The Litigation Psychology Podcast  - Episode 33

The importance of attorney credibility

CSI - Courtroom Sciences Inc

On this episode of The Litigation Psychology Podcast, Dr. Lorie Sicafuse and Dr. Steve Wood discuss the topic of attorney credibility. Dr. Wood has researched attorney credibility for a number of years and shares his insights on the importance of the credibility of both plaintiff and defense attorneys to jurors during the litigation process. They discuss what jurors see that makes them believe that an attorney is or is not credible, what factors they like and don't like to see from an attorney, and what attorneys can do to be seen as more credible by jurors.  




Podcast summary:


Dr. Lorie Sicafuse

Welcome everyone. My name is Lorie Sicafuse and I'm a Litigation Consultant with Courtroom Sciences and today I am joined by Dr. Steve Wood, one of my colleagues and another Litigation Consultant at Courtroom Sciences. This podcast today is going to focus on attorney credibility and Steve here is an expert on this. Steve, you've been researching attorney credibility for how long now?

Dr. Steve Wood

Thanks for having me on, Lorie. Yeah, I'd say it's been about 15 going on 16 years that I've been doing research on attorney credibility. Across the various topics that I've looked at since I've started doing research, it's just always been the one that's stood out. It's always been the one that's been the most interesting to me.

Dr. Lorie Sicafuse

And to be clear, what aspects of an attorney are you referring to when you talk about credibility; what does that mean exactly?

Dr. Steve Wood

So there's a ton of different variations as far as the way that people define credibility, but when I'm referring to it, I'm referring to it as how the scientific literature looks at it, and that's really just looking at two separate aspects of an attorney's performance. The first one being expertise and that's the degree in which the audience perceives the information to be valid. Are you someone who can give valid information? Are you giving accurate information? And then the second one is trustworthiness. And that's really the idea that are you someone who's able to give information that's accurate and believable in such a way that individuals think that they're not being tricked and that you believe what you're actually saying? And there's talk too about likability as a construct of credibility. And we hear this often from attorneys where they say, I'm not really concerned about whether or not the jurors like me. I don't need the jurors to like me. I just need them to find in my favor. And really there's some truth to that because credibility and likability are separate. And that you could be a likable attorney and not viewed credibly, but you could also be a credible attorney who's not liked. So it's really two independent constructs.

Dr. Lorie Sicafuse

Okay, that makes sense. And I want to talk more about likeability later, but I want to know, you said that you've been researching this topic for 15 years and a little bit about how you got interested in it. What was kind of the first wave of research that you did on this and how has it evolved?

Dr. Steve Wood

So the first wave was when I was an undergraduate student, I was looking to get some additional research credit or really just some additional research experience. And one of my undergraduate professors at Central Michigan University, a man by the name of Dr. Terry Libkuman, he was actually in the process of validating an instrument that could be used to evaluate attorney performance. And as a kid I really wanted to be an attorney; it was something I actually wanted to do. And once I got into psychology and realized the field of litigation consulting in which I could both help attorneys and deal with psychology, I was all in. It was something that it was just the best of both worlds for me and it was a win/win and I wanted to pursue it as far as I could.

Dr. Lorie Sicafuse

Can you tell us a little bit more about that instrument?

Dr. Steve Wood

Sure. Yeah. The instrument, it's actually called the Behavioral Assessment of Trial Attorneys instrument or the BATA, and what we did in the lab is initially they had asked 29 trial attorneys, they sent out a survey and asked them to rank all of these different aspects of their job, whether it be knowledge, skills, abilities, daily work activities. They asked them to rank what were the top 10 most important things of their actual job, and that was what made up the final instrument. And those 10 items were persuasion, critical listening, oral expression, physical presence, interpersonal interaction, speech clarity, organization, adaptability, synthesis, and social perceptiveness. I won't go into detail and as far as what each one means, but I'd be happy to, if anyone who's listening to this podcast wants to get more information as far as the definitions of what these 10 are, I'd be happy to share any information on the instrument with them if they send me an email (swood@courtroomsciences.com).

Dr. Lorie Sicafuse

Are these in any particular order or are some of these components more important than others? Does it depend on the case or….?

Dr. Steve Wood

Yeah, that's a good question. They're actually not in any particular order. One of the things that I've done in my research really is to look at whether or not the instrument is valid or whether or not the instrument has predictability as far as the elements of the instrument predicting outcomes of cases and what I want to, one of the things I really want to do is I want to go back and I want to do what you're asking about is whether or not there's certain elements that jump out more or certain elements that are more predictive to the actual outcome of the case. And I feel like that would be influential for attorneys because if you didn't have enough time to go through all the 10 items and make yourself strong in all the 10 items, it would be nice to know what are the key areas that you need to focus on.

Dr. Steve Wood

So as of now, I don't have any hard data that shows one way or the other, whether or not any of these elements are more influential. But really I would argue that they're kind of a total package together. If you look at it from a statistics standpoint that they all kind load together. Meaning if you were to take all of these different elements, put them together and look to see how many different things they're measuring. They come together and show that they're really measuring one aspect. So that's why I've actually in my research used the instrument to develop and make attorneys either more credible or less credible as just an overall construct of credibility.

Dr. Lorie Sicafuse

That makes sense. Now have you conducted studies using this instrument?

Dr. Steve Wood

Yeah, I've done three studies just in the academic field, two of them in the criminal realm and then one in the civil realm for my doctoral dissertation.

 

Dr. Lorie Sicafuse

So, what were your findings?

Dr. Steve Wood

The findings that we found across the board from all the different various case type is that attorney credibility is absolutely one of the most influential pieces of the case. And at Courtroom Sciences, we do a lot in the civil litigation realm so I'm going to talk more about those than really about the criminal. And what we found on the civil side is in a toxic tort case, the plaintiff attorney credibility was one of the most impactful factors in the case outcomes. In that case, there was a woman who had developed ovarian cancer from consuming tainted water that was coming from a chemical plant. And then the question that individuals had to answer was whether or not the plant was responsible for causing this woman's cancer.

Dr. Steve Wood

And then how likely was it that the chemicals that leaked into the water were what had caused her cancer? It was so, it was not only just are they liable, what's the likelihood of causation? And then we looked at damage awards as well. And what we found across all of those was that plaintiff attorney credibility was the key factor in each one of those verdict outcomes. And what we actually found, which was one of the most interesting things, at least in my opinion, was that the credibility of the plaintiff attorney really had an influence on the amount of damages that were received by the plaintiff. If the plaintiff attorney was viewed as more credible, then the plaintiff received a higher sum of money then if the plaintiff attorney was viewed as less credible. So I thought it was really interesting to see how much the attorney credibility can play a factor in either causing their client who receive a large sum of money or actually hindering their client, having their client not receive as much money as that they may or may not be entitled to.

Dr. Lorie Sicafuse

Oh, that's fascinating. What about the credibility of the defense attorneys?

Dr. Steve Wood

What we found was that the credibility to the defense attorneys didn't play as big a part in the actual outcome of the case as plaintiff attorneys. And the way I looked at it was that the burden of proof was on the plaintiff. So jurors were appearing to focus more on the plaintiff attorney to see whether or not they were bringing a legitimate case or whether or not they were actually presenting themselves as credible versus looking at whether or not the defense attorney had a legitimate case or whether or not the defense attorney was credible in their presentation. But we did find there is actually an interaction between the plaintiff attorney credibility and the defense attorney credibility as it relates to liability verdicts. It wasn't necessarily for causation verdicts or for damage verdicts, but for liability verdicts, there absolutely was interaction between them and really what it was was that credible defense attorneys can raise the stakes and essentially raised the onus on the plaintiff attorney to be credible.

Dr. Steve Wood

So if you had a credible defense attorney and a non-credible plaintiff attorney, the chances of having a liability verdict were a lot smaller than if you had a credible defense attorney and a credible plaintiff attorney. Really the take home message is, although the defense attorney doesn't necessarily have a direct impact on the outcome of the case via their credibility, they can actually put the onus on the plaintiff's attorney to be credible. And if the plaintiff attorney fails to show that they're credible, then it's severely going to impact their client in their case in a negative fashion.

Dr. Lorie Sicafuse

It sounds like it's equally important for both. It just operates a little differently. Now, and that's your academic research and some of your dissertation research and then you also actually did research on this in your role as a Litigation Consultant, correct?

Dr. Steve Wood

Yeah, and all of the mock trials that we do, I tend to get off a questionnaire at the very end, ask jurors to rate the attorneys on various matters about how well they were prepared, whether or not they connected with the jurors, how persuasive they found their arguments to be, and then one of the final questions is just a general overall, how credible do you find this attorney to be? And what I'm also asking too is if the attorney was credible, what did they do that made them seem credible? Or if they weren't credible, what do they do that hurt their credibility? And I want to get past the idea of looking at it from a raw data perspective and I want to look at it from more of a qualitative side to pull out what is it that these constant factors that we're seeing across jurors, these things that attorneys are doing that jurors don't like to see as well as the ones that they do like to see.

Dr. Lorie Sicafuse

And what are those things? What are some of those things that jurors really don't like?

Dr. Steve Wood

One of the things they don't like is a lack of proof, which makes sense, right? I mean, jurors expect credible proof and they don't want to feel tricked. And that's one of the things you and I see quite often is that jurors in cases are always questioning whether or not they're being told the truth. And I know that I won’t say anything that's going to shock the legal community, but jurors tend not to trust attorneys. And that's because they know that attorneys are advocates and they know a lot of times they're telling the information that supports their side while leaving out information that might hurt their case and jurors are always having their antennas up about potentially being tricked or potentially not having the full picture, and that makes them nervous that they're going to get something pulled over on them and they don't want to be made to feel stupid. And if they don't like either side or they don't think either side actually brought strong proof, then they tend to criticize the attorney.

Dr. Lorie Sicafuse

The lack of proof thing is something that you and I are both seeing more and more; is that because the burden of proof rests with the plaintiff, but still jurors are expecting the defense to prove that they didn't do anything wrong.

Dr. Steve Wood

Yeah, and they go through it all the time in voir dire. The defense attorneys, a lot of times when they're questioning prospective jurors, they'll say to them, you understand we don't have the burden of proof and we can just sit here and not say anything at all. What are your thoughts about that? And a lot of times you'll get people that'll say that they don't think it's fair, but in other instances you'll have people that say they don't have a problem with the fact that the defense doesn't have to prove their case. But when it comes down to it, we can see that jurors absolutely expect defense to put on an argument and to argue, here are the seven different points about why we're not liable. Therefore the, the lack of proof really applies to both sides when we're discussing this.

 

Dr. Lorie Sicafuse

What else don't they like?

Dr. Steve Wood

They don't like the lack of trustworthiness. And that really goes back to what I said before about jurors are always kind of on the fence about whether or not they want to believe anything from an attorney. And one of the things I heard from a patent attorney a while back, and I think it rings true, is that he said that what is important is that jurors come to the conclusion that the attorney believes what he or she is saying, not necessarily that the jurors understand what the attorney's saying. And just the fact that the attorney's presenting the facts in such a way that it comes across as trustworthy and that they truly believe their side. They truly believe that their client's not liable or on the perspective of a plaintiff, they truly believe that their client is injured and it's not really just a money grab.

Dr. Steve Wood

One of the other ones jurors talks about a lot was the lack of humility and as we know, we've seen this, that there's really a fine line between confidence and cockiness. If you cross that line into where you're going to cockiness, it can be perceived extremely negative by jurors. Where a lot of times attorneys may or may not understand is that they're really the de facto representative of their client, so if they're going to be perceived as cocky or arrogant or dismissive, it's going to bleed over onto their client. If you think about a corporate defense case where you have a defense attorney who is a little bit less charismatic or a little bit more cold, you might come across as arrogant and then jurors believe going forward that the defendant, the corporation is arrogant and cocky because it becomes really difficult for the attorney to get up there and try to give the good company story when they've already really tainted that picture based upon their actions.

Dr. Lorie Sicafuse

Right, and I think with jurors, there's just so much that they don't understand and of course they want to focus on what they can comprehend, and they definitely want to be persuaded. But it sounds like they're almost hyper-focused on some of these aspects of attorney demeanor, trustworthiness and character because those are the things that they're used to judging and that's what's easier for them to interpret. Would you agree with that?

Dr. Steve Wood

I would say I'd agree with it. It's one of those pieces of information that's readily available to jurors. You have them constantly scanning the environment for pieces of information and facts in the case and the attorney credibility, and the way witnesses present, the way that whoever's sitting at counsel's table or the corporate rep, all of these things are pieces of information that they're going to use to assimilate into the decision making process. Now, whether or not they can articulate it is a different subject. There was a study done a while ago where they looked at the way that jurors would deliberate and identified all the different pieces of information that jurors used while they were making their decision. And this was actually done to see whether or not jurors focused much on the attorneys. And what they found was that jurors weren't focusing much on the aspects of the attorneys when making their decisions.

Dr. Steve Wood

But part of the discussion and the caveat, and I absolutely agree with it, was that a lot of times we make decisions based upon information that we can articulate. So, a lot of times, let's say for example, if we go to the polls and we vote on something. And we might be thinking that we're voting on one issue, but we were actually probably influenced by several different things that if we really sat down and talked to someone about what influenced us, we might not be able to actually point out all the different reasons that actually factored into our decision making. And it's really just that they don't come to the forefront of the mind at the time or they're not easily articulated. So, I think that really to your point is that jurors are noticing things about attorneys and demeanor and all these other things. It's playing into their psyche and whether or not they could actually tell you after the fact that they made a decision because of the attorney's behavior is something that they may or may not be able to do.

Dr. Lorie Sicafuse

Like you said, they couldn't say after the fact that they're doing it, but it does. And that's just crazy that perceptions of attorneys can affect how jurors interpret all of the evidence and testimony that's subsequently presented. So one of the things that I find that IP attorneys often struggle with is making sure that jurors comprehend them, but also to avoid the perception that they're talking down to jurors. You know, a lot of times we have to encourage them to be clear, to talk slower, to use different terminology, and those cases are so complex and to really present information in a way that's comprehensible the jurors. And then there's always the concern among IP attorneys, that well, if they do that, if they go too far, it's going to look like they're talking down to jurors or you know, that they appear cocky. You had any experience with that?

Dr. Steve Wood

I have had the experience that you're talking about and you know, the way I think about it, and I think the best way for an attorney to think about it is it's really all about the presentation. If jurors feel talked down to, if there's been some reason that they should feel to talk down to, whether it was the attorney's approach or the way they explained it, their demeanor, their expression. I think a lot of that really bears out from when jurors don't like attorneys or they don't find the attorney to be credible. Then when the attorneys say something, it's as if they're talking down to them. But another juror might not think the exact same thing. So, it's really a personal perception issue where it's something on the juror side that they're taking issue with. But to your point, you could to do something though and not feel talked down to and it has to be genuine. That's another thing that we looked at and jurors want attorneys to portray as some level of genuineness. So, if you genuinely have a care for the jurors and you genuinely want the jurors to understand the material, I think that's really what jurors want to see out of attorneys.

Dr. Lorie Sicafuse

That makes complete sense because we know that jurors just have a real knack for assessing genuineness in witnesses. And it sounds like they do for attorneys as well as what your research has shown.

Dr. Steve Wood

Yeah. And I think what attorneys moreso than witnesses too, because attorneys have has such a bad rap as just being untruthful or not being overly trustworthy. So when jurors find an attorney that comes across as genuine, they find it to come across as trustworthy. It's a breath of fresh air because it shoots holes in the perception that jurors have of attorneys and it makes them feel a lot more comfortable and endears them a little bit more to the attorney.

Dr. Lorie Sicafuse

So what did jurors love? We talked about a lot of things that jurors don't like. What are some of the things that they do like?

Dr. Steve Wood

One of the things that they do like is when attorneys provide precise and coherent narratives. I mean, so many times we see in our work, we hear opening or closing statements or I guess ‘clo-penings’ as we do in our mock trials, is that some attorneys will ramble, go all over the place, touching on one point, then they'll go to another point and they'll come back to another point. And they're not really taking the time to flesh out the one point. So, jurors don't get the full information, they don't get the full picture before the attorney has moved on, and then the jurors find themselves being lost. So like I said, what jurors want is concise, coherent narratives that make sense, that are punchy to the point, and that they get clearly and fully understand versus long ramblings of information that they're going to get lost in.

Dr. Lorie Sicafuse

Almost like telling a story, would you say?

Dr. Steve Wood

Yeah, and I think that's why you see the storytelling narrative or the storytelling approach is one of the big things that legal scholars write about, talk about, because it's a lot easier and more immersive for jurors to understand stories than it is for attorneys to just throw a bunch of information out and see what sticks. And having an easily digestible, understandable narrative too also makes it a lot easier for jurors when they go back into the deliberation room to remember information and be able to explain it, and develop their ideas as far as liability, causation, and all the aspects that are at play in the case.

Dr. Lorie Sicafuse

Right. So, what else do jurors like?

Dr. Steve Wood

We've touched on it a little bit, but one of the things that jurors like to is to have an attorney appear prepared and professional. Prepared as far as not wasting the juror's time, not wasting the court's time and professional is appearing to respect the process, the judge, jurors, and being actually professional to opposing counsel. And a lot of times what happens is you see plaintiff and defense attorneys talking with one another rather than being overly combative, which I know could be weird for some jurors to see because they expect the plaintiff and the defense counsels to be at war with one another. But just being professional and that actually bleeds over. This is one of the things I talk about with attorneys and witnesses that they need to understand. Their performance starts several blocks from the courthouse and they never know when they're going to run into a juror.

Dr. Steve Wood

They never know when a juror is going to see them talking to someone. We've had instances where we've heard where an attorney has been seen by a juror walking with his paralegal and the paralegal has got their hands full with the papers while the attorney is walking with his briefcase not carrying anything else. And that could be damaging because jurors are always trying to assimilate information. They're always trying to see what they can gain as far as insight around the courthouse and the attorney's performance, the way the attorney's handling themselves inside and outside of the courtroom is in one of those pieces of information that jurors are gonna use to help them make a decision on the case.

Dr. Lorie Sicafuse

And so that brings up a really important point. So many attorneys that I see during voir dire are very concerned with building rapport with the jury and they spend a lot of time doing that. And on several occasions, especially where we're in federal court, you only have like a half an hour for voir dire, I see attorneys standing up and talking for 10 minutes about, ‘well now you told us all about yourself. So I think it's only fair that I tell you something about myself’ and they go on for quite a while because they want to be relatable to the jury and build rapport with the jury. And in some venues, like in East Texas, there attorneys typically make a big effort to kind of identify with the jury and they want the jury to think that they're kind of just like them even though they might be from somewhere very far away and not a small town. What do you think about that? Is that helpful, do attorneys need to build rapport with the jury and how much time should they be spending on doing that?

Dr. Steve Wood

Yeah, that's a good question. And I do believe that attorneys should actually be attempting to build rapport with jurors. However, it's really going to be a matter of how the attorney does it and whether or not that attorney is really trying to relate with the jurors or whether or not they're trying to give the impression that they're relating with the jurors, if that makes sense. And it really goes back to what I was saying before about jurors don't want to be tricked and they can smell BS. So, if you're standing up there and telling them that, you know, you just told me about you and now let me tell you a little bit about myself. I've seen it done before by plaintiff counsel in one case, and it was just cringeworthy because I got the sense from sitting there that plaintiff counsel didn't really care about the jurors and didn't really care about making sure that he really learned about them.

Dr. Steve Wood

He was just doing it because he thought that's what he was supposed to do in order to build rapport. So I think really, you don't have to spend a ton of time on it, but essentially the concept of thin slicing really is that individuals can generate information and perceptions pretty quickly. You know, they don't need 30 minutes of listening to you talk about yourself and your sons and your daughters and where you went to school, they can get a sense really from how you are in the courtroom, how you interact with individuals before the trial starts, your mannerisms, your gestures. So I'm not a big fan of spending a ton of time on that, but I do feel that building rapport is something that's important and at least should be addressed in small doses. And I think one of the ways that you can address those quickly in a respectful way is really just in the way that you're addressing your questions during voir dire, the way you're responding, showing that you're actually listening with your body posture, making eye contact, following up on the questions, thanking them for their service. A lot of these things that just show that you truly care and you truly are appreciative of jurors versus really just giving them lip service. I think that goes a long way and you don't really need to spend a ton of time with that.

Dr. Lorie Sicafuse

Right. Something I would be really interested in is seeing if juror’s perceptions of attorneys differ based on the gender of the attorney. And I know that sounds a little crazy, but I get asked questions quite a bit. ‘Well, should we have a lead female attorney or should we have a male attorney?’ ‘Who should present?’ ‘Who should do voir dire?’ I've also seen, and I haven't collected actual date on this, but I see this a lot in mock trials and also actually post-trial interviews. Jurors tend to pick on females a little bit more. I mean they talk about their clothes. I have a lot of cases in Texas; ‘Oh, she wasn't wearing pantyhose or she was wearing this’. And I think there's a stronger likelihood that they'll be perceived as kind of cold and uncaring when maybe they just have to put more effort forth to appear professional. So that's something I'd be really interested in. And I know that there are just so many different avenues of research yet for you to explore; what future research endeavors do you have planned or what are you looking to do for future research on this topic?

Dr. Steve Wood

Well, I can tell you that your point of what you said about female attorneys is spot on and there's actually some research out there to show that female attorneys do kind of already start behind the 8-ball in respects to men and the research out there attributed to unconscious bias that's related to societal roles and gender roles as it relates to males and females and females really have this kind of balancing act that they have to do, worrying about being cold or indifferent. And it's always been across the board for women really in any sort of power position. If they present themselves in such a way that they look empathetic or sensitive, then they become soft and they're not viewed as being very powerful. However, if on the other end they come across too hard on cross examination on a witness and they're going to look and insensitive and they're going to look tough and they're just going to be not viewed positively. So, women are definitely at a disadvantage as it comes to attorney perceptions. But there's not a lot of research as far as whether or not jurors view them as credible or less credible. But it's definitely shown that they have a bigger hill to climb than male attorneys do.

Dr. Lorie Sicafuse

Yeah. And that's absolutely not to say that a female attorney shouldn't be your top choice or that a female corporate representative shouldn't be your top choice. It's just that unfortunately there are some additional considerations for attorneys and witnesses has to be mindful of it. And you know, I do too. So it's really important for attorneys to better understand how jurors can perceive them. So we have witness effectiveness training services to teach them a variety of things and I'm wondering if you have plans for like attorney effectiveness training or any kinds of plans for different services to help attorneys enhance their credibility?

Dr. Steve Wood

Yeah. One of the things I would love to come out of this research that I've done and the work that I've done is to get to a situation where I can help attorneys hone their credibility and whether that is in a classroom setting or working with law students or going to law offices and just having some CLE type of interventions and really helping attorneys get to a point where I can see their presentation style, whether that be through a mock trial or having them give a mock opening statement and work with them, hone with them, and do as we do with witnesses, which is sit down with witnesses, teach them how to be good witnesses, slow down their answers, think before they speak. I'd like to do similar types of things with the attorneys. Now, obviously I'll be the first one to admit that I'm not an attorney and attorneys are the ones who handle the legal stuff.

Dr. Steve Wood

And I wouldn't argue that I can work up a case better than an attorney. What I really want to do though is hone their skills from more psychological perspective to help them improve on the legal end, more or less how they present during depositions or how they present in front of jurors. And a lot of times I think there is a thought that while I'm not going to trial that much, so what do I need to worry about my credibility. But if you think about it, a lot of these attorneys are presenting at conferences, they're presenting at CLEs. I mean, think about how many times we've been at conferences where we've seen attorneys presenting and some of them do a much better job than the others. So the way I look at it as it really could just be a general overall building up of credibility both in the courtroom and outside of the courtroom giving presentations.

Dr. Lorie Sicafuse

Right. And it sounds like this, at  least in terms of CLEs, I know we're in the midst of a pandemic right now and I don't know how long that's gonna last, but it sounds like this is something that you could offer for sure online at least with CLEs in certain trainings. I also know that something we do is online witness evaluation. So if we want to collect data on jurors perceptions of witnesses, we can show them clips of a deposition video or a mock testimony and get their feedback that way. Is that something that we could also do to assess attorney performance?

Dr. Steve Wood

Yeah, that's an option. I've actually adapted from the BATA instrument to make it a little bit more friendly, a little bit easier or quicker to fill out than the original ones.

Dr. Lorie Sicafuse

And there really are a lot of components to this issue and how jurors evaluate attorney credibility with your instrument and the 10 aspects and all the other things that jurors like and dislike. But if you had to pick one thing or give one tip to attorneys that would help them improve their credibility, what would it be?

Dr. Steve Wood

That's an excellent question. I think one of the things or the main take home that I would say is the attribute of genuineness and that's really just the general idea that when you get up in front of jurors that you project warmth, you project sincerity, you project the passion for your case and a passion for your client and a passion for the topic that you have at hand. And when you do this, it almost seeps out of your pores in such a way that jurors will see this and say, you know, this individual is really passionate about the case. They're a really personable person who really cares about me, who really cares that I understand the case facts, cares about their client, whether that be the plaintiff for the defense, really cares about my opinion and cares about the fact that I understand. And I think if you think about it, a lot of times when we walk paths in life, we end up running across a lot of people that don't really act on our best interests and they may act like they care, but people can really see through it. But then every once in a while we get those individuals in our life that truly care about us, that are truly passionate, that truly are understanding and take an interest in us. And I think those are the individuals that when we see those attributes, then we're more likely to run through a wall for those individuals.

Dr. Lorie Sicafuse

Very true. That's very insightful. Well Steve, thank you so much for spending the time with me today. I learned a ton from you and I know that for those that are listening, you have several articles that you've authored on this and I think that they can be accessed through the Courtroom Sciences website. Is there a way that individuals can get in touch with you if they have questions?

Dr. Steve Wood

Yeah, sure. If they can't access the articles on the website, then I’d be more than happy to send email copies of it. My email address is swood@courtroomsciences.com.

Dr. Lorie Sicafuse

All right. And our website is CourtroomSciences.com. There's a spot for articles and a spot for blogs, and you can just click on those and you'll be able to find several of Steve's publications on attorney credibility. Thank you so much.