Trial Consultants, Inc.<sup>®</sup>

 
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About Amy Singer, Ph.D.

 

Amy Singer, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist who is an expert in statistical methodologies, data analysis, and applied research. Singer's firm, Trial Consultants, Inc.®, which she founded in Miami in 1979, is the oldest trial consulting firm in the United States. Singer is a pioneer and nationally acknowledged authority in the field of litigation psychology, a discipline that provides jury research and selection, focus groups, social media analytics, shadow juries, venue studies, witness preparation, trial and ADR strategy.

Singer continues to serve as a popular and prolific author, trial consultant, and speaker contributing her expertise to national publications, broadcast media, legal associations and high-profile cases such as the Casey Anthony, Dr. Kevorkian, Michael Jackson, William Kennedy Smith and O. J. Simpson trials.

Education and Certification

Hofstra University

  • BA in psychology, 1975
  • MA in psychology, 1977
  • Ph.D. in applied research psychology, 1978

Teaching experience

Amy has taught Social Psychology, statistics and research methods at Hofstra University as an associate professor. From 1982 to 1984, Singer was a part-time member of the Department of Psychology, Florida International University, Miami-Dade County, Florida where she taught research methods and design. She taught the "Psychology of Jury Selection" at Nova Southeastern University law school, Fort Lauderdale.

Honors and Memberships

  • Magna Cum Laude
  • Psi Chi National Honor Society
  • American Society of Trial Consultants
  • American Psychological Association
  • Women's League for Israel
  • Who's Who in the South and Southwest (1984 to present)

More on Dr. Singer

Amy Singer is a noted trial consultant and litigation psychologist. As one of its earliest, most influential, and heavily imitated practitioners, Singer helped to pioneer the field of trial consulting during the 1980s. As a result of her revolutionary concepts and approach, Singer was able to take what at the time was a rudimentary – and to many trial attorneys, probationary – discipline to a robust new level of professional practice, courtroom accomplishment and potent capability. By conclusively demonstrating to litigators that it is value beliefs, not juror demographics, which correlate most strongly with jury verdicts, Dr. Singer radically transfigured how litigators conduct voir dire. In the process, she thoroughly transformed the zeitgeist of trial planning and preparation for attorneys across the United States, and later, around the world.

Singer is a nationally recognized authority in the field of jury research, also known as litigation research or litigation psychology. She is a leader in blending the tools of behavioral science, applied research, statistics, measurements, and strategic and psychological analysis to help attorneys win their court cases and other legal disputes. Singer is a leading expert and industry trendsetter concerning the application of jury focus groups, jury simulations, mock trials, voir dire strategy, attitude surveys, witness evaluation, shadow juries, and related professional activities.

Dr. Singer is a prolific author and popular speaker concerning litigation research, trial consulting, and related topics. The media regularly call upon her as a jury expert concerning newsworthy trials. She has been interviewed or featured in articles concerning jury research and related topics in numerous national publications, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. She also served as courtroom consultant for the NBC and FOX television station affiliates in Miami. Additionally, Singer was a columnist for the Miami Daily Business Review.

Jury Research

Singer was one of the first professionals in America to employ sophisticated psychological research, measurement, and analysis techniques and methodologies to help attorneys pick favorable jurors and most effectively plan and present their court cases.

After completing her Ph.D. in applied research psychology from Hofstra University in 1978, Singer quickly decided to set up a private litigation research firm, one of the first such professional practices in the United States (1979). She called her firm "Trial Consultants, Inc.®," thus coining the name for the industry that would rapidly grow in the years to come.

The litigation research techniques Singer helped to develop and perfect during the early 1980s, including jury focus groups and jury simulations, jury "deselection" represented a bona fide paradigm shift in trial strategizing and preparation. Singer led the way in the development and practical application of jury focus groups, jury simulations, and mock trials. During the lengthy course of her career, Singer has likely conducted more jury focus groups (some 15,000) than any other working professional.

Thanks to the groundbreaking advances by Singer, as well as a few other early practitioners regarding their newly organized jury research techniques, attorneys finally had a logical rationale for their voir dire questions, thus eliminating the unnerving pinball aspect of voir dire that existed previously.

In the specialized jury research system Singer helped to conceptualize and develop, litigation psychology activities – and specifically jury focus groups and jury simulations – enable attorneys to precisely test market how jurors will respond to a particular trial presentation strategy, including the trial theme, the opening statement, the closing argument and other key case aspects.

Additional benefits of jury research, as structured by Singer for her clients: helps attorneys determine how to break complex arguments down into easy-to-understand concepts, often expressed through analogies and metaphors; supports or rejects the supposed case hypotheses; shows what the jurors want to hear, and how and when they want to hear it; demonstrates the best way to reframe the trial issues to achieve the maximum positive reception; notes key words and their emotional associations and psychological valences with jurors; helps to assess numerous trial factors, including the effectiveness of the evidence, lawyer and witness believability, and potential damages amounts; and helps to avoid "surprise" verdicts.

Early in her career, Singer transformed the prevailing voir dire philosophy of many trial attorneys. For example, she discovered that most attorneys were "demographic-dependent," that is, they based their juror selections largely on demographic factors such as sex, race, ethnicity, age, religion, and so on. Singer, as well as other jury researchers, determined that no correlation exists between jury verdicts and demographics. Instead, people decide such important issues as verdict decisions based on their core values and beliefs.

Thus, from the start, Singer organized her jury focus groups and jury simulations to help uncover the all-important value beliefs of jurors regarding a particular case.

The Singerian methodology for jury research has been copied by other consultants and has had a major influence on the professional field of trial consulting as it exists today.

   
   



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