What Makes Juries Listen?

Sonya Hamlin is considered a pioneer in courtroom communication. As featured on the Westlaw Blog,

she created and taught the first course dedicated to courtroom communication at Harvard Law School. Today, she lectures worldwide and consults on cases with law firms, analyzing jury issues about cases and what advocacy skills are needed, preparing witnesses, developing strategies and creating visual presentations of evidence.

Sonya Hamlin wrote books “What Makes Juries Listen” and ”What Makes Juries Listen Today”. These books are now accompanied by her latest title “Now What Makes Juries Listen.” It reflects the changing attitudes and behaviors of today’s jury members and gives new techniques and approaches for every aspect of the trial.

Ms. Hamlin cites three major issues that she says “have changed everything radically” in the jury box:

  • Technology – “We don’t talk to each other now, we type! We get our information about anything online, on our own, fast and easy,” Hamlin says. “So, learning from someone talking at us has lost its power and credibility. And our attention span is now one and a-half minutes.”
  • Generational Differences – “We now have four generations sitting on the jury: seniors, baby boomers, generation X and generation Y. They’re almost from different planets. Reaching each one requires new information in order to reach and persuade them.”
  • Multicultural Diversity – “We have people on juries who have become American citizens but are conditioned by other societies, other governments and other kinds of laws.”
What do you think? Are you ready to pick the jury? Feel free to share your thoughs and comments.

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