Professor, Santa Clara University (Santa Clara, CA)

Dr. SunWolf was Training Director for Colorado’s Public Defender Office when she left to get her M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of California, studying juries and persuasion. Two decades of trial work as a criminal defense attorney included a three-year stint in the appellate division. Her research has won numerous national awards, including her book, Practical Jury Dynamics2: From One Juror’s Trial Perception to the Group’s Decision-Making Processes, translating academic concepts of perception, group decision-making, and persuasion into practical trial tools. Now a social scientist and full professor at Santa Clara University, she teaches persuasion, group dynamics, interpersonal relationships, and jury law (as Visiting Professor the law school). Dr. SunWolf published the first communication theory based on jury deliberations (Decisional Regret Theory), which explains how deliberating jurors use counterfactual thinking to avoid anxiety about unwanted verdict outcomes. Her new book describes neuroscience and religious thinking of jurors: God-Thinking: Every Juror’s Moral Brain (LexisNexis). As a public defender, she survived angry judges, misguided prosecutors, weird juries, and the most creative of clients.