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Nick Polavin, PhD

Senior Jury Consultant

As a senior jury consultant with IMS Legal Strategies, Dr. Nick Polavin assists our clients with a variety of jury research services including focus group and mock trial facilitation, research design development, statistical analysis for creating juror profiles, and crafting themes and recommendations for trial. Nick also regularly assists attorneys in court with jury selection and voir dire strategies and has worked on over 70 jury selections in his career. In the last three years, Nick has selected juries in four cases that have been rated in Courtroom View Network’s Top 10 Most Impressive Defense Verdicts of the year.

Nick brings a strong research background to his role at IMS. His work focuses on jurors’ information processing styles, their biases, and how they determine damages. He has conducted research on a number of additional topics, including group dynamics, decision making, persuasion, and conspiracy beliefs. Prior to his career as a jury consultant, Nick taught classes on persuasion, public communication campaigns, and media and terrorism.

Nick received his Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Michigan, going on to obtain a Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in communication with concentrations in decision psychology and social psychology from The Ohio State University. Prior to graduate school, Nick worked for the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and several political campaigns. He currently serves on the Professional Education Committee for the American Society of Trial Consultants.

Notable publications & presentations

  • Polavin, N. & Monroy, J. (2024). Industrial Disasters Are Derailing the EPA (and Defendants with it). For the Defense, July/August, 2024.
  • Cotter, C., Polavin, N., Bloom, J. (2024). You Can’t Always Get What You Want: How to Get the Jury You Need for Your Trucking Trial. DRI Trucking Law Seminar.
  • Polavin, N., Oliver, A. & Heimowitz, M. (2024). Is the Best Defense and Good Offense? Public Relations & Social Media Strategies. DRI Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation Seminar.
  • Polavin, N. & Rauch. N. (2024). Jurors in Flux: Unraveling the Impacts of Safetyism and Conspiracism on Today’s Verdicts. DRI Webinar.
  • Polavin, N., Metz, D. & Quallich, P. (2024). GoSueMe: The Broken Promises of Third-Party Litigation Funding. In-House Defense Quarterly (Winter 2024 Issue), 7-9.
  • Polavin, N. (2024). Mock Jury Study Debrief. DRI Litigation Skills Seminar.
  • Thornton, T., Polavin, N. & Sumrall, S. (2024). The Threat of Nuclear Verdicts. RIMS Cumberland.
  • Leibold, J.M. & Polavin, N. (2023). A Strange New Litigation World: Safetyism, Plaintiff Verdicts, and High DamagesDRI For The Defense Magazine (September 2023 issue), 41-44.
  • Polavin, N. (2023). Adapting to Changing Juror Profiles: Strategies to Address the Rise in Nuclear Verdicts. Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys Litigation and Trial Skills Workshop, August 18, 2023.
  • Polavin, N. (2023). The Science of Diversity at Trial. Faegre Drinker Virtual CLE, July 18, 2023.
  • Leibold, J.M., Polavin, N., Burrichter, C., Kim, M., & Ozurovich, A. (2023). Safetyism and Conspiracies Are Affecting Juries. In-House Defense Quarterly (Summer 2023 issue), 17-21.
  • Polavin, N. (2023). The Pool of Defense Jurors Is Drying Up. Iowa Defense Counsel Association Defense Update.
  • Polavin, N. (2023). Who Needs Evidence? The Rise of Conspiracy-Minded JurorsDRI For the Defense.
  • Leibold, J.M. & Polavin, N. (2023). The Rise of ‘Safetyism’ Has Entered the Courtroom. Law360.
  • Polavin, N. (2022). Maximizing Cause Challenges in Voir Dire. USLAW Spring Conference, March 16, 2022.
  • Polavin, N. (2022). Is Your Case a Candidate for a Nuclear Verdict? DRI Litigation Skills Seminar, February 3, 2022.
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Featured Insights by Nick Polavin, PhD

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