MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Actor Michael Weatherly plays Dr. Jason Bull in CBS’s new show “Bull.”
Dr. Bull is a character modeled after the early career of Dr. Phil McGraw, when he was a jury consultant. Dr. Bull is in demand, helping his clients pick a jury that will deliver the verdict they want.
In South Florida, for the last quarter century, legal teams have often turned to a real-life Dr. Bull – Sandy Marks – to help them in the jury selection process, known as voir dire.
“I started working with Roy Black and the rest is history,” said Marks.
Marks made a name for himself with criminal cases though now his work is mainly high-stakes corporate litigation.
CBS4’s Rick Folbaum sat down with Marks to talk about the show and his career.
“How do you describe what you do,” asked Folbaum.
“I say that I’m a jury consultant. And I follow that up with ‘but you don’t know what that is, do you,’” responded Marks. “After this show, I’m afraid they’re all going to know what it is.”
Marks and his team hold focus groups, or “mock trials” that are also portrayed on the show “Bull” to learn what type of juror might lean their client’s way or not.
“We learn from what their responses to our questions are, and we learn what works and what doesn’t work. The jury is then picked accordingly,” said Marks.
Folbaum asked, “Are there tricks of the trade that you can share with us?”
“No,” responded Marks.“But there are tricks of the trade,” asked Folbaum.
“But there are tricks of the trade,” asked Folbaum.
Marks responded, “I’m sure, yes, there are. There are.”
Marks said he’d rather call them methods.
“Your services are not cheap. People pay a lot of money for a jury consultant,” said Folbaum.
Marks responded, “They pay a lot of money. Yes, they do.”
Marks says there is a kind of science behind selecting the perfect jury. It’s something the team behind the show “Bull” will try to use to dramatic effect.
“In your business, amongst other jury consultants, is there concern that it may put you guys in a bad light,” asked Folbaum.
“Without a doubt,” responded Marks.
The biggest impact of the show, he says, could surface when people are called for jury duty.
“People are going to think that they’re under the microscope and I don’t know if that’s good or bad. The jury’s out,” said Marks.