(Image courtesy of stockxpert.com)
Next time you pick a jury, see if this study concluding that leaders emerge by talking early and often is correct. Is the person who spoke first and the most in voir dire the foreman? More accurately, if you talk to jurors afterwards, ask how they picked the foreman. Did he/she lead the group in discussion?
Note that the study also seems to show that idiots who talk a lot are still perceived as idiots. Being a jabberjaw isn’t enough to make somone a leader – they have to at least sound somewhat convincing.
Why does this matter to trial lawyers? Duh! If a potential juror is going to lead the rest of the jury and be seen as persuasive, you’d better hope he/she is on your side. If you have to choose one of two jurors you think might be against you, choose the one least likely to become a leader in the jury room.
(Howard Zimmerle is a trial lawyer in the Quad Cities).