Appearance of the Jury
Appearance is the most obvious area to begin with when considering one’s impression on a jury selection. Because women have a greater range of options in clothing, accessories, and so on, they tend to need somewhat more coaching than men. When choosing clothing, accessories, and make up, most women’s intentions are to look attractive or to look stylish. Unfortunately, a dress that shows off the figure, excessive make up, or severe hair preparations may elicit certain stereotypes that could be disastrous for your client. She may come across as flirtatious, immoral, or irresponsible to some jurors. Trendy clothing, bright colors and fake fingernails can make your client appear frivolous and vain. Gaudy jewelry may give the jurors an undue impression of wealth and may affect their opinions about what type of person your client is or what damage award may be appropriate. Of course, the impact of a client’s appearance will depend upon the specifics of the case made by military law attorneys in Bethesda. For example, if your client claims to be the victim of sexual harassment, or the distraught and devoted mother of a sick child, skimpy or tight clothing may be more likely to prompt some jurors to doubt the value of her claim.
In general, litigants should choose conservative clothing and minimize makeup and accessories. An example may be something that one would wear to a religious service. Clothing should also be representative of the type of person your client is. For example, a businesswoman will be expected to wear a dark suit. A schoolteacher may be expected to wear something like a dress with a floral print and little make up. A mother may want to appear soft and feminine. It is always best to consider what jurors’ expectations will be. Perhaps the most important piece of advice you can give a client when they select clothing is that they be comfortable. No one can make their best impression when they feel like they cannot relax.
Again, a juror’s assumptions and the use of these assumptions in their decision-making are not necessarily conscious or intentional processes. When a juror sees your client, what he sees is automatically processed and stored in memory. If it seems relevant to a decision he needs to make at any point during the trial (such as: does the defendant strike me as an honest business man?), the information will be retrieved and used.