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Selecting a Jury in 2019

Speaker(s): Carol Bauss, Carolyn Fairless, Christina Habas, Christopher Hales, Gregory A. Kasper, Judge James O. Browning, Nancy Marder, Seth Gross, Thaddeus Hoffmeister, William Rountree
Recorded on: May. 21, 2019
PLI Program #: 268495

James O. Browning is a United States District Court Judge for the District of New Mexico.  President George W. Bush appointed Judge Browning in August of 2003.

Judge Browning graduated magna cum laude from Yale University, and received his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Virginia Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif.  He received the Margaret G. Hyde prize for being the outstanding member of his class.  Following law school, Judge Browning served as law clerk to the late Collins J. Seitz, Chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (1981-1982) and to the late Lewis F. Powell, Jr., Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States (1982-1983).  After his clerkships, he returned to New Mexico where he served as a shareholder and director at one of New Mexico’s oldest and largest firms before starting his own firm, now known as Peifer, Hanson & Mullins, in 1990.

From 1987 to 1988, Judge Browning was Deputy Attorney General of the State of New Mexico.  He served as Chairman of the New Mexico Sentencing Guidelines Commission.  Judge Browning is currently a director of the Christian Scholarship Foundation and is a former Trustee member of the Board of Trustees for Lubbock Christian University. Judge Browning has been an Adjunct Professor of the University of New Mexico School of Law teaching Church and State and is also a lecturer and moot court participant at the law school and elsewhere. 

In 2003, Pepperdine University bestowed on Judge Browning an honorary Doctor of Laws degree, and in 2013, Lubbock Christian University bestowed an honorary Doctor of Laws degree upon him.

Chief Justice Roberts appointed Judge Browning to two terms with the Judicial Conference Committee on the Administration of the Bankruptcy System; he served on the Judgeships Subcommittee and one of the Committee’s cost containment small groups, which focused on, among other things, staffing, pay, and salary progression.  In February 2011, the Chief Justice appointed Judge Browning to the Dodd-Frank Study Working Group, which produced the Administrative Office of the Court’s report required under Dodd-Frank.  Judge Browning served as chairman of that working group in 2012-2013.  Judge Browning recently served as the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico’s representative on the Tenth Circuit’s Judicial Council, where he served on the Magistrate Committee.  In June 2016, the Chief John Roberts appointed Judge Browning to serve on the Judicial Conference Committee on Codes of Conduct. The New Mexico Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates named Judge Browning the 2009 and 2013 Outstanding Federal Jurist.  Judge Browning was the Albuquerque Bar Association’s 2011 Outstanding Judge.

Judge Browning has been married to his wife, Jan, for forty years, and they have three adult children. They also have three grandchildren. 

Carol Bauss, J.D. Ms. Bauss is a Senior Litigation Consultant at NJP Litigation Consulting/West, a nation-wide, full service, litigation consulting firm. Ms. Bauss has been with NJP for 25 years working in all three of its regional offices – Minneapolis, New York City, and now in the Bay Area. She has worked on over a thousand cases around the country ranging from white collar criminal, commercial, intellectual property, to personal injury, employment discrimination, and criminal cases.

She advises attorneys on trial presentation and jury selection strategy and works with witnesses to improve their communication skills.  Her deep knowledge of juror attitudes, juror bias, and jury decision-making is drawn from her years of experience conducting focus groups, mock trials and post-verdict juror interviews.  She helps legal teams find the human story and universal themes within complex legal disputes. She is especially adept at designing and analyzing mock juror research and translating the research findings into practical recommendations for trial preparation and jury selection.  Her background in law and rhetoric gives her expertise in helping attorneys cut through legal jargon to deliver concise and persuasive messages to the jury and other fact finders.

She is a frequent presenter and trainer for various national, state and local bar and trial lawyer associations and author on topics such as preparing expert witnesses, maximizing damages, improving trial skills, and gender bias and women in the courtroom.  She recently served on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Trial Consultants.

Carolyn Fairless is the co-managing partner of Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell LLP. She focuses her practice on professional liability defense and complex commercial litigation. Carolyn has been called "a lawyer's lawyer" and has successfully defended some of the nation's leading law firms and lawyers in high-stakes legal malpractice matters throughout the country. She has appeared as lead counsel in numerous state and federal courts in Colorado and other states. 

Carolyn is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, The Trial Lawyer Honorary Society. She is AV-rated by Martindale Hubbell. Chambers USA, the leading rankings directory in the legal industry, ranks Carolyn in Band 2 for General Commercial Litigation in Colorado, a distinction that places her among the top 25 commercial litigators in the state. For 2017, Best Lawyers recognized her as the Denver Lawyer of the Year for Professional Malpractice Law - Defendants. Benchmark Litigation has ranked Carolyn in its nationwide Top 250 Women in Litigation for five years in a row. Colorado Super Lawyers has ranked Carolyn in the Top 100 Lawyers and Top 50 Women, as voted by her colleagues and peers, every year from 2011 to the present.

Carolyn earned her J.D. from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1998. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Tulane University.

Christina M. Habas is currently a shareholder in the firm of Keating, Wagner, Polidori & Free, P.C., where she exclusively represents injured people.  Before joining this firm, Ms. Habas was a Judge on the Denver District Court, having been appointed in 2003.  During her time on the bench, she served in the Criminal Division, Civil Division and Domestic Division.  She was also Presiding Grand Jury Judge for the Denver County Statutory Grand Juries for several years.

Before being appointed, she was a shareholder in the firm of Bruno, Bruno & Colin, P.C. where she primarily represented men and women who were involved in law enforcement.  Her original firm was Watson, Nathan & Bremer, P.C., where she began as a receptionist during her time at law school.

Ms. Habas is also Senior Faculty with the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, having taught there since 1991.  In 2014, she was awarded the Robert Keaton Award for Outstanding Service as a Faculty Member.  She has been Adjunct Faculty with the University of Denver College of Law, teaching Advanced Trial Advocacy.  She is also a frequent lecturer on issues involving trial advocacy, motions practice, jury selection, storytelling and ethics.

She has served on the Statewide Judicial Performance Commission, the Second Judicial District Judicial Nominating Commission, and the Chief Justice’s Commission on the Improvement of the Legal Profession.  She is also a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the American Board of Trial Advocates, and is a Fellow with the Litigation Counsel of America.  She received the Kenneth Norman Kripke Lifetime Achievement Award from the Colorado Trial Lawyers' Association in 2018.  She also currently serves on the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado Committee on Conduct.

Christpher Hales is an AUSA prosecuting white collar crimes in Sacramento, California.  He has been trying criminal cases as a prosecutor since 2011.  Prior to that Chris worked at O’Melveny and Myers  LLP in San Francisco for seven years in the white collar criminal defense group on a range of cases, including a substantial focus on antitrust criminal investigations and parallel civil litigation.  Chris graduated from Stanford University in 2001 and Yale Law School in 2004.  He is also a former member of the United States national badminton team and medaled in the Pan American Games in 1999.

Gregory Kasper is the Regional Trial Counsel for the Denver Regional Office, where he oversees the Denver office’s litigation. He joined the Commission and the Denver office in 2010 and served as a Trial Counsel before becoming Regional Trial Counsel in 2014. Prior to joining the Commission, Mr. Kasper worked as a litigator in New York City for almost fifteen years. He began his legal career at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, later worked at Paul Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, and was Special Counsel at Schulte Roth & Zabel prior to joining the staff. Mr. Kasper earned his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and his law degree, cum laude, from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Professor Nancy S. Marder joined the faculty of Chicago-Kent College of Law in the fall of 1999.  She has a B.A. (summa cum laude) in English and Afro-American Studies from Yale College; a M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University, where she was a Mellon Fellow; and a J.D. from Yale Law School, where she was an articles editor of the Yale Law Journal.

Prior to beginning her teaching career at the University of Southern California Law School, Professor Marder was a post-doctoral fellow at Yale Law School (1992–93) and a law clerk to Justice John Paul Stevens of the U.S. Supreme Court (1990–92).  She also clerked for Judge William A. Norris on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (1989–90) and Judge Leonard B. Sand in the Southern District of New York (1988–1989).  In 1987–88, Professor Marder was a litigation associate at the New York law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.

Professor Marder's research and writing focus on the jury.  She has written about many aspects of the jury, including peremptory challenges, jury instructions, jurors and technology, juror questions, jury nullification, post-verdict interviews of jurors, and jury deliberations.  Her articles have appeared in such law reviews as Northwestern University Law Review, Iowa Law Review, Texas Law Review, Southern California Law Review, and Yale Law Journal, and she has organized five symposia in the Chicago-Kent Law Review: "The Jury at a Crossroad: The American Experience," "Secrecy in Litigation," "The 50th Anniversary of 12 Angry Men," "Comparative Jury Systems," and “Juries and Lay Participation:  American Perspectives and Global Trends” (with Valerie P. Hans).  Professor Marder is the author of the book The Jury Process (2005), and she has written several book chapters on the jury and on juries and judges in popular culture.  Professor Marder has presented her scholarship at more than 100 conferences in the United States and abroad.  Professor Marder is currently writing a book on the jury called The Power of the Jury:  Transforming Citizens into Jurors, which will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2019.

Professor Marder reaches a wide audience with her work on the jury.  She is the founder and director of the Justice John Paul Stevens Jury Center at Chicago-Kent, which informs scholars, journalists, and the public about new work on the jury and also organizes conferences and other special projects.

Professor Marder has written about juries and courts for high school students, law students, lawyers and judges and has appeared on numerous radio programs, such as National Public Radio, and television programs, such as WTTW's "Chicago Tonight," in order to discuss current jury trials.

As Professor/Reporter for the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Jury Instructions in Civil Cases since 2003, Professor Marder has helped to draft jury instructions for Illinois.  She has also drafted jury instructions for the ABA, advocated successfully for rule changes affecting jurors in Illinois, given public testimony for proposed jury reforms, and served as a member on various jury advisory committees.

At Chicago-Kent, Professor Marder teaches a law school course called Juries, Judges & Trials, as well as a course on Legislation and another on Law, Literature & Feminism.


Professor Thaddeus Hoffmeister teaches courses related to criminal law, technology, and the jury. He also directs the UDSL Criminal Law Clinic where his students represent indigent clients charged with criminal offenses. Hoffmeister previously served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Hoffmeister has published a number of books, law review articles, and essays exploring juries, the criminal justice system, and the Internet. His most recent book is entitled Social Media Law in a Nutshell.

In addition to his academic publications, Hoffmeister edits two blogs. His first blog, Juries, which has been continuously published since 2008, focuses on the various issues that arise with jurors and the jury process. His second blog, Social Media Law, examines social media’s impact on the legal system.

Hoffmeister has been widely cited in various media outlets ranging from the New York Times to CNN to Wired magazine. He has also made numerous appearances on both television and radio programs.

Outside of his work in academia, Hoffmeister teaches legal seminars to practicing attorneys and judges, works as an Acting Magistrate Judge in Dayton Municipal Court, and serves as a Judge Advocate General in the National Guard. He has also been a jury consultant on several high-profile cases including U.S. v. Barry Bonds.

Prior to joining UDSL, Hoffmeister worked on Capitol Hill, served in the military on Active Duty, and clerked for the Honorable Anne E. Thompson, U.S. District Judge for the District of New Jersey. Hoffmeister is admitted to practice law in California, Indiana, Ohio, and Washington, D.C.


Will Rountree is a Senior Trial Consultant with Bonora Rountree, Trial Consulting & Research in San Francisco, California.  He has consulted with trial attorneys in hundreds of civil and criminal cases. Dr. Rountree’s civil case experiences include:

  • Antitrust cases, including allegations of cartel behavior, with a specific focus on how jurors assess the “rule of reason” in antitrust cases;
  • Unfair Business Practices in both state and federal courts;
  • Intellectual Property, including patent infringement and invalidity claims, breach of FRAND agreements, and trade secrets claims;
  • Employment Discrimination, including allegations of discrimination based on race, age, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, sexual harassment including same-sex sexual harassment, and retaliation claims that include California Private Attorney General (PAGA) claims;
  • Professional Malpractice, including accounting, legal, and medical malpractice;
  • Civil Rights, including police and prison guard misconduct;
  • Product Liability and Product Defect including medical devices, false claims of product labeling;
  • Breach of Contract in construction, energy, real estate, insurance, and high-tech sectors, including breach of license agreements pertaining to immunotherapeutic treatments.

Dr. Rountree’s criminal case experiences include:

  • RICO Allegations;
  • Hate Crimes;
  • Tax Fraud, including allegations of designing and marketing of fraudulent tax shelters;
  • Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity defenses to a number of criminal charges;

Dr. Rountree has written extensively on jury composition challenges, post-trial interview techniques, the discriminatory use of peremptory challenges, and voir dire questioning techniques in restricted time conditions.  Combining consulting experience and research, Dr. Rountree has developed specific voir dire questioning methods to assist attorneys in revealing jurors’ biases.  He is often called upon to conduct publicity analysis and venue studies in high-profile cases, and has testified as an expert in a change of venue hearing where the change of venue motion was granted.

Dr. Rountree has lectured at the University of California at Berkeley, San Francisco State University, Golden Gate University, and the International Institute for the Sociology of Law in Oñati, Spain.  He received his law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley.


Seth Gross has been a practicing trial attorney for twenty-seven years.

He attended the University of Chicago, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 1991. Seth then moved to New York City to attend New York University School of Law. While at NYU, Seth laid the groundwork for his eventual career in criminal law, enrolling in NYU’s Federal Defender Clinic. While in the clinic, Seth worked on both misdemeanor and felony cases under the supervision of the clinical professor.

Upon graduating from NYU in 1994, Seth became an Associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, where he worked in the civil litigation department for four years, representing major institutional clients of the firm such as IBM, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Lucent Technologies and Time Warner.

In 1998, Seth returned to his criminal law, joining the Legal Aid Society of New York as a Staff Attorney in the Criminal Defense Practice, where he has remained ever since. In January of 2007, Seth became a Supervising Attorney at Legal Aid. He manages a group of approximately twenty attorneys, maintaining standards for the practice as well as making sure the newer attorneys are properly trained and get the experiences they need to represent their clients well. In addition to his supervisory duties, Seth still maintains a caseload, appears in court virtually every day, and periodically has trials of his own.

Over the course of his twenty-three career with Legal Aid, Seth has been involved with countless trials, both as lead counsel and as a supervisory second-seat. Charges have ranged from the impossibly trivial to the most serious crimes imaginable, from driving with a suspended license to arson, rape and murder.

Seth lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Robin Alperstein, who is also an attorney and writer, and their two teenage children. When Seth is not doing lawyerly things he enjoys cooking/baking for his family and rock climbing.