Michael Bell Quoted on the Mood of Today’s Juries, The Rise of Nuclear Verdicts, and the Impact of Legal Tech on Litigation
March 9, 2023
Prominent national and Alabama outlets have recently featured Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC partner Michael Bell's’ insights on trends in litigation, particularly involving trials and today’s juries, as well as the impact of legal technology. Bell’s insights were featured in the following articles:
- “Too Zealous? Advocacy Looks Different Now—6 Takeaways From Winning Litigators,” in the Connecticut Law Tribune (subscription required)
- “From Doorbell Cameras to 3D: Attorneys Explore New Technology in the Courtroom” in the Connecticut Law Tribune (subscription required)
- “'Modern Juries Are Unhappy': 6 Ways to Win Them Over,” in the Daily Report (subscription required)
- “Judicial Hellhole? Southern Lawyers Divided Over Georgia’s Designation” in the Daily Report (subscription required)
- “Are David and Goliath Trading Places in the Courtroom?” in the Birmingham Business Journal (subscription required)
In the various articles, Bell discussed how defense counsel could better advocate their positions before today’s juries, which have been handing down record-setting nuclear verdicts. More specifically, he noted that lawyers should present jurors with the facts and evidence they need to arrive at their conclusions, rather than forcing them to take specific positions. He also emphasized the importance of using visuals and video to help jury members understand the facts of the case from the defense side.
“We’ve got to be efficient and provide things that capture their imagination, capture their attention,” Bell told the Connecticut Law Tribune. “On the defense side, it’s almost mandatory that you do something that will grab their attention that will hold their attention and give them what they need to make that decision.”
In addition, Bell shared his thoughts with the Daily Report on how societal desensitization over the value of money has spurred exorbitant Georgia jury verdicts. He encouraged civil defense litigators to focus on irrefutable facts, supported by expert testimony and easy-to-understand evidence to overcome increasingly skeptical and desensitized juries. He also contributed quotes to the Birmingham Business Journal piece that address power dynamic changes between plaintiffs and defendants in the courtroom.
Bell represents clients in wrongful death cases, class actions, commercial disputes, general products liability, consumer fraud cases, automotive litigation, professional negligence cases and more. He currently serves on the firm’s Executive Committee and Marketing & Business Development Committee, and is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Bar Foundation.