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ERIC Number: ED311500
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989
Pages: 29
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Using Unfamiliar People in Witness and Jury Pools: An Ethnographic Study of Interpersonal Skill Demands in Trial Practice.
Bintz, William P.
An ethnographic study explored the hypothesis that the use of "familiar" people in mock trial simulations contributes to student inattention to interpersonal skill demands necessary for proficient trial lawyering. Participants in the study included 12 third-year law school students, 1 adjunct instructor, 1 researcher, 12 local high school students, and 6 senior citizens, all of whom volunteered to participate as members of an unfamiliar witness and jury pool. Data collection included participant observation, informal interviews, field notes, a formal questionnaire, and a researcher's reflexive journal. All data was subjected to qualitative analytic methodology including coding and triangulation of data. Findings indicated that using unfamiliar people during trial simulations required students to demonstrate considerable emotional, psychological, and intellectual stamina. Specifically, it required them to "decenter," to function as storytellers, and to "read the jury" throughout a trial. This study suggests that trial practice classrooms should pay closer attention to the instructional value of jury feedback, teacher feedback, indirect and informal instructional techniques, collaboration, teacher-as-demonstrator, and evaluation procedures. (Fifteen notes are included.) (Author/SR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A