Latest from Persuasion Matters

In the age of smartphones and 24/7 access to media, jurors who conduct outside research are a hot topic in the legal community. And if you’re defense counsel for the notorious Joaquín Guzmán, aka “El Chapo,” it is the hot topic. After a three-month federal jury trial in Brooklyn, New York, El Chapo was recently convicted of drug trafficking, weapons violations, and operating an ongoing criminal enterprise. He now faces a life sentence without the possibility…
I have a confession: I had no idea that Chunk Palmer was attending law school, did you? If there was any doubt, it certainly cleared up this week because he represented his first client. All by himself. As a “student defender.” Without an actual law license. Or a bar card. In federal court. Fighting charges involving copyright infringement and selling counterfeit merchandise. Dang. Nothing like whetting your teeth on a federal criminal trial. To be…
Litigation is grueling in the best of circumstances. But even with strong legal claims, smooth discovery, and compelling evidentiary issues, one of the most difficult aspects of litigation is managing expectations and making unpopular decisions. Jury consultants, including the Hollywood-created ones, invest their blood, sweat and tears into helping clients prevail. And many times, we offer our sage counsel by providing the trial team, the end client, and witnesses with a much-needed dose of reality.…
Dear writers and producers of CBS’ “Bull”: your show might be a little more realistic if Dr. Jason Bull actually consulted on a trial that ended up with a loss every now and then. After watching yet another episode, I am exasperated (yet not altogether shocked) to see that, once again, the show ends with a victory dance for Bull and his trial team. They have yet to feel the agonizing sting of defeat. Lucky…
Well, Dr. Jason Bull has done it again. He’s managed to snag a high-dollar client without trying, solve a mystery mid-trial, maneuver the person on trial into pleading the Fifth Amendment, and have a romantic rendezvous with his married ex-wife, all within a single episode. This guy needs a nap. This week’s episode, “Prior Bad Acts,” has a few sub-plots, which makes it kind of fun to watch, but harder to critique. For those who…
Ever had a stubborn client who refused to consider any plausible explanations for the conduct at issue besides his own? We’ve all been there, and this week, Bull joins the ranks. In this week’s episode of “Bull” (Season 3, Episode 12), we meet New York City’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Julia Martin, who is arrested and charged with evidence tampering on a case she closed (and law enforcement subsequently solved) six years prior. A serial…
In this week’s episode of “Bull” (Season 3, Episode 11), we spend more time on Dr. Jason Bull’s personal life than on his role as a jury guru. I get it; The public wants to see relatable stories, but, dang, it makes critiquing the authenticity of the show tricky. But here goes. First, the episode has two plots. The first surrounds a millennial couple who recently eloped in Thailand. On their flight home,…
Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” Super Bowl XLVIII commercial. One of my favorite Super Bowl commercials is Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” (2014), an adorable tale of a Labrador puppy and a Clydesdale who become best friends. If you don’t immediately know what I’m talking about, hop on YouTube right now and take a quick peek. I’ll wait. What, you may be asking, do adorable puppies and Budweiser have to do with the art of lawyering? That’s easy: persuasion.…
As we welcome 2019, we thought we’d ease back into the world of blogging with a highlight of the Top 10 articles from the year we just ushered out the door. While we noodle new ideas and worthy tips to share during the coming months, we hope you’ll visit, revisit and share the posts below! The #1 Blog Post of 2018: 5 Tips for Becoming a More Persuasive Speaker When was the last time a conference…
This week’s episode of “Bull” – “A Higher Law” – featured an unusual suspect: A Catholic priest. He’s pulled over driving behind the wheel of a dinged-up, bloodied vehicle, with alcohol on his breath. He’s subsequently arrested for a fatal hit-and-run of a young female jogger. Facing up to 20 years in prison, most folks would be more than happy to out the actual killer, but not Father Andy. The person who actually caused the…