Great Moments in Voir Dire

Newsweek reports on Laura Day, a $10,000-per-month psychic to the powerful, who’s gained a few clients in the legal profession:

A Manhattan attorney who serves as special counsel to several white-shoe law firms has used Day’s insights to help her select juries and anticipate the opposing team’s arguments. “Day saves me thousands of minutes on my cell phone” working a case, says the attorney, who also didn’t want to be publicly identified.

Day denies that she has psychic powers, per se; rather, she has “intuition,” a term more palatable to her clients, “red-meat-eating, Barneys-shopping, Type A personalities.” (The $10,000-a-Month Psychic, Newsweek, Jun 30.)


  • Actually, this is not really surprising and frankly makes for good trial tactics. “Psychics” and other con-artists are usually very good at reading people – especially those suggestible to manipulation and appeals to emotion, which is precisely the sort of person you’d want as plaintiff’s counsel.

    Someone who’s made a living at confidence games and manipulation would almost certainly be better at choosing plaintiff friendly jurors than a degreed psychology professional – it simply comes down to real-world experience and motivation. When your livelihood depends on finding the most gullible sucker, in time it would become second nature to you.

  • Julian,

    You post a very plausible theory.

    It is well known that there is no evidence that people can read people. For example parole boards are no better than random number generators. I understand that effective jury consultants use demographic – in the extensive sense – data in their work. Do you know of any data that supports your theory?

  • It is well known that there is no evidence that people can read people.

    I’ve played too much poker to agree with this sentence.