As a lawyer your client’s success is dependent on your performance in the courtroom. A critical component of that success is the “voir dire” process whereby eligible jurors are selected to serve. Identifying individual biases that a potential juror may have toward your client’s case is critical. Reading juror surveys and observing their behavior, facial expressions and verbal responses to your questions are all methods for extracting the data you need to supply your client with the most objective, fair minded jury possible. However, perhaps the least well known yet most highly effective method for conducting personality assessments is the use of the empirical discipline of graphology, otherwise known as handwriting analysis.
In the eye of a professionally trained handwriting analyst, the individual’s handwritten documents reveal the unique personality of its author. One’s emotional responsiveness, character attributes and core values can be discerned by using the skills of a handwriting analyst. Instant, efficient personality descriptions can be gleaned from the penned answers and signature on a juror questionnaire. Questions such as how the individual is likely to behave during the deliberation process or how generous they may be when deciding the compensatory rewards of your client are key traits that handwritten forms can show to the trained graphologist.
Is the potential juror open-minded or are they more stubborn to their own point of view? Is the prospective juror one to go along with the beliefs of others on the jury or are they a more independent thinker? Do they show emotional maturity and balance or are they emotionally unpredictable – a wildcard? Is the possible juror arrogant, over-confident and domineering, therefore likely to take control of his or her peers’ perceptions during the deliberation process – a lawyer’s nightmare situation. All of these traits and more can be seen in one’s handwritten words. Honesty vs. dishonesty, efficiency vs. cluttered thinking, overly emotional tendencies vs. poised self-control. Decisions made based on facts vs. decisions being made based upon the emotional appeal of the argument. How one thinks and how one approaches problems and finalizes decisions are all revealed in the handwriting of the individual.
If you’re a professional trial lawyer or legal consultant in the court room, you know that most judges provide short timelines for interviewing and de-selecting jurors; 20-30 minutes is a small window of opportunity that must be used with the utmost precision and accuracy if you are to give your client the opportune advantage to a fair trail. Sifting the wheat from the dross is important to you and your case; a biased juror can choke the life out of your client’s position so weeding out those who have significant potential for bias is crucial to the trial’s outcome. Performing a successful voir dire process is imperative for your client and ultimately, your firm.
You owe it to yourself and your client to cull through the juror surveys with a fine-toothed comb during the voir dire process. Adding a professional handwriting analyst to your team of consultants could be the best decision you make for ensuring successful trial verdicts.
What My Handwriting Analysis Assessments Can Tell You
• Know if the potential juror is honest or dishonest in his or her dealings and deliberations with other jurors.
• Know if the potential juror is fair-minded and objective.
• Know if the potential juror needs to be right.
• Know if the potential juror is likely to be generous in assigning monetary compensation to your client. Is the juror generous, or frugal, or in-between?
• Know if the potential juror is a dominating person. Will this person dominate the opinions of others on the jury during deliberation?
• Know if the potential juror makes decisions objectively based on data, or subjectively, based on emotional feelings and values.
• Know if the potential juror is a high strung personality who is swayed by emotional argument, or are they calm and reserved in expressing their beliefs?
• Know if the potential juror has challenges in their view of the opposite sex.
• Know if the potential juror is a good listener and is open-minded?
• Know if the potential juror is an independent thinker.
• Know if the potential juror is an optimist or a pessimist?
• Know if the potential juror is cautious or is the potential juror a risk taker?
• Know if the potential juror is highly analytical or just needs to skim the surface when presented with information?
• Know if the potential juror has sexual issues?
• Know if the potential juror is an abstract thinker? Is the potential juror intelligent?
• Know if the potential juror is emotionally mature or immature?
• Know if the potential juror is emotionally predictable in their responses, or is he or she a wildcard chameleon personality?
• Know if the potential juror has good self-esteem or if they will allow others to take the lead in making decisions?
• Know if the potential juror is highly detail oriented or if they are more of a big picture thinker.
• Know if the potential juror is a more forgiving, empathetic personality or is more likely to exact accountability for one's actions.
• Know if the potential juror is an extrovert or introvert in how they process information and communicate with others in their environment.
• Know if the potential juror is conservative or liberal in their philosophical/spiritual beliefs.
• Know if the potential juror is an influencer personality using charm, wit and intelligence.
• Know if the potential juror is a know it all!
How the Process Works
As a skilled handwriting analyst I can look at the content provided on the form and can provide a personality profile of the prospective juror within minutes. Using the Internet, the lawyers and their assistants can scan the juror form and email it to me. Within seconds, I can view the document for interpretation and analysis. A 2-5 minute time frame is sufficient for the swift determination of a potential juror’s character, beliefs and level of emotional responsiveness to their environment. By simply viewing the handwriting of the potential juror, I can assess the individual without the bias of viewing the juror’s clothing style, behavioral presentation or answers to lawyer questions. I can provide lawyers with the distinct advantage of identifying issues that the juror may have thereby pinpointing specific questions for the lawyers to ask the prospective juror.
Time is of the essence during the voir dire process and a skilled, certified handwriting analyst like me can offer specific insights about a juror that other methodologies might take longer to fulfill, if at all. Your client and your firm are counting on your successfully delivering the best possible verdict. Knowing within minutes that a particular juror is extremely generous of spirit might be interesting data for you to know if you’re about to defend a corporate client in a personal injury case. Conversely, you might benefit from knowing that a potential juror is fiscally frugal by nature. Information provided by me can help you to quickly target and challenge the juror who will be very attentive to detail to the point of his/her analyzing every single detail of the case. Do you really want a juror that will pursue every angle of your case, or do you wish to find a more compliant juror who will take your position presented as the truth? Would you like to have me view the personalities of the group to understand and predict what the group dynamic of your particular jury might be? These individual traits and much more can be detected in one’s handwriting.
By hiring me to conduct personality profiles of the prospective jurors serving in your trial, you catapult yourself into a distinctively superior position. Armed with specific knowledge about jurors provided by my insightful handwriting analyses, your team leaps ahead of the opposition. Combine my quick and accurate personality descriptions with those of your own legal team’s observations and the voir dire process becomes that much more precise when de- selecting jurors. Intelligent decisions are made about whom to keep and whom to reject from the juror box.
Lianne S. Boas, CHA, Ed.M.
Certified Handwriting Analyst
Handwriting Analysis Consulting for the Jury Selection Process