Douglas Keene is a jury consultant in Austin, Texas. His article discusses how attorneys should interact with a facially disfigured client in front of a jury (plaintiff or defendant), and how juries might perceive a disfigured plaintiff in a facial disfigurement discrimination case. Although the article springs from Roger Ebert’s disfigurement due to cancer surgery, HR Gazette believes that the analysis applies equally to veterans. As noted by Marilynn Marchione in USA Today:
“Thousands [of veterans] are disfigured, as many as 200 of them so badly that they may need face transplants. One-quarter of battlefield injuries requiring evacuation included wounds to the face or jaw, one study found.”
As employers reach out to returning veterans, we must be prepared to see, interview and hire veterans with facial disfigurement. This article talks about the obstacles they face and the employer, manager and co-worker behavior that can reduce the initial discomfort and self-consciousness that comes with being human and being different. — Editor’s Note.
Jury Expert Article: ”Facial disfigurement is too disturbing, or why I won’t hire you”
By Douglas Keene