The Science of Attorney Advocacy: How Courtroom Behavior Affects Jury Decision Making

Pages: 298
Item #: 4318102
ISBN: 978-1-4338-1098-5
List Price: $49.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $39.95
Copyright: 2012
Format: Hardcover
Availability: In Stock
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For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories


Successful advocacy approaches are essential for the practice of law. Lawyers, law professors, judges, and other legal commentators have offered numerous recommendations for how trial lawyers can persuade juries, including techniques in verbal and nonverbal communication, attorney demeanor, and so forth. These recommendations have been put into trial practice handbooks and are frequently taught in law schools as part of the trial advocacy curriculum. However, they often rely on popular assumptions or intuition rather than social and behavioral science. Research is needed to differentiate intuition and speculation from scientific proof of efficacy.

This book fills this critical gap by reviewing the scientific support for popular advocacy recommendations. It first summarizes trial commentators' recommendations, then reviews the scientific support for these recommendations, and finally evaluates the recommendations in light of the scientific support. Research is culled from not only trial and simulated trial settings, but also other social and behavioral settings. Topics include attorney demeanor, verbal and nonverbal communications, the attorney-client relationship, and storytelling (narrative techniques).

This book will appeal to researchers in psychology, communications, linguistics, and other social sciences, as well as trial commentators and practicing attorneys.

Table of Contents


  1. Introduction
  2. Attorney Demeanor
  3. Attorney Verbal Communications
  4. Attorney Paralinguistic Communications
  5. Attorney Kinesic Communications
  6. Attorney–Client Relationship
  7. Attorney Storytelling
  8. Conclusion



About the Authors

Author Bios

Jessica D. Findley, JD, PhD, is law clerk to the Honorable Christopher Staring, Pima County, Arizona Juvenile Court. Her scholarly interests focus on the use of social science research and theory to understand and improve civil and criminal law.

Bruce D. Sales, PhD, JD, is the Virginia L. Roberts Professor of Criminal Justice and director of graduate studies in the department of criminal justice at Indiana University, Bloomington.

His recent books include Courtroom Modifications for Child Witnesses: Law and Science in Forensic Evaluations (with S. R. Hall, 2008); Sex Offending: Causal Theories to Inform Research, Prevention, and Treatment (with J. D. Stinson & J. D. Becker, 2008); Scientific Jury Selection (with J. D. Lieberman, 2007); Criminal Profiling: Developing an Effective Science and Practice (with S. J. Hicks, 2006; Italian translation, 2009); and Experts in Court: Reconciling Law, Science, and Professional Knowledge (with D. W. Shuman, 2005; Korean translation, 2009).

He is the first editor of the journals Law and Human Behavior and Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, as well as a fellow of the APA and the Association for Psychological Science. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute and twice served as president of the American Psychology-Law Society (Division 41 of APA).

He received the Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology and Law from the American Psychology-Law Society, the Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Public Service from APA, and an honorary doctor of science degree from the City University of New York for being the "founding father of forensic psychology as an academic discipline."

Reviews & Awards
Psychologists with a forensic specialty should refer to this book because it will benefit them with deliberating with attorneys and preparing for courtroom testifying. On a more general level, reading this book would be a worthwhile pursuit for anyone interested in methods of social persuasion, information processing, group dynamics, and communication science.
New England Psychologist