University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
A wealth of research has focused on factors that impact jurors’ decisions based on the information made available to them in court. However, in no prior research has the impact of how well an attorney delivers an opening statement been isolated to evaluate its direct impact on jurors’ decisions. To explore this issue, students were randomly assigned to read a fluent or disfluent version of an opening statement. The fluency of the attorney’s opening statement did not impact liability ratings or ratings of the likelihood of hiring the defendant. By contrast, the fluency of the attorney’s opening statement significantly influenced how likely participants reported that they would be to hire the attorney and for many of the traits referring to the attorney’s competency.
Juneau, Truley A.; Northern, Paige E.; and Tauber, Sarah "Uma"
"The Impact of an Attorney’s Speaking Fluency When Delivering an Opening Statement on Juror Decisions,"
Modern Psychological Studies: Vol. 27
, Article 5.
Available at: https://scholar.utc.edu/mps/vol27/iss1/5