Dr. Jo-Ellan Dimitrius


Jo-Ellan Dimitrius received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1975 from Scripps College in Claremont, California, her Masters in 1977 from Claremont Graduate School, and her Ph.D. in 1984 from Claremont Graduate School where her doctorial dissertation was “The Representative Jury: Fact or Fallacy”. The course of study leading to her doctorate was wide ranging—from psychology to sociology to criminology to government. When asked to describe what she learned in graduate school, she’s fond of saying—”I learned about people and about life.”

Career Highlights

While in graduate school, Dr. Dimitrius was the director of a private elementary school in Pasadena, California. She intended to teach at the college level after receiving her Ph.D., and did briefly before directed elsewhere by her fascination with people and the role they play in the court system.

In 1984 she appeared in court for the first time to pick a jury. Since then she has consulted in over 1,000 trials and picked over 600 juries. She has evaluated over 10,000 jurors, witnesses, lawyers and even judges during trial, and at least that many more in pre-trial focus groups and mock trials. Her astonishing ability to understand and predict the behaviors of jurors, witnesses, lawyers and judges led to her being nicknamed “The Seer” by the American Lawyer Magazine. Her selection as the jury consultant in many of the most high profile cases of the past twenty years including: the Night Stalker (Richard Ramirez), McMartin Preschool, Rodney King, Reginald Denny, John duPont, Francis Ford Coppola [“Pinocchio trial”], O.J. Simpson, Jayson Williams, Scott Peterson, Kobe Bryant, Robert Blake, Joseph Nacchio (CEO of Qwest) and criminal and civil cases related to the Enron prosecution.

During her thirty years as a trial consultant, Dr. Dimitrius has amassed an unparalleled track record in civil cases, including the selection of the jury which awarded $80,000,000 to her client, Francis Ford Coppola, in his lawsuit against Warner Brothers Studio. Recently, Dr. Dimitrius selected the jury and monitored an MTBE trial in which the City of New York was awarded $104,700,000 in damages against Exxon. Most recently, Hong Kong businessman, Richard Suen, won $70,000,000 in his breach of contract case against the Las Vegas Sands Corporation with her assistance.

Dr. Dimitrius has not just conducted pre-trial research and picked juries, she has advised many Fortune 100 companies about how regular people—like those who would be on their juries—would respond to their witnesses, claims and defenses. She has addressed the credibility, motivation and general appearance of hundreds of witnesses. She has worked with hundreds of other witnesses—including actors, lawyers, CEO’s and people from almost every other walk of life—to help prepare them for trial.

Dr. Dimitrius co-authored a book entitled Reading People, which was released in June of 1998, by Random House. Her current book, Put Your Best Foot Forward, was released in February of 2001, by Simon & Schuster. Additionally, Dr. Dimitrius co-authored a book entitled Jury Selection in Civil and Criminal Cases, which is a West publication targeting the legal audience.


Dr. Dimitrius is the 2007 recipient of the Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. award from the National Trial Advocacy College.

Media Highlights

Dr. Dimitrius’ talents have brought her into the national spotlight, where she has been featured in such publications as:

  • People Magazine
  • Newsweek
  • Time
  • Parade
  • USA Today
  • New York Times
  • Los Angeles Times
  • Wall Street Journal
  • Playboy
  • US Weekly Magazine
  • Cosmopolitan

And television/radio broadcasts ranging from:

News Programming:

  • CBS Evening News
  • NBC Nightly News
  • ABC World News Tonight
  • The Today Show
  • Good Morning America
  • CBS This Morning
  • Face the Nation
  • CNN’s Crossfire
  • CNN Piers Morgan
  • CNN Wolf Blitzer
  • CNN Anderson Cooper
  • Fox News with Sean Hannity
  • AM Canada

News Magazine Shows:

  • 60 Minutes
  • 48 Hours
  • 20/20
  • Primetime Live
  • Dateline
  • Entertainment Tonight

Legal Affairs Programming:

  • Nancy Grace
  • CNN’s Burden of Proof
  • Primetime Justice
  • Judge Jeannine Piro
  • CourtTV
  • Celebrity Justice

Talk Shows:

  • Piers Morgan
  • Oprah
  • Larry King Live
  • The View
  • CNN’s Talkback Live
  • Hardball with Chris Matthews
  • Politically Incorrect
  • Late Night with Tom Snyder
  • O’Reilly Factor

Radio Broadcasts:

  • National Public Radio
  • The British Broadcasting Co.
  • The Canadian Broadcasting Co.
  • Japanese Radio
  • CBS Radio
  • KFWB
  • KABC TalkRadio – Guest Host

Dr. Dimitrius’ input has been sought out on an amazingly broad range of topics-from the serious to the frivolous. She has been asked to read the appearance and behavior of newsmakers as diverse as Casey Anthony and Jodi Arias to presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. She has been asked by People magazine to comment on “before and after” makeovers of celebrities on trial; has responded to Cosmopolitan’s questions about how to tell if a man is good in bed from across the room; Allure’s inquiries of what to make of celebrities who chew gum in public; and New Woman’s request for her insights into dressing for success—to name but a few such requests.

Additionally, Dr. Dimitrius is a current member of AFTRA, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. She was the body language expert for the third season of ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars.”