"The Hidden Jury couldn't be more timely or more urgently needed."--from the introduction by Johnnie Cochran
Why do guilty defendants go free?
Why do juries award huge sums for ridiculous lawsuits?
Who really controls the verdict of a trial?
The most powerful people in today's jury trials aren't lawyers, judges, plaintiffs or defendants. Their names don't even appear on the court record. Yet their presence and opinions shape the way that court cases are fought, and can even change the outcome of a trial. They are the hidden jury, the most influential new force in the American legal system.
For the first time, The Hidden Jury exposes the truth about mock juries and other tactics that lawyers and trial consultants use to mold a trial to their benefit. Drawing on experience gained from such high-profile cases as the O.J. Simpson trial, Whitewater and the Heidi Fleiss trial, leading trial consultant and jury expert Paul M. Lisnek reveals goes behind the scenes of the American justice system to reveal:
--How lawyers get the juries they need to win
--The mock trials that really decide the fate of the verdict
--The trial services wealthy clients can afford to buy
Paul M. Lisnek is one of the most sought-after and respected lecturers and keynote speakers on the continuing legal education and corporate circuits today. He is the cofounder of Decision Analysis, a leading trial-consulting firm that has worked in the Whitewater, O.J. Simpson, and Heidi Fleiss cases, among many other complex and multi-party litigation matters. He is past president, serving two terms, of the American Society of Trial Consultants. He has an extensive background as a communications expert, trial lawyer, educator, author, and trial consultant. Formerly the assistant dean of Loyola Law School in Chicago, Lisnek is executive director of BAR/BRI's Law School Prep Program and serves as a commissioner and inquiry-panel Chairperson of the Illinois Attorney Disciplinary Commission. He has authored twelve books, including The Paul M. Lisnek Trial Communication series for PESI, Quality Mind, Quality Life, and Winning the Mind Game. Lisnek has served as the jury expert for NBC News, appearing regularly on NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, and Court TV. He has been featured on numerous national television shows, including The Today Show, Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, Rivera Live, and Court TV's Cochran and Company. Lisnek was host and associate producer of an award-winning Chicago-area cable-television newsmagazine for more than a decade. He currently anchors Political Update, seen in the Chicagoland area.
From the Introduction
Should We Really Kill All the Lawyers?
Lawyers have a bad reputation. As a lawyer and a jury consultant, I live with jokes, insults, and questions. I have lost track of how many times I heard someone try to wow me with: "What do you call a hundred lawyers at the bottom of the ocean? A good start!" Or, someone might wander over to me at party and blurt, "How do you live with the fact that you represent guilty people?" Some people want to relive the O.J. trial and always start with, "But O.J. did it! Why is he free?" Even the relatively sophisticated crowd might ask, "Isn't the voodoo you do to help other lawyers pick juries unethical?"
The reality is that most people do not understand how the system works. Famous lawyers write books about the cases they have tried so they can talk about how great they are (and I am not saying they are wrong). However, you probably read those books with some hope of gaining insight about what happens behind the scenes; you might want to learn a little about how the system really works, but instead you get memoirs.
It is time to pull the curtain back on the process in order to help you understand what lawyers and trial consultants are really trying to accomplish behind the scenes and in the public courtroom. It also is time to get the age-old nagging questions about guilt and innocence, civil liability, and damages addressed and answered. That lawyers represent "guilty" people has always triggered distaste in the American experience. These questions have been around for a long time, and we see them tweaked every week on The Practice or Court TV.
The reality is that most people do not have their first encounter with a real lawyer (and "lawyerly" behavior) until they find themselves embroiled in an unfortunate divorce, an unexpected auto accident, or perhaps something as simple as the need to draft a will. It is no secret that lawyers are not highly rated on the scale of public trust, but oddly enough, surveys about lawyers and trust often note an important exception: people think their own lawyers are terrific. So, if you have not had a need for lawyers, then you probably do not think too highly of them. If you have worked with a lawyer, you probably like your own, but you think others are unethical. I want to dispel that myth.
It is true that lawyers can be intimidating; they speak a language all their own. In addition, it is difficult to overcome the perception that lawyers make money from other people's troubles. However, many lawyers and jury consultants make their living in whole or in part by serving the public interest and working to represent those without financial resources. In reality, most lawyers recognize the law as a public calling and act accordingly.
In recent decades, a group of professionals called trial consultants, jury consultants, and jury psychologists-all mean about the same thing-have added their expertise to the courtroom drama. While I am a lawyer, I am also a trial consultant. It is my job to help my trial-lawyer clients do the best possible job of representing, which means advocating for, their clients. We are a relatively new profession, but trying to choose jurors that reach a verdict that pleases one side or the other is as old as the jury system itself. The difference is that now we have scientific tools available to help guide our work with trial lawyers. This book is my attempt to explain where trial consultants fit into the big picture of criminal and civil trials, thereby providing a better overall understanding of the legal process itself...
Introduction: Should We Really Kill All the Lawyers?
Chapter 1: Fair and Impartial? Not a Chance
Chapter 2: My World and Welcome to It
Chapter 3: If It Doesn't Fit, You'd Best Quit
Chapter 4: A Match Made in Heaven...Or at Least in Science
Chapter 5: If Men Are from Mars and Women Are from Venus, Then Lawyers Are from Uranus
Chapter 6: "First Thing We Do, Let's Kill All the Lawyers..."
Chapter 7: Nothing But the Truth...Sort Of
Chapter 8: It Ain't Over 'til the Last Juror Sings
Chapter 9: Fair, But Partial: As Good as It Gets
Appendix: Code of Professional Standards
About the Author