The Legal Advocate

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Book Report: Inside Jurors’ Minds

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This is part of a new Book Report series designed to introduce some of our favorite NITA publications. Some of the books we’ll write about are fresh off the press, while others are tried-and-true NITA favorites. For more book reports and information on our publications, check out our Publications page

Inside Jurors’ Minds:

The Hierarchy of Juror Decision-Making

Carol B. Anderson

Jurors rely on the same learned thinking tools in the courtroom that they use when making decisions in their everyday lives. By understanding these tools and the factors that influence them, you can more successfully present your case to a jury in court. Inside Jurors’ Minds by Carol B. Anderson discusses the thinking tools jurors’ rely on when making decisions, and explains how you can use this information to win over the jury.

Human traits such as fight-or-flight and self-preservation make it difficult for jurors to separate instinct from emotion, while personal beliefs and values affect jurors’ perceptions. These factors influence jurors’ opinions, both consciously and unconsciously. In Inside Jurors’ Minds, Anderson takes you step-by-step through this process of information interpretation and decision-making. By explaining the psychology behind these human traits from a juror’s perspective, the information is directly relevant to trial attorneys and easily applied in practice. The chapters are broken down into courtroom-specific psychological influences  including perception and information processing in the courtroom, memory, common juror biases, cultural norms and biases, and heuristics and other information-processing strategies. She concludes the book with a chapter on implementation, which provides sample opening and closing statements.

Anderson wrote, “It has been said that a mind is a terrible thing to waste. For trial lawyers, the thing not to be wasted is an understanding of how the mind works because we can use this information, along with our creativity, to benefit our clients” (157). This book will teach you how to understand jurors’s minds, influence their perceptions, and as a result, increase your success in the courtroom.

ISBN: 978-1-60156-181-7 ∙ 180 pages ∙ Retail Price: $45.00

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NITA’s team of practicing lawyers, professors and judges from around the nation dedicates its efforts to the training and development of skilled and ethical legal advocates to improve the adversarial justice system.

NITA’s Goals are to:

  • Promote justice through effective and ethical advocacy.
  • Train and mentor lawyers to be competent and ethical advocates in pursuit of justice.
  • Develop and teach trial advocacy skills to support and promote the effective and fair administration of justice.
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