Managing Jurors in Catastrophic Personal Injury Claims

Voir Dire, Jury Selection and Countering Sympathy

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will guide defense counsel through voir dire and jury selection techniques in catastrophic personal injury claims, as well as discuss ways to counter jurors’ sympathy during a trial.


A catastrophic injury is a severe injury that results in permanent disability, long-term medical problems or a reduced life expectancy. Catastrophic injuries often result in devastating consequences for the plaintiff, and evidence may trigger a sympathetic reaction from jurors, resulting in a high award for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.

In personal injury cases, the plaintiff who has suffered a catastrophic injury is suing a defendant(s) they believe are responsible for their injuries. However, the cause of such injuries is not necessarily the defendant’s responsibility.

Defense counsel must carefully select jurors who will be least likely to issue a verdict based solely on their emotional response to the plaintiff’s injuries. Once defense counsel has identified a suitable jury panel, they must then work to counter juror sympathy through direct and cross-examination of the witnesses. In doing so, defense counsel should have specific and concrete strategies for each fact or expert witness.

Listen as our distinguished panel provides essential guidance to defense attorneys on how to navigate voir dire, jury selection, and how to counter jury sympathy throughout a catastrophic injury trial.



  1. Assessing the impact of testimony regarding catastrophic injuries on low vs. high affect jurors
  2. Discussion of how to use voir dire to select low affect jurors
  3. Strategies in questioning fact and expert witnesses to counter juror sympathy
  4. Analysis of importance of economic vs. non-economic damages to jurors and impact of sympathy on both


The panel will review these and other relevant topics:

  • How do jurors approach catastrophic personal injury claims?
  • How can defense attorneys use voir dire to select jurors that will be able to evaluate the facts objectively?
  • How should defense attorneys approach testifying fact and expert witnesses to counter jury sympathy?


Boggs, Beth
Beth C. Boggs

Managing Partner
Boggs Avellino Lach & Boggs

Ms. Boggs concentrates her practice in civil litigation involving construction defect, insurance coverage, employment...  |  Read More

Bush, Cheryl
Cheryl A. Bush

Founding Partner
Bush Seyferth & Paige

Ms. Bush has extensive first-chair trial experience and has obtained exceptionally positive results for her clients,...  |  Read More

Lewis, Regina
Regina Hollins Lewis

Gaffney Lewis & Edwards

Ms. Lewis focuses her defense practice in the areas of tort and employment litigation and represents companies in a...  |  Read More

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