The assessment of information in both active testimony and written statements is crucial to the practice of law. Techniques for proving character, testing a witness’s lack of personal knowledge, ensuring the accuracy of memory and recall, examining the influence of biases and personal interests, and voir dire examination are specific concerns of the Rules of Evidence for most states. These issues, and many others, rely significantly on an attorney’s ability to recognize deceit. In this arena lawyers often depend on gut instincts, or perhaps even worse, misleading and outdated frameworks.
Historically, the field of deception detection has relied on coaches using controversial and increasingly archaic methodologies. For example, the Reid Technique, largely unchanged since the 1940’s, is still a standard in the Law Enforcement Community, despite serious criticism and evidence that it actually elicits false statements. More recently, the micro-expression model has been misapplied in a spectacular and costly manner. When it comes to detecting deception, anecdotal experience and faulty pseudoscience are counterproductive and result in unjust outcomes, creating moral injury to the legal system itself.
The Culper Group can address these challenges by applying our proprietary science-based model on-site or in preparation for litigation, arbitration, mediation, deposition, corporate investigations, etc. When applied to cross-examination, our methodology can help an attorney identify when and on what topics a witness is being deceptive, allowing for more effective examination strategy. In cases relying on expert witnesses, identifying deception can be critical. When scrutinizing business records, public records, or written witness testimony, understanding written markers of deception will significantly improve an attorney’s ability to navigate the human terrain during corporate investigations, mergers and acquisitions, or in pretrial. Culper Group human terrain experts can provide specific insight and guidance during Scientific Jury Selection by providing you with insights into deception and truthfulness, bias and motivations, and formulating questioning strategies.
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