The Relationship Between Attorneys’ Likability and Verdict

The Relationship Between Attorneys’ Likability and Verdict

Magnus examined the relationship between ratings of attorneys’ likability and verdict. Magnus has analyzed survey data obtained from 1,862 mock jurors who rated the likability of the attorneys who argued the case and indicated their verdict preference in a wide variety of civil cases. The results for plaintiffs’ attorneys were as follows: plaintiffs’ attorneys who were rated as positive or very positive were far more likely to win the mock trial than plaintiffs’ attorneys who were rated as negative or very negative (71% versus 39% plaintiffs’ verdicts, respectively). Defense attorneys’ likability had different effects on jurors’ decisions: defense attorneys who were rated as positive or very positive were likely to lose their case to a lesser extent than defense attorneys who were rated as negative or very negative (66% versus 86% of plaintiffs’ verdicts, respectively). Therefore, in a general sense, plaintiffs’ attorneys’ likability appears to have a considerably greater impact on the case outcome than defense attorneys’ likability.

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