Managing Jurors in Catastrophic Personal Injury Trials: Voir Dire, Jury Selection, and Countering Sympathy

A live 90-minute CLE video webinar with interactive Q&A

Monday, May 10, 2021

1:00pm-2:30pm EDT, 10:00am-11:30am PDT

(Alert: Event date has changed from 2/18/2021!)

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE webinar will guide defense counsel through voir dire and jury selection techniques in cases involving catastrophic personal injury claims and 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, and punitive damages.

In personal injury cases, the plaintiff who has suffered a catastrophic injury is suing a defendant they believe is responsible for their damages. 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 navigating voir dire and jury selection, as well as countering 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 the importance of economic vs. non-economic damages to jurors and the 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 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

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

Gaffney, Amy
Amy L. Gaffney

Gaffney Lewis

Ms. Gaffney represents individuals and some companies throughout the State in employment and tort matters. She has...  |  Read More

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You may pre-order a recording to listen at your convenience. Recordings are available 48 hours after the webinar. Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include program handouts.

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