Media’s Impact on Jurors In this New Age

From: Litigation Insights

This information is from Litigation Insights. This is Part 1.

Your trial graphics do not live in a vacuum.  Their success is based solely on their effectiveness with the audience – your jurors.  Of course, no two jurors are exactly alike; their needs and wants are a moving target.  So how can our graphics possibly meet the communication expectations of every juror? 

One valuable way to address the communicative power of your graphics across the broad spectrum of jurors is to consider jurors within their “Generational” divisions:  namely, “Baby Boomers” (the eldest), “Gen X,” “Gen Y” (also known as “Millennials”), and “Gen Z” (the youngest).  As with any social science topic, there are exceptions and overlaps, but these divisions nevertheless offer numerous clues about the behavioral and perceptual differences across generations.

For years a trial attorney’s most substantial communication concerns involved simply conveying his or her messages clearly and keeping a jury focused in a general sense.  Baby Boomers in particular are adept at (and used to) single, extended interactions or conversations.  These jurors might sit in the box thinking about picking up their kids or grabbing groceries afterwards, but lawyers were still competing, for the most part, only with a juror’s internal dialogue.  Jurors were more attuned to what might be called “Matlock moments,” in which the drama revolved around the attorney’s spoken word.

When Gen X came along, information dissemination went through a major period of transition.  Gen Xers grew up with television as a household staple, and later, the fledgling Internet suddenly exposed them to an enormous and ever-expanding amount of information; with it came email, web culture, shorthand text, image-heavy communication outside of TV – well, you get the idea.  The Internet’s breadth, depth, and speed have continued to grow exponentially.

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