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Jury Selection and Jury Argument in Divisive Cases in Our Divisive Times

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 64 minutes
Recorded Date: November 09, 2017
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1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
  • Juries: Then and Now
  • Focus Groups & Jury Consultants
  • Venire Law
  • Jury Questionnaire
  • Voir Dire/Jury Selection
  • Challenges for Cause
  • Trial Strategy
  • Othe Issues
Runtime: 1 hour and 4 minutes
Recorded: November 9, 2017


Learn how to handle jury selection and frame arguments in controversial cases. This program will explore strategies for jury selection and argument framing in hot-button cases in a sharply divided country.

Our distinguished panel will discuss how advocates can negotiate these minefields through: the use of focus groups, jury selection, Voir dire, Batson arguments, proposed motions in limine, jury instructions, and objections during witness examination.

This program was recorded on November 9th, 2017.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Judge Robert M. Dow Jr.

U.S. District Judge
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

On December 6, 2007, Robert M. Dow, Jr. was sworn in as United States District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, in Chicago. Judge Dow was nominated by President George W. Bush, with the support of United States Senators Dick Durbin and Barack Obama, and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate on November 13, 2007. Judge Dow has been appointed by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. to serve as a member of the Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules of the United States Judicial Conference. He also is a member of the Rules Committee of the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the court's liaison to the Pro Se Assistance Program Advisory Board. He has sat by designation on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth and Seventh Circuits.

Prior to his service on the federal bench, Judge Dow was an associate and partner at Mayer Brown LLP. While in private practice, he was a member of Mayer Brown's Supreme Court and Appellate Litigation and General Litigation practice areas. Between 2000 and 2006, he served as a director and officer of the Appellate Lawyers Association of Illinois, including a term as ALA President in 2005-06. He also participated as a Fellow in the Leadership Greater Chicago program in 2003-04. Dow is a contributing author of BNA's FEDERAL APPELLATE PRACTICE treatise, which was published in 2008, and he has authored or co-authored several articles, including "Arguing for Changes in the Law," which appeared in the Winter 1999 issue of Litigation.

Before joining Mayer Brown, Dow served as a law clerk to Judge Joel M. Flaum of the United States Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. In 1987, Dow received a bachelor's degree in history and political science from Yale University summa cum laude with distinction in both majors and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Between 1987 and 1990, he attended the University of Oxford in England on a Rhodes Scholarship, receiving both masters and doctorate degrees in International Relations and earning three varsity letters for basketball. He then attended Harvard Law School, graduating cum laude in 1993, serving as an editor on two law journals, and receiving an award for excellence in undergraduate teaching at Harvard College.

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LaVerne O. Morris, MPS

JuryThink LLC

La Verne Morris is the founder of JuryThink. She has been a senior jury consultant for the past 15 years. With more than 20 years of experience in research design and conducting quantitative and qualitative research, large and small group analysis and thematic strategy, La Verne is an expert in developing and conducting all phases of jury research including mock trials, focus groups, and juror profiling. She works closely with clients to develop ways to incorporate research findings in trial strategies and tactics. Her extensive knowledge of jury decision-making is more than theoretical; La Verne spends a substantial portion of her consulting practice in the courtroom, working with trial teams on applying the case themes and strategy derived from research.

La Verne is highly sought after for witness communication training. She is regularly called on to prepare CEOs, corporate managers, and witnesses for whom English is not their native language.

Prior to working exclusively as a jury consultant, La Verne worked as a political consultant, conducting political polling, focus groups and public opinion research. In this capacity, she provided research based political strategy to candidates seeking local, state and national offices. She also served as a consultant to numerous social issue campaigns and referenda, political action committees and think tanks.

La Verne earned her Masters of Political Studies in political management from the Graduate School of Political Management, George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where she was named a Sloan Scholar. She received her Artium Baccalaureus in politics from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA. She lives in Chicago’s Loop area.

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Eric L. Andrews

McCoy Leavitt Laskey LLC

Prior to joining the firm, Attorney Andrews practiced at a Milwaukee area insurance defense firm where he generally litigated personal injury, property damage, premises liability, construction, civil rights and municipal law matters. There, he first-chaired two jury trials to verdict (Outagamie and Waukesha Counties), tried multiple small claims matters before court commissioners and small claims judges, and served as the Assistant Village Attorney for the Village of Shorewood, Wisconsin. He has successfully obtained summary judgment in multiple matters as well.

Attorney Andrews is a 2011 graduate of Marquette University Law School. While at Marquette Law, he served as a paralegal and law clerk for a Milwaukee area insurance defense firm and was a member of the Marquette Law’s Black Law Student Association. He has served on the Wisconsin Association of African American Lawyers' (“WAAL”) Board of Directors since 2012 and was WAAL President for the 2014-2015 calendar year. Attorney Andrews was recently selected to the Wisconsin Super Lawyers Magazine’s 2016 Rising Stars list and was also recently appointed to the Wisconsin Defense Counsel Amicus Committee.

Attorney Andrews is a member of the American Bar Association, Defense Research Institute, Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association, Milwaukee Bar Association, State Bar of Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Defense Counsel. In 2015, he was appointed to serve on the Board of Directors for the Milwaukee Kickers Soccer Club. He previously volunteered with YMCA Sponsor-A-Scholar Mentorship Program, a program aimed at potential first generation college students. His mentee is currently a sophomore at Marquette University.

Attorney Andrews currently serves as a Governor (District 2) on the State Bar Board of Governors, on the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Diversity Inclusion and Oversight Committee, and as a Board of Directors Member of the Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation (WisSTAF). He was recently inducted as a Fellow into the Fellows of Wisconsin Law Foundation.

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