Denver Empirical Justice Institute


Denver Empirical Justice Institute Spring 2017 Speaker Series

The Denver Empirical Justice Institute (DEJI), Colorado Trial Lawyers Association (CTLA) and Leventhal Puga, P.C. were proud to host two prominent speakers at Denver Law in the spring of 2017.

Thursday, April 20

Shari Diamond, J.D., Ph.D
Northwestern University School of Law
“The Deliberations of Real Juries”

Juries attract both stiff criticism and unqualified praise. What do civil juries actually do behind closed doors during their deliberations? Professor Diamond provides answers from the results of a unique study in which she and her colleagues were permitted to videotape and study the deliberations of 50 real civil juries. She will discuss how jurors deal with two of their most challenging assignments: judging experts and applying the law, as well as other aspects of jury deliberations.

5:00 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. Lecture (Room 125)
6:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m. Reception (John E. Moye Faculty Library, Room 412)

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Professor Shari Diamond (Northwestern) discussing her observations of real juriesJim Leventhal generously sponsored the Denver Empirical Justice Institute’s spring speaker series Professor Bernard Chao discusses the Denver Empirical Justice Institute’s goal of bringing impactful scholarship to the practicing barProfessor John Campbell and Colorado Court of Appeals Judge Rebecca Freyre  debrief after Professor Diamond’s talk Dean Bruce Smith, renown trial attorney Jim Gilbert, Professor Diamond and Professor Joyce Sterling continue the dialog between the practicing bar and academics.






David Yokum J.D. Ph.D
The Lab @ DC
"A Behavioral Scientist in the Courtroom: Experimental Approaches to Advancing Justice"

On March 1, David Yokum came to DEJI to discuss how emerging experimental techniques can give us new insights into how juries decide cases. Yokum was an original member of the White House’s Social and Behavior Sciences Team (SBST) and he now directs the The Lab @ DC, a scientific team within the Executive Office of the Mayor of the District of Columbia Government. Yokum continues to do jury research and has published a number of articles studying jury bias, jury instructions and novel ways to make jury decision making match the goals of the judicial system.

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Welcoming remarks from Professor and DEJI Co-Director John Campbell David Yokum describes some recent findings on jury decision making Words of wisdom from event sponsor, Jim LeventhalProfessor and DEJI Co-Director Bernard Chao in deep discussion with alumni, Michael Dulin Informal post lecture discussions with attorneys and students






DEJI hosted its first half-day conference on February 24, 2016 – The Art and Science of Jury Persuasion. Some of the nation’s best lawyers presented to a packed room (approximately 100 attendees) regarding jury focus groups and jury selection. In addition, Professors John Campbell and Bernard Chao (co-directors of DEJI), along with Christopher Robertson (University of Arizona), demonstrated how empirical studies can inform individual trial strategy as well as state and national rules regarding evidence, jury selection and more.

The speakers were a who’s who of nationally-known trial lawyers and cutting-edge scholars.

Carrie Frank
Jim Gilbert
Larry Lee
Jim Leventhal
Randi McGinn
John Simon
Bernard Chao
Christopher Robertson
John Campbell

Comments from attendees included:

“The seminar was fabulous. I cannot believe you had so many national heavy-hitters in one room at the same time!”

“The presentation [on empirical studies] was the best I’ve seen in 30 years.”

“I enjoyed this event very much. Every speaker was excellent, and the afternoon and early evening were inspiring as well.”

Here are some photos from The Art and Science of Jury Persuasion.

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DEJI is in the early stages of planning two future events. First, a mini-conference on intellectual property litigation is in the works. And second, DEJI plans to host a one-of-a-kind annual conference in the mountains that will bring together the best attorneys, judges, scholars, and jury consultants in the country to present on cutting-edge advocacy issues and techniques.

Check this page regularly for updates.


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