MMG in the News ________________

New juror attitudes call for new defense strategies

(4/10/23 - subscription required)

Opening statements begin in Derek Chauvin trial

(video 3/29/2021)

Melissa Gomez joins Good Day Philadelphia to discuss the trial of Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd.



How Roundup Trials Are Turning Jurors Into Activists

(article - 7/24/19 - subscription required)

Is The Bill Cosby Verdict The Start Of A New Trend

(podcast - 5/11/18)

Aaron Freiwald, Managing Partner of Freiwald Law and host of the weekly podcast series Good Law | Bad Law, is joined by Melissa Gomez, President of MMG Jury Consulting LLC., to talk about how Juries have changed over the past few years.

Did the #MeToo Movement Sway The Cosby Jury?

(article - 4/26/18)

The trial of Bill Cosby provides what social scientists might call a natural experiment.  In the spring of 2017, a jury could not agree on whether Mr. Cosby had drugged and sexually assaulted Andrea Constand, setting the stage for a retrial.

But between that trial and this one came the revelations over Harvey Weinstein and a cascade of other powerful men that invigorated the #MeToo movement.  The big question: would it make any difference?

Bill Cosby's next sex abuse trial will be much more than a rerun

(article - 3/25/18)

Some things are the same: the famous defendant and his key accuser, the prosecutors, the judge and the Pennsylvania courtroom.

But the second trial of Bill Cosby on sexual assault charges is shaping up to be far different from the first, which ended in a mistrial last June with a hopelessly deadlocked jury that could not agree on whether "America's Dad" drugged and molested Andrea Constand at his home in 2004.

Here's a look at how the retrial, scheduled to get off the ground with jury selection on April 2, will be a departure from the legal drama that unfolded last spring.

In Mueller Cases, Picking a Fair Jury Poses a Challenge

(article - 11/24/17)

With the first trial resulting from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation expected in the spring, prosecutors, defense lawyers and the judge head toward a delicate and often difficult task: picking a fair jury.

In high-profile trials, finding jurors who don’t come armed with their own set of conclusions about a case can be a challenge. And in a politically divisive climate, that task grows even more complex for trials that touch on the presidency, legal experts said.

The Bill Cosby Trial: What Went Wrong?

(article - 6/8/17)

Social media erupted Saturday morning when news broke that Bill Cosby’s sexual-assault trial had ended in a hung jury. When the judge announced a mistrial a little after 10 a.m., questions loomed about what could have possibly happened to cause the jury to become so hopelessly deadlocked in this high-profile case, and whether the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office would take on the 79-year-old comedian a second time.

How The Spotlight Can Shape Jury Decisions

(radio interview - 6/5/17)

While jurors in two radically different cases deliberate under the scrutiny of the media, the public's attention is focused on how juries are supposed to operate in cases and crimes that lay at the center of public discourse.

George Zimmerman Trial

(video - 6/2013)

Abortion Clinic Trial: How Much Graphic Testimony Can Jurors Take?

(article 4/22/2013)

When the defense starts its case on Monday, knowing where the jurors are emotionally is critical.  In cases like the “House of Horrors” abortion clinic trial, the impact of enduring weeks of such graphic testimony and images on jurors is something attorneys on both sides have to weigh carefully.

“If you use it too much, it can actually backfire because jurors will think, ‘You’re trying to upset me to get what you want,’” said Philadelphia jury consultant Melissa M. Gomez.


Sandusky Trial Opens Near Penn State

(radio interview - 6/11/12)

The child sex-abuse trial of Jerry Sandusky opens Monday in Bellefonte, Pa. — just a few miles from Penn State University, where Sandusky was a longtime assistant football coach. Many of the jurors in the case have ties to Penn State. But legal experts say it's not clear how that will affect the trial.

Can Jerry Sandusky jurors overlook their biases?  Analysts say it will be difficult.

(article 6/18/12)

The seven women and five men who will sit in judgment of Jerry Sandusky starting Monday have all pledged to be fair. But that doesn’t mean when they enter the jury box that they’ll be able to check their biases at the door.