9 Jan 2024 03:00

50. Persuasion is an Inside Job, with Dominic Gianna

Cognitive bias is a barrier that lawyers must overcome in court—and it’s not just biases of the jurors they must consider, but those, too, of the judge, opposing counsel, expert witnesses, and even one’s own self. New Orleans trial legend Dominic Gianna returns to May the Record Reflect to talk about how persuasion science can help you clear the tricky bias barrier. He presents the five most consequential cognitive biases to trial lawyers, the impact each has on fact finders, and suggests how you can connect with a diversity of jurors in the post-truth era. Topics

4:08 What is cognitive bias?

6:55 Five common cognitive biases

7:35 Confirmation bias

10:40 Anchoring bias

13:31 Hindsight bias

18:00 Availability bias

24:48 Dom’s mantras for helping jurors process information

25:35 Affinity bias

28:52 Stupid lawyer tricks

32:18 Impact of our own biases

34:36 Biases from the bench

39:42 Appealing to a panel of judges

42:24 Expert witnesses bias impact on testimony, interpretation of evidence

44:09 Cognitive biases of opposing counsel

47:06 Persuasion in the post-truth era

57:51 Signoff questions



“Jurors don’t vote for the evidence. They vote for their views, and so as advocates, we have the obligation to our clients to try to understand those views. Where did those views come from? Where are they based? What attitudes, beliefs, and values, led these people, this person—this particular person—to a belief system that is so strong that he or she will ignore information that seemingly contradicts that confirmation bias?” Dominic Gianna



Dominic Gianna (LinkedIn)

Deposition Skills and Trial Skills: New Orleans (courses)

“Give ’em the Ol’ Razzle Dazzle (podcast episode)

“The Secrets of Persuasive Legal Storytelling,” with David Mann (podcast episode)

“Off Broadway and Into Court,” with Kevin Newbury and Kate Douglas (podcast episode)


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