Online Jury Research: COVID’s Effect on Juror Perspectives & Damages

How the Pandemic Affects Juror Perspectives
… and how to adjust your litigation strategy accordingly

By conducting a series of nationwide surveys, Magna consultants examined COVID-19’s impact on prospective jurors’ attitudes and beliefs. Let’s look at the facts:

In today’s world, many jurors feel the need to be the “guardians of the community” by forcing companies to change their bad behavior with large damage awards. Litigators and those in the insurance industry refer to these as “reptilian jurors“, who are responsible for the increasing frequency of “nuclear verdicts”.

Factors that drive up verdicts include:

  • Juror Vulnerability, Fear, Volatility, & Polarization
  • Rising Costs & Uncertainty of the Future
  • More Millennials on Juries
  • Bad Testimony or Misidentification of Corporate Representatives
  • Anti-Corporate Bias – “Profits over Safety”
  • Not Setting a Floor or Providing a Low Damages Anchor
  • Not Addressing Key Issues/Themes in Jury Selection/Opening


Our research has shown the below trend in recent juror perspectives:

Now more than ever, it is important to know how juror perspectives changed in your specific venue for your specific case issues.

It’s not a question if the pandemic will affect your cases… it’s a question of how it will affect your cases.

In general, many potential jurors now are more vulnerable – both health-wise and financially – than pre-pandemic, which can make people more plaintiff-friendly. However, depending on the venue, the most vulnerable, most risk-averse (i.e., most plaintiff-friendly) may be less likely to show up for jury duty or to be seated on a jury at present.

Luckily, there are some research tools to answer this question and give you the current data you need to adjust your litigation strategy.

Test Your Damages
with JuryEvaluator

What is your case worth now? JuryEvaluator offers a scientific and statistically significant damages assessment for your ACTUAL CASE from your ACTUAL JURY POOL. This research will consider the effect of COVID-19 and current media climate, to provide insight into your case risk, exposure and value.

  • Research conducted in your case venue using your actual case facts
  • Research captures present-day surrogate juror attitudes and biases
  • Statistical analyses provide a reliable range of potential damages if the case went to a jury trial (economic, non-economic & punitive)
  • Optional Juror Profiling analysis

Online Focus Groups
with JuryConfirm

How has COVID impacted juror perspectives in your venue? Test your themes, storylines, social climate & more with JuryConfirm, Magna’s patented online focus group platform.

  • Evidence analyzer powered by AI
  • Live attorney presentations with limitless capabilities
  • Simulation of court room environment with interactive avatars and live video feed of jurors and attorneys
  • Live (video) juror deliberations with more panels than ever available before
  • Real-time results: Fully-customized questionnaires, polling & presentation feedback
  • Detailed reports featuring case evaluation, theme development, and jury profi­les

Nationwide COVID-19 Study Results

Magna Legal Services conducted a series of nationwide surveys to assess evolving changes and shifts in juror perceptions in this brave new world.

Study includes 5,000 respondents
& 100+ questions about:

  • Technology
  • Finance
  • Law Enforcement
  • Insurance
  • Life Sciences

Learn about our findings:

  • Halo effect
  • Business Interruption Coverage
  • Reptilian Influence
  • Crisis Fatigue
  • Juror Vulnerability

Complete the form to download your FREE copy of Magna’s COVID Study results >>

Contact our 24/7 Hotline for a FREE Case Consultation: 877.220.1821

or, email us at CaseConsultation@MagnaLS.com, or fill out our contact form

Analyzing & Monetizing Construction Defect Claims

Virtually all construction or property related decisions should be made with costs in mind. But some people are afraid of math.

Regardless of whether you’re an attorney, insurance professional, property owner, or manager, you need to be able to focus on the “vital few” issues, and virtually ignore the “trivial many.” This means knowing how much things cost – not to the penny, but rather a reasonable approximation. The best place to start, when working to make smart economic decisions, is on the BIG expensive issues. You begin by chopping a project into logical parts, and estimating the cost of those chunks, so you can see the forest AND the trees. The earlier in the process you do this, the better.

Magna Legal Services hosted a webinar on January 27, 2021 (recording below), which featured expert panelists explaining the framework behind analyzing and monetizing construction defect claims.

“There’s a lot of parties involved [in a construction defect case]. You have to understand the structure and you have to speak the language… whether it’s the folks on the ground or in the board room, you have to be able to do both,” said Paul Danner of Goldberg Segalla.

Aileen Schwartz of Hill International, Inc. says she makes sure to bring in experts early on to prevent dragging out litigation. “I’ve had cases that were brought in and there were no damages against us. If there are no damages, there is no case”, she said.

If the case ends up going forward, it’s important that it is not a jury trial, Aileen noted, saying “nobody on a jury wants to listen to your construction defect claim. They’re falling asleep. You really need a judge who knows what you’re talking about to hear the cases.”

Every party wants to get the case settled sooner to avoid costly and timely litigation. Magna’s Scott Horwtiz said “Magna’s jury consultants are getting involved more and more on the early side of things to test theories and test themes to see if a small amount of money up front could take care of all of this”.

When preparing your case, organization is key. Pete Fowler explained the importance of starting with “a discreet list of issues — whether its one issue, or hundreds of issues.” In conjunction with the list of issues, Fowler utilizes “a sensible list of costs associated with each issue, and a sensible list of all the people who might be involved with each of those issues.” “It gets to be this big horrible matrix,” he added.

Watch the full webinar recording below to hear our expert panel break down these complex cases.

This webinar originally aired live on 1.27.2021

Webinar details:

Panelists:
Pete Fowler, Founder, Pete Fowler Construction
Scott Horwitz, Esq., National Director of Graphics Consulting & Trial Presentation, Magna Legal Services
Aileen R. Schwartz, Senior VP, Sr. Corporate Counsel US & Privacy Officer, Hill International, Inc.

Moderated by:
Paul S. Danner, Esq., Partner, Goldberg Segalla

Presented by:
Peter Hecht, Partner & Executive Vice President of Sales, Magna Legal Services

Learn more about utilizing trial graphics & tutorials for complex cases here.

Click here to view a list of more upcoming webinars & conferences.

Debriefing in Law: Important for Your Future Performance

debriefing in law

Many legal professionals are aware of the importance of doing research before selecting members of a jury. That’s why jury focus groups are so beneficial prior to voir dire preparation. Importantly, it can be just as beneficial talking to jurors after a trial has concluded. Specifically, debriefing jurors after a trial can help both jurors gain closure on a case as well as help lawyers by providing valuable feedback and suggestions that can be utilized in future cases.  Here is how debriefing the jurors works and why it’s can be so important.

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ClaimScout: What You Should Know About Social Media Surveillance

Research is a major part of any lawsuit, as having accurate facts on your side can make or break your case. So it stands to reason that the more information you can find out about a person, the better. When you consider that the vast majority of U.S. adults have a social media account — with 79 percent of internet users being on Facebook alone — it makes sense to look online for information you might not already have. If you don’t have the time or expertise to do this yourself, you can hire a company to perform social media surveillance for you. Here’s how this process works and ways it can benefit you.

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Trial Advice: Improve the Effectiveness of Witness Preparation

improve witness protection

Law firms spend hours doing research long before the average trial or deposition, but one detail that is often missed is witness preparation, an essential element of depositions and trials. After all, the impression a witness makes on the jurors is important, as it can affect their final decision on the case. This is not a good thing when the impression the jurors have is negative. Most witnesses have little or no experience testifying and training. Fortunately, witness preparation is available. This type of training strives to make sure witnesses are properly prepared for trial and deposition testimony. Here’s what you need to know about the importance of witness preparation and how Magna Legal Services can help with it.

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Why Machines Can’t Replace Human Court Reporters

Court reporting services have long been an essential part of legal proceedings. No matter the sharp questioning of counsel, the compelling testimony of witnesses or the detail of evidence examination, it is all for naught without someone there to record what happened. Court reporters are present at depositions, in courtroom trials and other forums to document vital information during a legal case.

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How Real-Time Court Reporting Saves Time and Money

Court reporting is the process of documenting the speech that occurs during legal proceedings, either in a courtroom or during depositions that are recorded outside of court. Court reporters record the words of defendants, lawyers, prosecutors and other people appearing in court in a written format, allowing legal teams to refer to the documents later to find out what transpired during the court hearing.

Traditionally, court reporters have used a shorthand form of language known as stenography to record court proceedings. After the court proceedings have been completed, court reporters can go back and translate it from shorthand into Standard English, although this process can take a long time.

Real-time court reporting uses technology to quickly translate court reporters’ shorthand into English. This speeds up the process of creating a written record of the court proceedings.

How Real-time Court Reporting Works

Some of the earliest machines to be used by court reporters were known as stenographs. Invented in 1830 and significantly updated in the early 20th century, a stenograph allows court reporters to record their shorthand notes very quickly. A stenograph contains fewer keys than a traditional keyboard and allows more than one key to be pressed at the same time. Court reporters have used stenographs for nearly two hundred years to create a record of court proceedings.

Real-time court reporting involves connecting a court reporter’s stenography machine to a computer. Using computer-aided transcription (CAT) technology, the computer can automatically translate the shorthand notes into a full English report.

Magna Legal Services uses real-time court reporting to ensure that lawyers always have accurate depositions to support their cases in court. Using the latest in reporting technology, along with an advanced online legal management service, Magna Legal Services allows lawyers to organize their depositions and other important legal files from anywhere in the world.

Cost Benefits of Real-time Court Reporting

One of the main benefits of real-time court reporting technology is that it is interactive, which means it allows you to make notes on a testimony. You can easily view previous parts of the testimony, which facilitates on-the-fly research. This can cut down on the overall research costs that your business faces.

Another key benefit of real-time court reporting technology is that it allows transcripts to be delivered very quickly, cutting down on the amount of time you spend waiting for the information you need. This makes the litigation process more efficient, which could lead to significant cost savings for your legal firm.

Magna Legal Vision takes real-time court reporting to the next level. This platform allows you to collect and organize video depositions using video teleconferencing and streaming services. This technology can save time and cut costs by reducing the need for people giving testimonies to physically travel to your office or the courtroom. The platform also offers multimedia features, in which witnesses can annotate exhibits during a deposition. These tools can be extremely powerful in many cases.

Advantages of Real-time Court Reporting

Real-time court reporting has many advantages. The most obvious advantage is the greater efficiency of the process, which allows you to gain access to reports much more quickly than would be possible if you had to wait for them to be translated by a human court reporter.

When you use the real-time court reporting services offered by Magna Legal Services, you gain access to an even greater range of benefits. In particular, Magna’s cloud-based Online Office platform which allows you to access and work with your deposition files no matter where in the world you are located or what kind of device you are using.

Some of the features Magna Legal Services Online Office offers include the following:

  • Deposition management:You can use the deposition request form to schedule depositions at times that suit everyone. You can specify the format you want the deposition to be recorded in, whether it’s a text file, CD or video report.
  • Calendar management:You can view and manage your deposition schedule for today, this week or the following month.
  • Document management:You can access all documents related to a case online through this cloud-based platform. You can review and print documents or share them with other members of your legal team.
  • Account management:You can manage your invoices and other important account information online.

Magna Legal Vision is another useful service offered by Magna Legal Services. This technology provides Magna clients with real-time access to their deposition and video footage.

Conclusion

Real-time court reporting offers many benefits to legal firms who want to provide the best possible service to their clients. To make the most of real-time court reporting, you need to use up-to-date technology to get the most accurate and timely reports of depositions, testimonials and other court proceedings.

To find out more about the real-time court reporting service offered by Magna Legal Services, get in touch with us. We are ready to explain the technology we use to capture testimonials and help you organize all the case-related documents you need to win cases for your clients. Contact us today to find out how our real-time court reporting services can help you.

How To Hire a Court Reporter

how to hire a court reporterCourt reporters offer an invaluable service for legal institutions and for attorneys who rely on accurate transcriptions of proceedings. It can be a challenging process to search for a court reporter, especially for legal professionals new to the process in a particular jurisdiction or who don’t know much about the venue. In the absence of a professional network you can rely on for a word-of-mouth referral, you have to use objective criteria to find the right person. Going to court can be a confusing time, there is a load of things that need to be sorted alongside getting a court reporter. For example you might need to use a process service (such as one provided by someone like the Colorado Springs Process Server).

Lawyers assess several key factors when deciding on a court reporter. This kind of analysis is essential, as the role of a court reporter is complex and attorneys need to rely on those services in order to safeguard the welfare of their clients. The welfare of clients is of the highest importance to attorneys like Bley & Evans, they need to make sure that everything going on, is happening in a fair and impartial environment to get the best result they can from the proceedings. Consider these criteria when searching for a new court reporter for your next deposition or trial.

Certifications and Training Matter

Court reporters provide the only record of depositions and trial proceedings. They document the gestures and actions of speakers using stenography equipment. At the conclusion of events, they edit for typographical errors, ensuring the record is accurate and reliable. However, a full-service legal service can provide more sophisticated services, like video depositions.

Because court reporters must have a general understanding of the legal environment, they are trained in legal terminology and procedures. Many states require court reporters to have a license. Additionally, most court reporters are members of the National Court Reporters Association, adhering to a code of ethics and committing to provide unbiased and accurate reporting. Magna court reporters are also experts in particular subject matter, meaning they’ll be up-to-date on all of the latest terminologies and issues regarding your particular field of law.

Hiring a trained and certified court reporter gives attorneys peace of mind that an important word won’t be missed or incorrectly transcribed. When a deposition is used in court or transcript used for an appeal, there will be no debate as to whether the court reporter made a mistake.

When searching for court reporters, ask about their training and confirm that they are NCRA certified. Certifications through the NCRA are verified independently and continuously updated. The organization provides continuing education programs and services to ensure its members are able to meet the high standards required of attorneys and courts across the country.

How Will Depositions Be Recorded?

Attorneys refer to legal records for varied kinds of information. Often, a written transcript can only reveal part of what’s important in a piece of testimony. Gestures, hesitations, body language and other visual cues are mostly missing from text-based transcription. Legal experts and layman observers agree that visual information is often crucial to gain a greater understanding of what was said and thereby the legal argument.

Video records offer additional insight and create another record of what transpired, particularly if cameras are placed at a variety of angles to get a full perspective. Advanced technology allows for real-time transcription of testimony that supplements the video recording, so attorneys can refer back to important places in the proceedings almost immediately.

Since securing a deposition and exhibits is a crucial part of court reporting, confirm the person you hire will get the records you need. MagnaLS, for example, provides both written and video depositions and offers camera shots from many angles so no important detail is missed. When depositions are presented to a jury or judge, those subtle cues can make the difference between winning or losing a case.

What Technology Solutions Do They Offer?

Court reporting has evolved significantly over the past several decades. The days of court reporters using shorthand to take down dialogue are over, although experienced court reporters may use an impressive range of skills in order to document all aspects of a proceeding.

As legal cases have become more complex, reporters have introduced advanced technology to ensure every detail is recorded for the benefit of the courts, attorneys and juries. This is essential in cases where there is a great deal of scientific evidence to analyze, if attorneys have to impeach witnesses or challenge amateur evidence like cell phone video.

Ask your prospective court reporters about the technology they are trained to use and have access to. Sophisticated technology offers a 360-degree perspective of a proceeding, including comprehensive video, audio recordings and written records. MagnaLS, for example, offers digital videography and a multi-camera perspective. Real-time exhibit and video deposition integration, as well as courtroom video playback, give attorneys essential tools to examine witnesses. For lawyers, it usually means having the competitive edge that can get the best results for clients.

After the session is complete, MagnaLS handles video digitization and transcript synchronization so you receive the optimal record of proceedings for use in later stages of the case.

Contact MagnaLS to Learn More

MagnaLS is committed to meeting high standards in legal services. Attorneys place a great deal of trust in our technology and personnel, a trust we do not take for granted. With a nationwide reach, we can find the right people to work your case in any part of the country as well as internationally.

We always welcome inquiries from prospective new clients interested in our work. For high-quality court reporting services, contact MagnaLS today!





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