KU News Release


Nov. 8, 2011
Contact: Mindie Paget, School of Law, 785-864-9205

Expert on jury decision-making to give lecture at KU

Tom Beisecker


More Information

LAWRENCE – A national expert on jury decision-making will deliver a public lecture on “The Role of Narrative in the Courtroom” at the University of Kansas School of Law.

Tom Beisecker, an associate professor in the communication studies department, will speak at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, in 106 Green Hall. Beisecker is the inaugural Shook, Hardy & Bacon Center for Excellence in Advocacy Fellow, and this is the first of three lectures he will give during his yearlong appointment.

“Mastering effective communication in a jury trial requires a broad set of experiences and skills, ranging from the technical aspects of evidentiary law to the artistic nuances of body language and storytelling,” said Lou Mulligan, professor of law and director of the Shook, Hardy & Bacon Center for Excellence in Advocacy. “Professor Beisecker’s empirical research plus vast experience in the narrative aspects of the trial will give KU students a real leg up as they begin their careers and provide the bar with fresh insights on jury presentations.”

Beisecker’s main interests include persuasion, social influence, bargaining, negotiation and jury decision-making. He is currently studying when people should concede in the bargaining process, whether knowledge of a subject affects bargaining power and behavior, and how jurors infer missing facts and reconcile inconsistent facts when arriving at verdicts. He is nationally known for his work in legal communication. He is also a member of the board of directors of the American Society of Trial Consultants.

The Shook, Hardy & Bacon Center for Excellence in Advocacy capitalizes on its namesake’s distinguished history in litigation to cultivate a new generation of trial lawyers. The Center has three broad goals: to offer unique skills-based training to KU law students; to present valuable programming for KU law alumni and the regional bar; and to open new scholarly opportunities through a fellowship program.

The Center was founded in June 2008 with generous support from Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP, an international law firm based in Kansas City, Mo., that counts among its partners and associates many KU Law graduates.