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Complete Question Explanation

Must Be True—PR. The correct answer choice is (E)

The author here discusses the mock trial results of jury instructions given in legal terms, versus
those given in clear, nontechnical language. When the jury instructions were more technical, the jury
tended to side with the beliefs of the judge (which they were able to determine through nonverbal
cues from the judge). When such instructions were more straightforward, however, with less
technical legal jargon, jury members were more likely to go their own way.

The stimulus is followed by a Must question stem, so the correct answer choice will present a
fact presented in the stimulus. The suggestion in this stimulus is that the manner in which jury
instructions are delivered can apparently play some role in jury behavior: in cases where more
technical language is used, the jury seems more likely to go along with the opinions of the judge.

Answer choice (A): The author does not mention the relative degree of precision in technical versus
nontechnical language. Even if you generally think of technical language as more precise, this choice
does not pass the Fact Test; because it is not confirmed by the facts in the stimulus, this cannot be the
correct answer to this Must Be True question.

Answer choice (B): As with incorrect answer choice (A) above, this choice gives us a could be
answer, but not a must be true. It might be reasonable to believe that one’s influence increases
proportionally with one’s status, but this is not part of the discussion presented in the stimulus. The
issue of status is not discussed, and regardless, the judge maintains the same status in court no matter
how jury instructions are presented.

Answer choice (C): This is an Opposite Answer; the stimulus specifically provides that the jury
had become aware of the judge’s non-verbal behavior (and more often took the judge’s side when
technical language was used in their instructions).

Answer choice (D): Although you may agree with this statement, the author never compares real and
mock trials—real trials are not even mentioned. Since this answer fails the Fact Test, it cannot be

Answer choice (E): This is the correct answer choice; based on the example in the stimulus it
appears that members of a jury can be swayed by the type of language used in their instructions.
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I was wondering if someone could help clarify the process for completing question 4 in LR 1 of September 2009 LSAT about mock trials and jury instructions. I'm not sure why the answer is E.

Thank you!
 Adam Tyson
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Nice name, Studier! I like it - right to the point.

Before we dive in to answer this question, it would probably help us to help you if we knew more about your thought process here. What sort of question did you perceive this to be? What did you think they wanted you to do? Did you have a prephrase in mind before attacking the answer choices? That is, did you decide in advance, before looking at the answer choices, what the correct answer would need to do, or say, or look like? That's a powerful way to approach this test, and makes selecting the best answer faster and easier most of the time.

So, share your thoughts on it with us, and then we will see if we can't help you to adjust your approach to make this more clear and simple.

Looking forward to hearing back from you soon!
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Hi Adam,

Thank you for answering all of my questions! In regards to my thought process, at first I was not sure about what the question stem was even getting at. So, I went on to the answer choices which didn't help me very much. Maybe I just need to slow down my thought process or know what more question stems are asking. I still don't understand why the correct answer is what it is.

Thank you!
 Emily Haney-Caron
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This is a Principle question, and you're looking for the principle that is demonstrated by the stimulus; the stimulus will be an example of one of the principles given in the answer choices. For any logical reasoning question, identifying the question type is a critical step, so it makes sense that you're struggling with this one!

Basically the stimulus is saying: Technical language makes it difficult for juries to understand the instructions, and juries that do not understand are more likely to follow what they believe the judge thinks.

E best matches this. How a judge gives instructions can influence the verdict...well, that's exactly what the stimulus illustrates! In the stimulus, whether or not a judge uses technical language can change the verdict. Same idea.

Let me know if that helps!

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