Raj Paid Jury Consultants $300,000 To Pick Jurors With A Low Income And No Degree

empirical creative david klein james dobson
James Dobson and David Klein — jury consultant extraordinnaires.

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Add $300,000 to the $40 million bill Raj received from John Dowd and his army of defence lawyers.The recipients of that extra $300,000? Empirical Creative, a jury research firm that the Galleon chief hired to help his defence select a sympathetic jury.

Raj tapped the firm’s two principals, James Dobson and David Klein, to help him win.

The pair has degrees in sociology, psychology and human relations.

“On the first day of jury selection… the consultants sat with colour-coded sheets of papers at the defence table,” the Wall Street Journal reported, working out which potential jurors they wanted in that jury box.

According to the WSJ,

The defence… was allowed to eliminate 12 prospective jurors, while the government was allowed to eliminate eight potential jurors.

To make their selections quickly, Messrs. Dobson and Klein used colour codings for each name in the pool, with red signifying a juror they believed could favour the government and green signifying jurors they believed could favour the defence.

Apparently, Dobson and Klein got the jury composition they’d wanted: government workers, health-care workers, teachers and individuals that were part of ethnic minorities (Raj himself is Sri Lankan by birth).

They’d discovered during a mock trial that those groups would be sympathetic to Raj and his case: “those without advanced-education degrees or financial sophistication and with relatively low-to middle-income jobs” were preferred. (Apparently high-income earners with an advanced education in the mock trial were quick to judge Raj based on the wiretap evidence).

And in the end, some of the jurors were sympathetic to Raj and what lies ahead for him. However, this didn’t translate to a “not guilty” verdict on any of the 14 counts.

On the subject of the jury consultants, John Dowd told the WSJ, “we don’t comment on confidential matters, but various details of what has been presented to us appear to be inaccurate.” But he wouldn’t say what those details were.

As a sidenote, we were sad to discover that these firms are far less nefarious than the image of jury consultants we saw in one of the best trial movies ever, Runaway Jury. Nonetheless, we knew they would make an appearance in the trial at some point.

Here are questions jurors had to answer before they could be chosen for the jury box >