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Wrong Harvey Moore?

Dr. Harvey A. Moore

Sociologist and Criminologist

Founder-Trial Practices , Inc.

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Founder-Trial Practices , Inc.

Background Information

Employment History

Bank of America Corporation

Chief Executive Officer

Trial Practices Inc

Tenured Professor of Sociology

University of South Florida




Case Western University

Web References (32 Total References)

Mass Torts Made Perfect [cached]

Harvey A. Moore, Ph.D., Sociologist/Criminologist,

Founder-Trial Practices, Inc.

The Staff: Trial Practices, Inc. - trial consultant, jury consultant, jury science, jury research, mock trials, trial animation, jury survey, trial consultants, jury science, jury research, survey research, demonstrative evidence, legal presentations, exh [cached]

Harvey A. Moore

The Staff: Trial Practices, Inc. - trial consultant, jury consultant, jury science, jury research, mock trials, trial animation, jury survey, trial consultants, jury science, jury research, survey research, demonstrative evidence, legal presentations, exh [cached]

Harvey A. Moore

Lawyers use trial consultants: Trial Practices, Inc. - trial consultant, jury consultant, jury science, jury research, mock trials, trial animation, jury survey, trial consultants, jury science, jury research, survey research, demonstrative evidence, lega [cached]

But it is here that Harvey Moore, owner of Trial Practices Inc., helps to plan the communication strategies for high-profile criminal cases.

Behind heavy mahogany doors are two completely furnished mock courtrooms, six jury deliberation rooms that double as office space, a focus group room that can be monitored by closed circuit video, a full video and digital animation suite, and a graphics studio.
Here the Hillsborough County Public Defender's Office sought Moore's help in the murder trial of Valessa Robinson.
Guilty or innocent, Harvey Moore believes every accused person deserves the best defense possible. Not trained as a lawyer but with a doctorate in sociology, Moore provides consulting services to public defenders, prosecutors, private and corporate lawyers throughout the United States.
Taking lessons from Harvard Business School and Madison Avenue, Trial Practices and other trial consulting firms such as Los Angeles-based Decision Quest, help lawyers with strategic planning.
Planning steps used by trial consultants include case analysis, mock trials, focus groups, market attitude research, help with jury selection, advice on courtroom mannerisms and style, and the choice and production of professional videos and colorful graphics.
With a 12-member Trial Practices staff of sociologists, psychologists, criminal justice experts and technicians, Moore works with attorneys and clients to put together what his research tells him is the most effective way to present and win the case.
Moore spends most of his time on civil cases. He assisted in the defense of four Columbia/HCA executives charged with Medicare fraud. While two of the defendants were convicted, one was acquitted and one case resulted in a hung jury.
And Moore assisted Dow Chemical attorneys in defending the corporation against nationwide lawsuits involving silicon implants.
Moore said that Dow "never lost a case."
Like Decision Quest, Moore can command more than $1 million for his services. Typically, he charges $6,500 for a six-person focus group and from $12,000 to $20,000 for a mock trial with three mock juries. Computer graphics, videos and digital animation production fees are based hourly.
As a staunch opponent of the death penalty, Moore offers his consultations free to public defenders in capital crime cases. Though Valessa Robinson was facing life in prison rather than death row, Moore volunteered his time for similar philosophical reasons.
"It's the Ray Lewises of the world who pay for the Walter Morrises," said Moore.
"It's the story that counts," Moore said about trial planning. "It's not the grammar that makes the story great. It's the central theme.
"In (Robinson's) case, we were asked to help because they were effectively trying to take this child's life away from her."
Moore said he is still not satisfied that Robinson got a fair trial even though jurors came back with a lesser conviction of third-degree murder rather than first degree murder.
He is committed to the case through the sentencing and appeal process, he said.
In gathering his research, Moore employs citizens to play jurors in mock trials and participate in focus groups. They are hired for about $10 an hour through classified advertisements, random telemarketing and word of mouth referrals.
Once in the Trial Practices courtroom, each "juror" is given an individual hand held computer. This electronic juror feedback system registers positive and negative reactions during the mock trial presentations.
During the actual trial, citizens may be paid to sit in the courtroom as "shadow" jurors. Moore and members of his staff may also serve as courtroom monitors.
"Harvey's service is no different than what people selling products do," said Barry Cohen, who is representing Steve and Marlene Aisenberg.
Neither Cohen nor Moore would confirm or deny whether Trial Practices Inc. has been retained to help the Aisenbergs.

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Harvey A. Moore knows what you're thinking. Rather, he can, with a little sociological poking and, eroding, make a darn good guess as to which way you'd vote in any jury trial. Part scientist, perhaps part benign Rasputin, Moore heads, Trial Practices Inc., a Tampa jury-trial consulting firm that has been on the winning side of some of the Bay Area's most celebrated cases, including:

Harvey Moore, Ph.D. Helping figure what potential buyers (read: jurors) want: Harvey Moore, Ph.D.
Moore helps attorneys get a legal leg up with both computer and old-fashioned clipboard.
The first step is a literal one-usually into a shopping mall, where Moore and a female assistant (for gender balance) interview shoppers, probing how different folks react to various case-related hot-buttons.
This way, Moore said, "We can skate all around the different variances in our society and how they think about a case."
Later, back in Moore's 30th floor offices in downtown Tampa's Barnett Building, early findings are bounced off small focus groups and eight-person mock juries in any of 10 microphone and video camera-equipped rooms.
Pretend jurors are found by using newspaper ads, random dialing and by word of mouth.
Listening to attorneys -- or even Moore - air any number of different argumentative angles in a full-scale mock-up of a courtroom (complete with a bogus bench, wall-mounted TV monitorS and U.S. and Florida state flags), these pretend jurors record how persuasive, or poor, various legal tactics are through buttons and a dial on tan TV clicker-like gizmos which are wired to the wall.
"We can't predict who'll be sitting in that jury. But we know ...we're all .. alike."
Moore and his staff sometimes offer advice to attorneys via tiny ear plug radio transmitters even as the lawyers make their pitches. "We'll throw in facts and suggestions," Moore said.
It is those seemingly inconsequential bits of personal lore such as one's home town, Moore explained, that can make all the difference in how a juror might view a particular issue.
"If you look at places even in Florida, there are big differences," he said. "Sarasota and Ft. Lauderdale, have different ways of doing business. Different cultures."
Nonetheless, Moore said, our core similarities ultimately make his job possible.
"We can't predict who'll be sitting in that jury," he said. "But we know that in our society we're all more alike than we're different. ... The difference is in how we come to the same conclusions. How our cultural differences play a part in that."
Besides pinpointing possible cultural bias, Moore said reading body language is plenty important too. To this end, technicians scrutinize how jurors legs are crossed, as well as where they're looking.
For example, Moore said, by paying attention to what part of a graphical exhibit jurors' eyes are' drawn to, he can design more effective displays. "Your design has to compete with the mind's understanding," he said.
Moore added that while these studies could get even more precise - such as by wiring up jurors for galvanic skin responses - the cost would be sky-high.
"Our service is reserved for very high-end litigation," Moore said.
After earning his doctorate from Case Western University in Cleveland, Moore began his sociology work in Vietnam, where among other things he did sociological studies on military deserters.
But a curious thing happened when he came home. "I found all my friends had become a motorcycle gang," Moore said.
Instead of joining his buddies in the Blue Island Boozer Boys, Moore in 1974 joined USF's faculty, teaching sociology for some 20 years.
Over the years, Moore has compiled an impressive collection of photographs and research about motorcycle gangs and hopes some day to write a book on their culture.
The same sociological principles associated with figuring out biker culture apply to barristers' work, Moore said.
"When we write an opening statement, we write in (the juries') language," Moore said. "You've got to close the gap between you and the juror. ... As opposed to some attorneys who come into the court and say, `Comes now the plaintiff.'"
Moore figures few, if any, cases are un winnable.
"It's just a matter of intuiting what the jury wants," he said. "If the other side's case wasn't intuitively credible, it wouldn't be in court."
Still, Moore said that often his biggest obstacle in preparing for a trial is convincing lawyers to go light on the facts. The trick, he said, is in teasing from the pile of evidence a few good hot buttons and knowing when and how often to press them.
"You always hear attorneys say that it's facts that count in a case," he said. "There are no facts that count. ... It's like when I was in astronomy class and they said, `Pick out Pegasus.' Well, you can't see Pegasus in a bunch of little stars. The only people who are going to see Pegasus are those who've grown up in an ancient Greek culture. You have to make people see it."
Although his earliest clients tended to be plaintiffs, Moore said now the mix is mostly defense. "It's like an arm's race," he explained. "If one side does it; the other feels they, have to also."
And while he said it's common to be approached by' both sides of a case, he said obvious conflicts prohibit him from working for both.
Besides prepping attorneys on how, to handle specific ,cases, Moore also coaches lawyers how better to use exhibits and how to use technology to their advantage in court, the latter being something most younger attorneys have been quick to take advantage of.
"In California, it's almost malpractice if you don't use trial consultants," Moore joked.
Only a handful of the more than dozen fellow trial consultant outfits in Florida are located in the Bay Area, Moore said, and few have his firm's gear and experience.
"Locally, this is a small market," he said. "It's like having one dog in town. You don't have many dog fights."
Though many clients come to Tampa, Moore said he often goes to them. "Everything we do here we do on the road," he, said, sweeping a hand toward giant black and silver traveling, cases which house his electronic gear. "We're kind of like a rock band."
In fact, Moore's off to Australia next month to help prep attorneys involved in defending a class-action medical device-related patent litigation case.
"I don't need to know anything about the (Australian justice) system," Moore said with a smile.

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