Brain Lessons: How We Make an Appearance

With Valentine’s Day less than a week away, I am again trying to become a better, more romantic version of myself. It is the season for it. It started me thinking about poetry and, specifically, Shakespearean sonnets and the works of Lord Byron. The most famous poems from the two authors both start with the

BRAIN LESSONS: IT’S HOW ONE SAYS IT

Tremendous time and effort are spent on word choice – drafting the perfect motion in limine, opening statement, and/or closing argument.  However, it may be that the more time spent on how the ideas are delivered will enhance persuasion more than the words used. This is brought home in a new research paper, How The

BRAIN LESSONS: ATTRACTIVE ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS

I [Grant] discovered recently that Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, the hilarious movie about two con-men competing to swindle a rich heiress, was released on December 14th, 31 years ago.  You may recall the premise of the movie:  A dashing and debonair swindler, played by Michael Caine, gets into a winner-takes-all swindling battle for an heiress’s money

BRAIN LESSONS: A DOG IS A JUROR’S BEST FRIEND

In honor of national Adopt-A-Dog and Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog month, we will look at an interesting study on drug-dog evidence and mock-juror decision making, examining whether jurors would credit the alert of a drug-sniffing dog as a *sufficient condition* for guilt in a trafficking case.  The researchers in this study tested how much credit mock jurors would

BRAIN LESSONS: THE POWER OF STORY-TELLING

After 300+ exonerations, and the attraction to forensics engendered by television series, one might think that the recovery of DNA at a crime scene – DNA that does *not* match the defendant – would quickly lead to acquittal. The contrary has occurred, however, particularly where a ‘good story’ to ‘explain’ the foreign DNA is told.

BRAIN LESSONS: THE PERSUASIVE VOICE

I [Grant] have been teaching again in my Advanced Trial Advocacy class on Patsy Rodenburg’s book, The Second Circle, and decided this month that I would dovetail a bit with Jules’s excellent post last month on how the voice persuades.[1]  While this month’s post isn’t necessarily about new research, my hope is that you find