Trial Consulting

Trial Consulting

Trial Consulting

Trial Consulting

Synopsis

In its roughly 25 years of existence, the trial consulting profession has grown dramatically in membership, recognition, and breadth of practice. What began as a small activist group of social scientists volunteering their expertise to assist in the defense of Vietnam War protestors has evolved into a diverse set of professionals from a range of educational and professional backgrounds.

In spite of such enormous growth, the work of trial consultants has gone largely unexamined. Trial Consulting takes an in-depth look at the primary activities of trial consultants, including witness preparation, focus groups and mock trials, jury selection, change of venue surveys, and attorney presentation style. It also examines the profession's struggle to define itself, resisting certification and licensure requirements and settling instead for a set of practice standards. The authors draw upon empirical and other scholarly work in the social sciences, recommended "best practices" from trial lawyers, and the written and spoken recommendations and reflections of the trial consultants themselves. Addressing a broad spectrum of topics ranging from handwriting analysis to medical malpractice cases, they also suggest reforms for improving the profession and the efficacy of the trial consultant in the courtroom. The result is a critical analysis of what trial consulting truly adds to, and detracts from, the administration of justice.

This book is an indispensable guide for practicing and aspiring trial consultants as well as the judges, attorneys, and psychologists who work with them. Trial Consulting provides a thought-provoking statement on the state of the profession, and students and professionals alike will benefit from the challenges it offers.

Excerpt

Ronald Roesch, Senior Editor

This book series is sponsored by the American Psychology-Law Society (APLS). APLS is an interdisciplinary organization devoted to scholarship, practice, and public service in psychology and law. Its goals include advancing the contributions of psychology to the understanding of law and legal institutions through basic and applied research; promoting the education of psychologists in matters of law and the education of legal personnel in matters of psychology; and informing the psychological and legal communities and the general public of current research, educational, and service activities in the field of psychology and law. APLS membership includes psychologists from the academic research and clinical practice communities as well as members of the legal community. Research and practice are represented in both the civil and criminal legal arenas. APLS has chosen Oxford University Press as a strategic partner because of its commitment to scholarship, quality, and the international dissemination of ideas. These strengths will help APLS reach our goal of educating the psychology and legal professions and the general public about important developments in the fields of psychology and law. The book series will reflect the diversity of the fields of psychology and law by publishing works on a broad range of topics. Books currently in production provide analyses and reviews in the areas of the death penalty, trial consulting, and civil litigation.

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