Merrie Jo Pitera, PhD

Dr. Merrie Jo Pitera Senior Director of Jury Consulting IMS Expert Services
Senior Director of Jury Consulting
Organization Profile
Professional Biography

Dr. Merrie Jo Pitera serves as the Senior Director of Jury Consulting at IMS Consulting & Expert Services. She is a psychology and communication expert who specializes in complex litigation and trial consulting. With more than 30 years of experience in the field, Merrie Jo has managed hundreds of cases and understands what is at stake.

Merrie Jo was previously CEO of Litigation Insights, a nationally recognized jury consulting and visual communication firm. Litigation Insights joined IMS in August 2021 to provide clients with best-in-industry support through every phase of litigation. When speaking to the integration, Merrie Jo shared, “This is a powerful combination of culturally consistent, top-performing trial services professionals. Together, we will build on our strong respective legacies to cultivate a deeper bench of talent and resources for our clients.”

Merrie Jo knows how to help IMS clients build persuasive case themes and perform at their highest levels. Her areas of expertise include intellectual property, employment, commercial, environmental, transportation, insurance bad faith, and product liability/personal injury litigation. She is a perceptive listener and observer of jury dynamics and sentiments, and she provides clear insights into how they are likely to impact the decision makers in a case. Merrie Jo’s insight and guidance has been deemed “invaluable” by multiple clients.  

In addition to being a jury specialist, Merrie Jo prepares witnesses for deposition, trials, arbitration, and congressional hearings. She is a frequent national and international speaker on jury behavior and witness prep methods. She routinely publishes articles in a variety of law journals and publications on jury selection, witness communication strategies, and trial preparation. In February 2016, Merrie Jo published a book entitled Storytelling for the Defense: The Defense Attorney’s Courtroom Guide to Beating Plaintiffs at Their Own Game alongside her co-author, Dr. Barbara Hillmer.

Merrie Jo received a BA in psychology from Clemson University before completing her MA in social psychology and PhD in communication studies at the University of Kansas. She is a member of the American Society of Trial Consultants. Merrie Jo resides in the metro Kansas City area with her husband, John. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and practicing her long-range precision shooting skills.

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