatigue of the witness. At trial, the jury can't follow long answers...

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Dr. Steve Wood discusses the impact and influence that constant and consistent messaging has on us individually, and on prospective jurors. Steve explains the concept of the Mere Exposure Effect and how the more we are presented with specific topics or ideas, the more we develop thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes about those topics. He also discusses the concept of Social Proof and how our brain processes something ambiguous by follo...

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Dr. Bill Kanasky, Jr. lays out what the game plan should be for witnesses before and during testimony. Bill talks about what attorneys need to be doing with witnesses the 24 hours before testimony, the four key things witnesses need to be coached and trained on as part of their preparation, and what witnesses should do during breaks in testimony. Watch the video of this episode: https://www.courtroomsciences.com/r/WIn

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James Feeney, Member, Dykama joins Dr. Steve Wood to discuss a recent defense verdict in a traumatic brain injury case. The plaintiff was injured in an vehicular accident and sued the automobile manufacturer for product liability. Jim provides details on how the defense for the case was constructed, what research was done with mock jurors, and the value of testing different combinations of evidence, themes, messaging, etc. in mock ...

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Dr. Bill Kanasky, Jr. covers five common mistakes being made when conducting focus groups, the consequences of these mistakes, and what adjustments should be made:

1) too much information on slides (less is more);

2) too many mock jurors (recruit a more reasonable number of 12-15);

3) too long of a day (juror fatigue is real; keep the days a reasonable length);

4) long presentations (juror attention span is short, keep presentation...

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Trial is a battle of perception and jurors pay very close attention to the behavior of the litigants, particularly the defendant. Behavioral consistency is highly correlated with honesty and truthfulness. In this episode of The Litigation Psychology Podcast, Dr. Bill Kanasky, Jr. describes the 4 golden traits of an effective defendant including, 1) Professionalism; 2) Confidence/comfort; 3) Maintaining emotional poise; and 4) Engag...

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In this episode Dr. Steve Wood and Dr. Bill Kanasky, Jr. discuss the importance of alternative causation, plus answer podcast viewer and listener questions. Steve and Bill talk about how jury research demonstrates that jurors don't care that the plaintiff has the burden of proof on causation and that human information processing requires them to identify cause. Because of this, defense attorneys must help jurors by providing al...

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One of the most emotional, challenging, and difficult cases are birth injury cases. Dr. Steve Wood and Dr. Bill Kanasky, Jr. discuss some of the common themes they have seen during focus groups and mock trials for birth injury cases. Specifically, they share insights from jurors on these topics: 

- jurors' perceptions and lack of understanding of the employment status of physicians as independent contractors vs. being employee...

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Dr. Bill Kanasky, Jr. shares a case study from a recent trial to highlight the elements of successful trial testimony. Four keys of successful trial testimony are to:  1) Control the pace of the questioning,  2) Avoid pivoting,  3) Deliver short, concise answers, and 4) Respond appropriately to emotional attacks by plaintiff's counsel. 

Bill also discusses tips on managing cases where you have a co-defendant and the challenges...

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Dr. Alyssa Parker, Litigation Consultant and an experienced Clinical Psychologist, joins Dr. Bill Kanasky, Jr. to talk about working with witnesses who are dealing with trauma associated with a catastrophic accident or fatality. Alyssa and Bill discuss mistakes that the defense side often make with these emotional and traumatized witnesses, including ignoring or downplaying the suppression or avoidance of the memories of the trauma...

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Baxter Drennon, Attorney with Hall Booth Smith in Little Rock, Arkansas joins the podcast to talk with Dr. Steve Wood about a range of topics around attorney credibility and improving as a trial lawyer. Baxter and Steve discuss the definition of a win, the necessity of gaining direct experience in trying cases, the philosophies about whether to go to trial or settle a case, and what types of training would be useful for defense att...

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Heather Bohnke, Partner with Gust Rosenfeld PLC in Arizona, joins the podcast to talk with Dr. Bill Kanasky, Jr. about the recently enacted ruling of the Arizona Supreme Court which has done away with peremptory strikes as January 1, 2022. Arizona has become the first state in the nation to eliminate peremptory challenges. Heather talks about the background behind why the Arizona Supreme Court made this ruling and what the impacts ...

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Wellness Specialist Jennifer Donovan of Wellness 4 Judiciary joins the podcast to talk to Dr. Steve Wood about mental and physical wellbeing and what attorneys can do to relieve stress and anxiety and achieve clarity and tranquility. In part 1, Jennifer shared exercises to help witnesses and in this part she demonstrates several exercises for posture, breathing, and mental focus and intentional thought, which help with calmness and...

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Wellness Specialist Jennifer Donovan of Wellness 4 Judiciary joins the podcast to talk to Dr. Steve Wood about mental wellbeing, mindfulness, and what witnesses can do to reduce stress levels, particularly when testifying. Jennifer demonstrates several helpful exercises to help relieve stress and create calmness, clarity, and focus. The exercises, which can be done either seated or standing, include attention to posture, breathing,...

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