Verdict - Spring 2018 - 37

> FEATURE

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Using Simple
Technology to Pick

a Better Jury

BY JAMES STONE

T

he one aspect of a jury trial that is undeniably the most important is the jury selection process. Because of this, lawyers can find
themselves married to a particular method or process when selecting their juries. While some may be willing to change and adapt
and incorporate new ideas for this process, others might consider their way to be the "best" way and never change their stripes. And,
green lawyers who are not impervious to change may still be searching for their "right way" to select a jury.

Just with changing your practice from all-

jurors to see. This ensures that, barring some

paper to paperless, these days, lawyers can

physical limitation such as diminished eye-

do the same for their jury selection process.

sight or illegibility, the jurors can see the

Q

Most lawyers are aware of the iPad/iPhone

questions and may have a better chance

process come about?

applications that can be used to supplement,

of understanding the question in the event

MR: Two things. First, I wanted to win more

or even replace, the traditional jury selection

they may mishear the lawyer who is asking

cases and get better verdicts. I wasn't happy

process. What most lawyers are probably

the questions.

with the results I got in my first several trials

JS: How did the idea of incorporating PowerPoint and other technology to help in the jury selection

not aware of is how easy it can be to bring in

In tallying up responses to certain ques-

and felt that jury selection was a big part of

that level of technological sophistication to

tions and creating a weighted response

that. I would ask questions and get crickets

the jury selection process, without the hassle

system, Michael then turns to Microsoft's

in response. I wasn't getting jurors talking like

of searching for a new program, vetting that

Excel to input the response data to "score"

I wanted to and wasn't getting jurors struck for

program, and learning the ins and outs of that

his panel. By using Excel, Michael is able

cause that I thought should be.

program before using it in a real-life setting.

to keep the data of this panel in a neat and

Second, jury selection is the most chaotic

One attorney has done this. Michael

clean way. Plus, because it is a digital file,

and unscripted part of a trial to me and the

Ruppersburg, a lawyer at Blasingame,

he is able to save this data with the case file,

part of trial where I struggle most. I wanted

Burch, Garrard, & Ashley, P.C., has recently

giving him the ability to store this data with

to develop a way to "script" out jury selection

spent time researching the psychology of

his digital file forever.

better and that would also help me do a better

jury selection and really applying the sci-

Michael has used this process in a handful

ence to his voir dire in order to "de-select"

of trials and now has a large enough sample

jurors who could have a negative impact on

size of results to fully evaluate the effective-

his cases at trial.

ness and ineffectiveness of using PowerPoint

Michael uses Microsoft's PowerPoint

in the jury selection process.

job of getting jurors talking, identifying problem
jurors and getting strikes for cause.

Q

JS: What are the pros and cons of
shifting to this format versus a more
traditional/conventional method?

to create a slideshow of his general voir

I recently sat down with Michael and dis-

MR: Pros: The general questions go quicker.

dire questions and runs his presentation in

cussed this concept and how he incorporates

By asking "agree" or "disagree" questions

front of the selection pool. This allows him

simple technology into the stressful process

to display his questions for all the potential

of jury selection.

and questions where a juror must answer on
Continued on page 46
Spring 2018 37


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Verdict - Spring 2018

President’s Message
How I Obtained Justice: Sudden Emergency Doctrine
Thank You to Outgoing Verdict Chairman, Madeleine Simmons
Look Before You Leap: Conducting Jury Focus Groups Before Trial
Voir Dire In Low Speed, Soft Tissue Injury Cases
Defeating Reptile Theory Motions in Limine
Leading the Jury Down the Right Path: Framing Your Case During Voir Dire
Hernandez v. State: Empowering Jurors to Seek the Truth
Exploding Takata Airbags From Cover-Up To Accountability
Using Simple Technology to Pick a Better Jury
Case Updates: Who Really Loses When Medical Funding Becomes an Issue at Trial?
Professional Practice Pointers: Voir Dire, An interview with Cobb County State Court Judge Allison Barnes Salter
Dig In To Do Good: Making the World a Better Place
Welcome New GTLA Members!
Champion Members
Meet The Experts
Index to Advertisers/Advertiser.com
Verdict - Spring 2018 - Intro
Verdict - Spring 2018 - bellyband1
Verdict - Spring 2018 - bellyband2
Verdict - Spring 2018 - cover1
Verdict - Spring 2018 - cover2
Verdict - Spring 2018 - 3
Verdict - Spring 2018 - 4
Verdict - Spring 2018 - 5
Verdict - Spring 2018 - 6
Verdict - Spring 2018 - 7
Verdict - Spring 2018 - 8
Verdict - Spring 2018 - 9
Verdict - Spring 2018 - 10
Verdict - Spring 2018 - President’s Message
Verdict - Spring 2018 - How I Obtained Justice: Sudden Emergency Doctrine
Verdict - Spring 2018 - 13
Verdict - Spring 2018 - 14
Verdict - Spring 2018 - Thank You to Outgoing Verdict Chairman, Madeleine Simmons
Verdict - Spring 2018 - Look Before You Leap: Conducting Jury Focus Groups Before Trial
Verdict - Spring 2018 - 17
Verdict - Spring 2018 - 18
Verdict - Spring 2018 - 19
Verdict - Spring 2018 - 20
Verdict - Spring 2018 - Voir Dire In Low Speed, Soft Tissue Injury Cases
Verdict - Spring 2018 - 22
Verdict - Spring 2018 - 23
Verdict - Spring 2018 - 24
Verdict - Spring 2018 - 25
Verdict - Spring 2018 - Defeating Reptile Theory Motions in Limine
Verdict - Spring 2018 - 27
Verdict - Spring 2018 - 28
Verdict - Spring 2018 - Leading the Jury Down the Right Path: Framing Your Case During Voir Dire
Verdict - Spring 2018 - 30
Verdict - Spring 2018 - Hernandez v. State: Empowering Jurors to Seek the Truth
Verdict - Spring 2018 - 32
Verdict - Spring 2018 - 33
Verdict - Spring 2018 - Exploding Takata Airbags From Cover-Up To Accountability
Verdict - Spring 2018 - 35
Verdict - Spring 2018 - 36
Verdict - Spring 2018 - Using Simple Technology to Pick a Better Jury
Verdict - Spring 2018 - Case Updates: Who Really Loses When Medical Funding Becomes an Issue at Trial?
Verdict - Spring 2018 - 39
Verdict - Spring 2018 - Professional Practice Pointers: Voir Dire, An interview with Cobb County State Court Judge Allison Barnes Salter
Verdict - Spring 2018 - Dig In To Do Good: Making the World a Better Place
Verdict - Spring 2018 - 42
Verdict - Spring 2018 - Champion Members
Verdict - Spring 2018 - 44
Verdict - Spring 2018 - Meet The Experts
Verdict - Spring 2018 - Index to Advertisers/Advertiser.com
Verdict - Spring 2018 - cover3
Verdict - Spring 2018 - cover4
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