Webcast

Jury Selection: Using Social Science to Win at Trial

Streams live on Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 01:30pm EST

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Course Information

Time 90 Minutes
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Litigation

Course Description

Understanding your jurors as people first and foremost is key to humanizing your client to the jury. This program, taught by Russo & Toner LLP Partner Florina Altshiler, an experienced trial lawyer, will address key concepts in the psychology of jury selection. The course will review the social science behind selecting a jury in civil and criminal matters, helping attorneys learn to identify jurors who will be sympathetic to their case, while also establishing the rapport necessary to engage them with their narrative of events. The program offers practical guidance on voir dire tactics, including best practices in interviewing jurors, introducing the case during jury selection, and avoiding objections during the selection process. It also addresses how to effectively use peremptory challenges. In addition to strategy, the course also covers the statutes, and procedure that govern jury selection. Finally, the presenter will discuss COVID-19 implications for jury trials, court procedures, and strategy. 



Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify principles of juror psychology and best practices for Voir Dire
  2. Develop a game plan for jury selection
  3. Review the applicable law to jury selection process and procedure
  4. Detect and eliminate bias in the jury pool
  5. Adjust jury selection strategy in light of COVID restrictions and implications 


Credit Information

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Faculty

Florina Altshiler

Russo & Toner, LLP

Florina Altshiler is a litigation attorney specializing in labor law and premise liability matters. Her practice also includes medical malpractice and general negligence law. Previously, Ms. Altshiler worked as an Assistant District Attorney for the State of Alaska where she handled the prosecution of the highest-level felonies including homicides, sexual assaults and violent felonies through jury trial. She has prosecuted over twenty cases through jury verdict. Prior to working as a prosecutor, Ms. Altshiler honed her litigation skills at nationally recognized law firms in New York City for seven years. She has significant experience in the areas of complex medical malpractice, premises liability and construction accident litigation. 

Ms. Altshiler is the managing attorney for the firm’s Buffalo, NY office.


 Education:

  • J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law, 2005
  • International Studies Certificate from Binghamton University, 2003
  • B.A. in Psychology from Binghamton University, 2002

 Experience:

  • Practicing attorney for over 10 years
  • Litigated cases at the State and Federal level through trial and appeal
  • Over 20 trials through jury verdict as first chair
  • Arbitrator, Civil Court of the City of New York
  • Instructor of Trial Advocacy at Columbia University in the City of New York
  • Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy (criminal and civil) at St. John’s School of Law
  • Mock Trial Coach, Anchorage High School

 Admissions:

  • New York State, 2006
  • New Jersey State, 2005
  • Alaska State, 2013
  • United States District Courts of the Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of New York

Honors:

  • Alaska State Legislature Citation
  • Dr. Thomas C. Beneventano Award for Legal Medicine
  • Rosenberg Scholar, St. John’s School of Law
  • Institutional Merit Scholar, St. John’s School of Law
  • 2004 CALI Excellence for the Future Award in Criminal Trial Advocacy
  • U.S. President’s Student Service Award for Outstanding Service to America
  • United Hospital Fund’s Student Achievement Award
  • Rosefsky Language and Culture Scholar, Binghamton University
  • Semi-Finalist, Intel National Science Talent Search
  • Salomon Smith Barney Quality of Life Research Competition
  • New York City Hall Commendation for Research

Presentations:

  • Erie County Bar Association CLE Presenter: Pre-Litigation Statements Qualified Privilege or Defamation? April, 2015
  • Erie County Bar Association CLE Presenter: Intensive (two-day) Trial College, anticipated October, 2015
  • WGRZ-TV: Civil Trial Analysis of the Corasanti trial
  • Contributing writer in Law and Policy to The Public