Denver Empirical Justice Institute


Denver Empirical Justice Institute

Speaker Series 2018

Academia Meets Trial Practice

The Denver Empirical Justice Institute (DEJI) and the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association (CTLA) are proud to host three speaker series at Denver Law this spring.

 Purchase a bundle of tickets to all three events for $60 - 20% less than buying them individually.

Registration is $25.00 for each event; $60.00 for all three. The price includes a parking pass, the lecture and reception. One (1) general CLE credit is pending for each event.

Register Today

Wednesday, February 21, 5:00 pm

"The Role of Motivated Reasoning & Cultural Cognition in Jury Decision Making"

Maggie Wittlin, Professor, University of Nebraska Law School

Don Bauermeister, Of Counsel, Friedman | Rubin, Seattle, WA

5:00 p.m. - 6:15 p.m. Lecture (John E. Moye Faculty Library, Room 412)
6:15 p.m. - 7:15 p.m. Reception (Lobby 401)

Don Bauermeister is an experienced trial attorney with Friedman | Rubin PLLC based in Seattle, Washington. His practice focuses on representing plaintiffs in negligence, wrongful death, product liability, and bad faith insurance claims.  Mr. Bauermeister has won five jury verdicts in excess of a million dollars and he has worked on multiple larger trial teams that obtained over $200 million dollars in jury verdicts.  He is expert in the use of cognitive neuroscience in jury persuasion and is regular speaker and author on that topic.  
Professor Maggie Wittlin is on the faculty at the University of Nebraska Law School. Her research focuses on evidence, criminal and civil procedure, intellectual property, and law and behavioral sciences. She studies how legal actors should and do make decisions. Two of her recent papers have focused on the use of computers to model jury deliberation and how hindsight bias affects judges and juries.  Professor Wittlin received her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she was a member of the Cultural Cognition Project and a Coker Fellow.

Mr. Bauermeister and Professor Wittlin will introduce key lessons from cognitive science and neuroscience as they relate to jury persuasion. These will include motivated reasoning, moral blameworthiness, hindsight bias, and the role of cultural cognition. The authors will also discuss what the science tells us about how juries deliberate.


Tuesday, March 6

"Juries and Expert Witnesses"

Dr. Edie Greene, Professor, University of Colorado, Dept. of Psychology

Jim Hooper, Partner, Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell, Denver, CO

5:00 p.m. - 6:15 p.m. Lecture (Moot Court, Room 165)
6:15 p.m. - 7:15 p.m. Reception (Law Forum)

Michael O’Donnell was originally scheduled to speak, but due to circumstances beyond our control he is now unavailable.  We are grateful that his partner, Jim Hooper is able to take his place.

Edie Greene Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology, Director of Psychological Sciences Training, and Director of the Graduate Sub-Plan in Psychology and Law at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Her research focuses on legal decision-making, beliefs about the causes and consequences of crime, eyewitness memory, and psychological issues in elder law. She has co-authored 5 editions of Psychology and the legal system, the leading textbook in her field, as well as Determining damages: The psychology of jury awards and The jury under attack: Myth, controversy, and reform, and approximately 100 journal articles or chapters. She has received both college and campus-wide research awards and the Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring Award from the American Psychology-Law Society, of which she is a Past-President.

Jim is a partner at Wheeler Trigg  & O’Donnell.  He has tried, served as national counsel, and litigated numerous types of lawsuits, ranging from products liability to civil RICO and federal land use.  His work most often centers on high-profile, large-exposure, and expert-intensive cases involving challenges to the design, risk and safety profiles, and marketing of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, building materials, and similar products.  Jim's cases have resulted in significant and helpful judicial decisions in the areas of expert scientific evidence, product safety warnings, and medical causation.  Jim was elected by his peers to serve as a member of the Pfizer Legal Alliance (PLA) Roundtable, a strategic planning and oversight group for 19 nationally renowned law firms that provide legal services to the world's largest pharmaceutical company.  He is listed in Colorado Super Lawyers, The Legal 500 United States, International Who's Who of Life Sciences Lawyers, and Chambers USA.  His clients described him to Chambers USA as "very talented in the courtroom, thoughtful and creative."  

Thursday, April 19

"Juries and the Power of Emotions"

Dr. Jessica Salerno, Professor, Arizona Sate University, Social & Behavioral Sciences

Lisa Blue, Partner, Baron and Blue, Dallas, TX

5:00 p.m. - 6:15 p.m. Lecture (Room 290)
6:15 p.m. - 7:15 p.m. Reception (Lobby 299)

Lisa Blue is a trial lawyer, jury consultant, and philanthropist. She’s been called the Queen of Torts, the Unsinkable Lisa Blue, and a political powerhouse — as well as some other less flattering names by opposing attorneys she’s beaten in court.  Blue’s accomplishments have been nationally recognized.  She has been named one of the Top 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America, one of the Top 50 Women Litigators in the U.S. by National Law Journal, and received numerous other state and national recognitions for her legal expertise.  She served as president of the American Association for Justice from 2014-2015 and was inducted into the National Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame In 2015. She has earned over $350 million in winning verdicts for her clients and recovered millions more in settlement.

Jessica Salerno is an assistant professor in the Social and Behavioral Sciences division of the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University. She is a founding member of the ASU Program on Law and Behavioral Science and a Fellow of the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics. Dr. Salerno’s research interests include (a) the effect of emotion and intergroup dynamics in legal decision making, (b) how moral outrage drives biases against stigmatized groups in ambiguous legal contexts, and (c) how jurors evaluate the quality of scientific evidence presented by expert witnesses in court.  Dr. Salerno's work has been published in empirical journals and has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the American Psychology-Law Society, the American Bar Foundation, and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.

Blue and Salerno will discuss how emotions impact jury decision making.  This will include a discussion of how creativity and storytelling impact jurors, as well as how moral outrage and graphic images impact juror and jury reasoning.

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Sturm College of Law
University of Denver
2255 E. Evans Avenue
Denver, CO 80208