Throughout this two-hour program, Nicholas Rowley and Courtney Rowley, authors of Running with the Bulls and Voir Dire and Opening Statement, share insights and guide you through how to connect with jurors and curate a pool of open-minded individuals. Creating a community among a group of strangers where they can communicate, connect, listen, and share with one another starts with you. The Rowleys advocate that by modeling this behavior, your jury pool will feel safe to do the same. If you let people talk and share their biases while you listen and accept what they’re saying, rather than interjecting or trying to educate them, you show the jurors how to interact with one another.
Brutal honesty is a way of communicating that is uncommon in this day and age. By cutting straight to the point and asking potential jurors to talk to you, to share their beliefs, you are creating a safe space for them to do so. The Rowleys walk listeners through this process and role-play different scenarios and responses, so you can understand what kinds of questions they are asking during voir dire and how you can use a juror’s response to your advantage. They also provide anecdotal evidence from past trials and share resources they have used over the years to help you put these ideas into practice.
Following the interview portion, the speakers take on questions from the audience, including:
- How to prepare your body and your brain for jury selection
- Suggested questions to ask during voir dire
- Do you have a backup plan for when a judge shuts down your introduction?
- How to use nonverbal communication as a tool during jury selection
- How to handle a potentially toxic juror
- Utilizing and combining tactics from other acclaimed attorneys, such as Keith Mitnik and Rick Friedman
- How to transition from brutal honesty to advocacy after jury selection
- How to avoid any bias a jury may have against you for being an outsider
- When and how do you ask follow-up questions without coming off as if you’re probing or preconditioning the jurors?
- A streamlined approach to brutal honesty
Being someone who is genuine, approachable, and unashamed of your beliefs is essential behavior to model during voir dire. Utilize the Rowleys’ proven strategies to help create a foundation of trust with the individuals who will decide the fate of your case.
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*This interview was originally offered to customers as part of our Trial Guides LIVE Fireside Chat series. The content has been remastered and edited for brevity and clarity.