Simple Rules for Better Jury Selection [Updated]

An evolving list:

Rule Zero

  1. The Nike Rule.
  2. The First Blind Date Rule.
  3. The Shrek Rule.
  4. The 90/10 Rule.
  5. MacCarthy’s Bar Rule.
  6. Improv Rule I.
  7. Improv Rule II.
  8. The Shrink Rule.
  9. The Beer Pong Rule.
  10. The Marathon Rule.
  11. The Playing Doctor Rule.
  12. The Field Trip Rule.
  13. The Undertow Rule.
  14. The Atticus Finch Rule.
  15. The Bat Rule.
  16. The Herd Rule.

More detail in posts to come.

[If you have ideas for better names for some of the rules (especially Improv Rule I), drop me a line.]

About Mark Bennett

Mark Bennett got his letter of marque from the Supreme Court of Texas in May 1995. He is famous for having no sense of humor when it comes to totalitarianism.
This entry was posted in become a better lawyer, Jury Selection, simple rules. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Simple Rules for Better Jury Selection [Updated]

  1. remy says:

    NOOOOOOOoooo!!!! Mark!!!

    Don’t do it!!!! To many of “their kind” read your blog!!! They will use it against us!!!


  2. Dr. SunWolf says:

    How about:
    The Speed Dating Rule.
    The Dark-at-the-Foot-of-the-Stairs Rule.
    The Would-You-Ever-Convict-on-Mere-Evidene? Rule.
    The Fair Fight Rule.

    [It’s not a blog, it’s a book your’e growing here …]

  3. Mark Bennett says:


    My aim is a batch of simple, memorable rules, any one of which can stand alone to make a person a little bit better at jury selection. If some prosecutors learn from them too, that’s okay with me.

    Dr. SunWolf,

    I wonder if your Speed Dating rule is anything like my First Date rule. Clearly you’ve given this a lot more thought than I have. I’ll have to order your book.

  4. Clay S. Conrad says:

    How about the Sheep/Ram rule?
    (People tend to either go along, or to lead. Prosecutors want 11 sheep and 1 ram. The more rams, the more likely a hung jury.)

    I got this one from Paul Womack so it MUST be true…

  5. Pingback: Mark Bennett’s “Nike Rule” for jury selection « West Virginia Criminal Law Blog

  6. Pingback: Defending People » Jury Selection: Simple Rule 5: MacCarthy’s Bar Rule

  7. Tom French says:


    What about the Gerry Spence “I’m so scared” rule, i.e., tell the jurors about your personal fears.

    I used to think this was good stuff. But, I have never gotten past a feeling that it was kind of contrived.

    So, I don’t do it anymore. Instead, I just try and ask a whole lot of questions and listen very well. Kind of like your “blind date” rule.

    Thanks much. This is good stuff.

    Tom French

  8. Pingback: Defending People » Jury Selection: Simple Rule 10: The Marathon Rule

  9. Pingback: Defending People » Jury Selection: Simple Rule 11: The Playing Doctor Rule

  10. Pingback: Defending People » Jury Selection: Simple Rule 3: The Shrek Rule

  11. Pingback: Defending People » Jury Selection: Simple Rule 1: The Nike Rule

  12. Pingback: Read Mark Bennett's 16 Rules of Jury Selection and Become a Better Trial Lawyer - Toby Shook

  13. Pingback: Where Improv and Lawyering Meet » Defending People

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