Vinson & Company’s extensive experience in civil litigation, as well as its use of proprietary social science research methodologies developed over the past 35 years, set it apart from its competitors.


We conduct state-of-the-art research based on established theory and methodology from the fields of psychology, social psychology, sociology, communications, and market research.

Some activities we are typically asked to undertake include:

  • Issue Identification Studies
  • Juror Perception Research
  • Verdict Analysis
  • Theme Testing
  • Venue Attitude Surveys
  • Juror Profile Modeling
  • Witness Evaluation & Preparation
  • Opening Statement/Closing Argument Analysis
  • Visual Strategy Development & Testing
  • Jury Instruction and Verdict Form Evaluations

Our work provides counsel with strategies to convert abstract, confusing or complex concepts into information jurors can use.

The techniques we employ have been used successfully by communication, entertainment, and media professionals to help trial lawyers and witnesses maximize the persuasive impact of their message.


Based on the objective, empirical findings from our jury research activities, we are prepared to assist counsel at trial with:

  • Juror Questionnaire Development & Analysis
  • Voir Dire Strategy Planning
  • Jury Selection Assistance
  • Social Media & Background Investigation of Prospective Jurors
  • Shadow Juries
  • Post Trial Juror Interviews


Combining the unique benefits of small-group qualitative research with the advantages of large sample quantitative surveys, online jury research can compliment traditional jury research activities by doing what mock trials cannot.

    • A platform for easily, efficiently and inexpensively testing alternative trial strategies
    • Larger sample sizes than can be obtained in focus group settings
    • Results based on more case specific, detailed content than can be presented in¬†large-sample¬†phone surveys

    • More reliable data for developing trial presentation and jury selection strategies
    • Elimination of moderator influences that could skew results
    • Less time and travel required of counsel
    • An affordable, fixed cost


Dr. Donald E. Vinson


Dr. Vinson is widely considered the "founding father" of the trial consulting field, and is internationally recognized as the world's leading expert in the field. He has founded three successful companies in the industry, two of which were acquired by NYSE-listed corporations. Dr. Vinson has spent the last 35 years providing valuable insights and strategic recommendations to top trial attorneys and Fortune 500 companies about juror behavior, and his record of success is unparalleled. He has consulted on hundreds of civil and criminal trials, including Pennzoil v. Texaco, USFL v. NFL, Oklahoma City bombing, the DuPont Plaza Hotel and MGM Grand Hotel fires, Dalkon Shield litigation, the O.J. Simpson murder trial, and the World Trade Center insurance case.

Dr. Vinson spent a number of years as a respected academic, serving on the faculty of the Anderson School of Management at UCLA and was Chairman of the Marketing Department at the USC Marshall School of Business from 1975 until 1980. In addition, he has been a professor of business at Louisiana State University, a Visiting Professor of Law at Tulane University, and a member of the faculty of the Salzburg Seminar in Salzburg, Austria, where he taught a course in International Jurisprudence with Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

Dr. Vinson was appointed to the Advisory Council, National Institutes of Health by President Bush and served as the United States Representative to the South Pacific Commission under both Presidents Bush and Clinton. In addition, Dr. Vinson was Chairman of the Board of the Institute for Legal Reform of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and was Commissioner of the California Commission on Judicial Performance. He has served on numerous other corporate, educational, and professional boards, including the UCLA Board of Visitors and the World Board of Governors of the United Service Organization.

Dr. Vinson has authored and contributed to 10 books and more than 50 articles on the subject of jury psychology and jury research techniques. He has been quoted or interviewed by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, Forbes, Time, The Economist, and has appeared on CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, CBS This Morning, Dateline NBC, ABC Evening News, CNN, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Nightline, Larry King Live, and The O'Reilly Factor.

Dr. Vinson holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Sociology and Market Research from the University of Colorado; an M.S. in Market Research and Consumer Behavior from UCLA; and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Arizona.

Stephen J. Paterson

President & CEO

Stephen Paterson is President and CEO of Vinson & Company and has more than 25 years of experience in the trial consulting industry. He began his career as the Director of Marketing at Litigation Sciences, Inc, the first jury consulting firm in the industry.

Mr. Paterson has served as a litigation consultant in some of the most well-known trials in recent legal history. These cases have included major business disputes such the World Trade Center insurance coverage litigation, which resulted in multi-billion dollar victories for Swiss Re and Lloyd's of London. In addition to providing jury trial assistance to Fortune 500 companies, he was also the lead trial consultant in the O.J. Simpson civil trial for the Goldman family. In legal actions taken by the government, he consulted in the Oklahoma City bombing case, in the case against the accounting firm Arthur Anderson, and with the successful prosecutions of former Louisiana governor Edwin W. Edwards, and U.S. Congressman Walter Tucker. In addition, he has lectured and served on the faculty of numerous prosecution training institutes including the New York Prosecutors Training Institute.

His litigation experience includes cases in State and Federal courts throughout the country, in U.S. Territories, and in a major tax fraud matter in Australia.

Mr. Paterson graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in Applied Mathematics and has an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Dr. Norma Silverstein

Senior Vice President of Research and Development

Dr. Silverstein has more than 25 years of experience in the trial consulting industry. She has served alongside Dr. Donald Vinson and Steve Paterson as a litigation consultant in some of the most well-known trials in recent legal history. These cases have included Fortune 500 companies across the United States. She assisted Daniel Petrocelli and his trial team during the O.J. Simpson civil trial for the Goldman family. Along with Mr. Paterson, she consulted on the Oklahoma City bombing case, in the case against the accounting firm Arthur Anderson, and assisted with the successful prosecutions of former Louisiana governor Edwin W. Edwards and U.S. Congressman Walter Tucker. She has also consulted on and assisted in jury selection in capital murder trials for several State Attorneys General and has worked with the DOJ on civil rights issues, including the Len Davis trial in New Orleans. In addition, she has served on the faculty of prosecution training institutes including the New York Prosecutors Training Institute.

Dr. Silverstein obtained her undergraduate education at the University of Missouri, postgraduate education in Statistics and Psychometrics at CSULB, Ed.D. (ABD) & Ph.D. at USC and Psy.D. From California Coast University.

David Perlut

Vice President

Mr. Perlut has nearly 20 years of experience as a litigation consultant. He has been responsible for developing and presenting strategic recommendations for crafting enhanced, persuasive communications based on the analysis and interpretation of quantitative and qualitative research findings. He has advised clients on jury selection using multi-dimensional profiling models designed to identify juror bias during the voir dire process. He has evaluated and assisted fact and expert witnesses preparing to testify at trial. And he has created and executed sophisticated jury research methodologies, designed survey instruments and procedures, and managed all aspects of multi-phase projects for clients and their counsel.

Mr. Perlut graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in Psychology and Political Science.

May Wu

Vice President of Operations

For over 15 years, Ms. Wu has assisted high profile clientele including Fortune 500 companies, the US Government, corporate professionals and celebrities involved in civil and criminal trials with jury selection, trial strategy, crisis and risk management and communications consulting. Prior to Vinson & Company, she worked as Management Consultant for Campaigners, an Inc. 500 sales and marketing services company for clients such as Motorola and Fujifilm.

Ms. Wu received her undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles (cum laude, Departmental Honors - top 10%, and Phi Beta Kappa) and an MBA from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business (Beta Gamma Sigma honors).

Dr. Katherine Vinson

Senior Litigation Consultant

Dr. Katherine Vinson has over 10 years of litigation experience and is a social psychologist with a specialty in juror behavior and decision making. Her expertise is based on measures of juror attitudes, experiences, and behaviors which are used to develop jury prediction models. She has experience in major commercial litigation including the Lucent Technologies securities litigation, and contract matters involving CSX, DirecTV and Quest. She also conducted research in patent and intellectual property matters for Monsanto and DuPont, and she assisted the government in the prosecution of Len Davis (New Orleans Police Corruption) and members of the Symbionese Liberation Army (kidnappers of Patty Hearst).

Dr. Vinson holds a B.B.A. in Business Administration from Southern Methodist University and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology from Claremont Graduate University.