Trial consulting is the use of social scientists, particularly psychologists and communication experts, and economists, to aid attorneys in the presentation of a criminal trial or civil lawsuit. Modern trial consultants help prepare witnesses, improve arguments and rhetoric, and select juries.[1]

Although traditionally sophisticated jury selection methods were a mainstay of trial consultants, they now "place far less emphasis on jury selection than they did in the past",[2] and many in the field now prefer the term "trial consulting" to "jury consulting".[3] Since many cases are now settled out of court or decided by arbitration, some trial consulting firms have diversified to include mock mediation and arbitration sessions.[4] This is also the reason that many jury/trial consultants are now referring to themselves as "litigation consultants".[5]

The traditional mainstays of trial consulting remain important. They include witness preparation, shadow juries, mock trials, focus groups, community attitude surveys, and expert assistance with trial presentation.[6]


  1. ^ Hutson, Matthew (March–April 2007). "Unnatural Selection". Psychology Today. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  2. ^ Kressel, Neil J. & Kressel, Dorit F. (2004). Stack and Sway: The New Science of Jury Consulting. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. pp. 86–87. ISBN 9780813342412. OCLC 55858096.
  3. ^ Strier, Franklin & Shestowsky, Donna (1999). "Profiling the Profilers: A Study of the Trial Consulting Profession, Its Impact on Trial Justice, and What, if Anything, to Do About It". Wisconsin Law Review. pp. 450–51.
  4. ^ Shapiro, Ari (June 9, 2005). "Jury Consultants and Arbitration of Civil Lawsuits". Day to Day. National Public Radio. Retrieved July 14, 2006.
  5. ^ Posey, Amy J. & Wrightsman, Lawrence S. (2005). Trial Consulting. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195183092. OCLC 819414718.[page needed]
  6. ^ Prosise, Theodore O. "Shadow Juries: A Unique Advantage in Civil Trials". Litigation News. American Bar Association Section of Litigation. Retrieved December 16, 2015.

Further readingEdit

  • Strier, Franklin (1999). "Whither Trial Consulting? Issues and Projections". Law and Human Behavior. 23 (1): 93. doi:10.1023/a:1022378824280.
  • Smith, R. Craig (2006). Championship Law: Seven Keys to Winning Performance in the Courtroom. Victoria, BC: Trafford Publishing. ISBN 9781412093729. OCLC 72981787.