by: Dr. Shelley Spiecker
Our research consistently indicates jurors, arbitrators and judges evaluate cases through two perceptual filters, or lenses. The first is a filter of “power” and the second is a filter of “choices”. Specifically, they seek to know which party had the most power to alter the outcome of the dispute, and which party had the most choices. Our pre-trial research consistently demonstrates the more powerful party bears the burden of persuasion in the courtroom. Furthermore, social scienceresearch documents that the more choices a party is perceived as having, the more responsibility is attributed to that party and the more likely decision-makers are to perceive the consequences to the party with fewer choices as being damaging.
In construction cases, decision-makers primarily key in on three areas of perceptual choice: