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Gender Bias in the Courtroom: Perception or Reality?

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 61 minutes
Recorded Date: July 23, 2019
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  • The historical and recent findings of social-science research on how jurors perceive women attorneys
  • How presentation style can help or hinder the effects of gender bias in the courtroom
  • How best to overcome the challenges of being a female member of the trial team
  • The benefits of a diverse trial team
  • Strategies for capitalizing on the strengths of being a woman in the courtroom
Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: July 23, 2019


How does the gender of trial lawyers and witnesses influence juror perceptions? In discussing the latest research on gender bias, our panel will cover how gender plays out in the courtroom and the jury room, as well as offer practical offensive and defensive tips for handling a variety of situations. Panelists will also discuss the intersection between gender and race and sexual orientation and how that influences perceptions. You won't want to miss this program as it summarizes the research on perceptions of women trial lawyers and women expert and the challenges they face in the courtroom.

This program was recorded on July 23rd, 2019.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Pete Rowland, Ph.D.

Chariman Emeritus
Litigation Insights

With more than 25 years experience in trial consulting, Dr. Rowland is an expert in jury research, case assessment and advocacy strategy. In 1994 Pete founded the firm and over the years, he has advised trial lawyers in hundreds of high-exposure civil cases, specializing in mass torts, employment, product liability, intellectual property and insurance coverage cases. His focus on theme and story development led to his development of jury research models that have been particularly effective with assisting counsel develop their case strategies. One such model focuses on early case assesment. It is called “Insights Focus Group Research.” This research helps clients develop an approach that is built upon juror input rather than assumptions. In essence, the information gleaned from the IFG provides the building blocks to refining themes and strategies for not only presenting the case at trial, but for the discovery process leading up to trial.

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Christina Marinakis, JD, Psy.D.

Shareholder/Director of Jury Research
Litigation Insights

Dr. Marinakis has 18 years of jury research, study, and applied practice in law and psychology. With homes in Los Angeles and Baltimore, Christina has assisted trial counsel during jury selection and with daily trial monitoring in venues across the country, helping clients obtain favorable outcomes in notoriously difficult jurisdictions including New York, Baltimore, Miami, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.

Christina draws from her backgrounds in law, psychology, and jury research to draft juror questionnaires, voir dire questions, jury instructions, and verdict forms. Through her experience conducting focus groups, mock trials, and shadow juries, she has analyzed hundreds of mock jurors, in addition to interviewing actual jurors post-verdict. Christina regularly assists counsel in developing and implementing trial themes throughout voir dire, opening statements, and witness testimony, and she is particularly skilled at translating legal concepts to juror vernacular. Her case experience includes product liability, transportation, antitrust litigation, class action, legal and medical malpractice, contract disputes, patents, securities, fraud, trade secrets, employment discrimination, wage and hour, toxic tort and criminal work for both prosecutors and defendants.

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Hailyn J. Chen

Co-Managing Partner
Munger Tolles & Olson LLP

Hailyn Chen is a Munger, Tolles & Olson litigation partner and Co-Managing Partner of the firm. She focuses her practice on complex business litigation, white collar criminal defense and government investigations.

Ms. Chen frequently represents higher education institutions in a range of litigation matters and investigations. In 2018, Ms. Chen was named among California’s “Top Women Lawyers” by the Daily Journal and “Most Influential Woman Attorney” by the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Ms. Chen has significant experience in preparing complex commercial litigation and class actions for trial, representing companies in various sectors including energy, financial services, entertainment and technology.

Ms. Chen has counseled higher education clients in internal and government investigations, crisis management, criminal prosecutions and ongoing compliance issues related to government claims and federal grants. She is a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) and has developed a broad understanding of the unique management, operational and regulatory challenges universities face.

Ms. Chen also has extensive experience representing universities in their handling of sexual misconduct matters, including in administrative writ proceedings and Title IX suits for monetary damages. She counsels clients on compliance with Title IX, the Clery Act and FERPA and recommends changes, where appropriate, to policies and procedures for investigating and resolving sexual misconduct allegations. Ms. Chen guides clients through crisis management and helps them develop internal and external communication strategies with respect to these challenging issues.

Ms. Chen has significant experience in leading internal investigations, representing the company itself in some instances or the independent, special and/or audit committee in others. These investigations have covered a wide range of issues, including alleged financial misconduct, alleged misuse of government grants and university resources, and alleged conflict of interest, nonprofit tax law, and False Claims Act violations.

Ms. Chen was appointed by the California Supreme Court to a three-year term on the State Bar of California’s governing body, the Board of Trustees. She also co-chairs the ABA Section of Litigation’s Woman Advocate Committee.

Ms. Chen earned her undergraduate degree from Yale University, where she was one of the first female coxswains to lead the Yale varsity men’s crew and was awarded the MVP award in 1996.

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