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July 20, 2006

Ethical Hmmm

Last night while at the gym I got a call from a former client. Yes, Virginia I do take my treo with me on the elliptical cycle.

I've mentioned before that prior to operating my online store, I was a consultant. I have a unique background in kinesics and a large number of my accounts were with various attorneys who employed me to assist with Voir Dire. For those who have not had the pleasure of watching our justice system in action, Voir Dire is jury selection. To simplify, I would assist my clients by helping them to select jurors that I felt would lean in their clients favor. I did this by interpreting nonverbal communication (body language, oculesics) and paralanguage (non verbal cues, vocal mannerisms, tonality and such).

You might think that my ethical dilemma would have something to do with the fact that many times the clients who were benefiting from my expertise were either guilty or liable or both. Actually that's more of a moral dilemma. But the BIGGER dilemma is always an ethical one. When I am making recommendations, ethically I must do my best for my client. But it would be very easy to make bad recommendations.

The thing I've learned is this. There are exceptions and yes people are considered innocent until proved guilty. However most cases that make it to trial take the long road to get there, meaning that there is often some merit to the case... In most cases ;).

I was asked to consult on a criminal case. I haven't given my answer, but I will be seriously thinking it over.

Comments

Before Runaway Jury, I was completely oblivious to this. I think it would be unethical if only one side did it, but if both sides are doing it than I would think it balances out.

You do kinesics too?! Good lord, is there anything you don't do or haven't done?!

There absolutely no ethical issue involved here whatsover. You should do it.

Jane Lake,

I have not seen that movie, probably won't help me make my decision. It's easy to feel that way going in. It's after the fact that can make your stomach turn.

Thaed,

You got me. I am just making this all up ;)

Really though, no there is nothing unethical about the task. It's more an inward question for me. Can I do this again and am I up for the task. Will I pull the trigger (so to speak) when the time comes. I don't know if I'm cut out for it anymore. That's all.

K

I recall when I was studying acting having to dabble a bit in kinesics. We'd have to do it while acting out a scene and then fire back an appropriate reaction so that everything looked real. Amazing how much stuff is going on with other people if you really look at them.

As for the ethics, I wouldn't worry because the other side has a shot at it too. The result would be a balanced jury. Your just helping once side to achieve that balance so that it's a fair trial. You are adding harmony to a combative environment.

That would be a really difficult decision to make - I think that either way it would weigh on my conscience. What a fascinating field of work, though! Where did you learn how to do it?

Ricardo,

It's a fun skill to employ at a nightclub.

K

Erin,

Definately interesting for sure. When I was a criminal investigator I was trained in kinesic interview and interrogation tactics. After leaving the criminal justice field I started consulting for a friend who is in product development. I helped to interpret test subject results and associated data. She recommended me to another friend who is in publishing and I did some work for her then was recommended to an attorney friend and so on. It was all born out of networking and sort of had a life of it's own. That was sort of a long answer.. I get carried away.

K

Oh I've tried it. I've been burned and I've been rewarded. Women are still very tricky to read.

Oh man, why, with your talents, are you NOT at the World Series of Poker. Can't imagine you'd have any ethical quandaries if your ability to read tells netted you a cool $10 million. ;)

Schad

Schad,

I've been bugging Bobby to teach me.

K

So, if I was wearing my 'Anarchy' t-shirt, would that mean I could get out of serving on a jury and could go and drink beer instead?

I'm not sure how you sleep at night. So much for a fair trial. I think anyone involved in Law should get paid exactly the same--you'd get less tampering that way.

Yes Ben I'm sure everyone in the legal system would work much harder if they were all paid the same irregardless of how hard or well they worked. Yes good plan, let's bring back communism while were at it.

K

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