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Trial Technology: What Has & Hasn’t Changed in Nearly Two Decades

I recently stumbled across an article I co-authored about 17 years ago for the National Law Journal with fellow journeyman and litigation consultant, Stan Sandstrom.  It was entitled, “An Ancient Art Jazzed by High Tech.” It brought me back.  I remembered that when we wrote it, I had just a few high-profile cases under my belt. Of course, now over a decade and a half […]

My Case Isn’t Going to Trial, So Why Do I Need a Trial Consultant?

We at Litigation Insights sometimes worry that the common monikers for our profession such as “trial consultants” and “jury consultants” create the impression that a case needs to end up in trial for us to be of assistance.  Add in the fact that civil jury trials have been in steady decline [1] while alternative dispute resolution […]

How to Persuade Jurors in Trial Using Their Own Voir Dire Feedback

To persuade jurors, you’ll need to offer a thematic story throughout the entire case presentation and through each witness. With the aid of a mock trial, you’ll know what themes resonated best and have a case story crafted around those themes. But that’s only part of the equation. In a trial questionnaire and during voir dire, your […]

Voir Dire Questions: Where Do I Start?

As we’ve discussed in detail previously, the right voir dire questions are those that lead you toward achieving two main objectives:  1) identifying jurors whose attitudes do not align with your client or your case, and 2) establishing the foundation for cause challenges.  When done correctly, effective voir dire prevents your verdict from resting in […]

How to Deal With Bad Company Documents, Part 2: Trial

Almost every case has one.  Some cases have a few.  And in mass tort litigation, they can follow a company around the country, affecting every case and never going away.  Bad company documents are the bane of many trial attorneys’ existence.    While the process of limiting the damage of bad company documents begins in voir dire (see Part 1), it doesn’t […]

What Should I Include in a Mini-Opening? How to Increase Cause Strikes and Save Your Best Jurors

In the hopes of piquing the interest of jurors and minimizing hardship requests, more and more judges are encouraging parties to make “mini-openings” prior to voir dire.  In fact, California courts now require judges to “allow a brief opening statement by counsel for each party prior to the commencement of the oral questioning phase of […]

How to Deal With Bad Company Documents, Part 1: Voir Dire

Almost every case has one. Some cases have a few. And in mass tort litigation, they can follow a company around the country, affecting every case and never going away. Bad company documents are the bane of many trial attorneys’ existence. Whether it’s a poorly worded email, a bad test result, or a historical document […]

4 Challenges of Jury Selection in Small Town Venues

When it comes to litigation, voir dire, and the jury selection process, small towns in America are different from larger cities in more than just size.  Sure, every venue comes with its own hometown culture and shared experiences; but, when the towns are smaller, a greater percentage of jurors share in those same experiences and knowledge […]

Commitment Effects, Part 2: Does Allowing Juror Discussion Prior to Deliberation Affect Their Decision Making?

In Part 1 of this blog, we discussed whether asking verdict-related questions early in a mock trial can cause a commitment effect in mock jurors, such that they are less likely to change their opinions as more evidence is presented. Now, we’ll extend this idea into “real world” trials, because some venues allow jurors to […]

Active Shooter Premises Liability: What Are Jurors’ Expectations of Safety?

Time and time again, the American public reels from the traumas of mass shootings. Virginia Tech, Aurora, Pulse Night Club, Sandy Hook, Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs Church, and, just last month, Stoneman Douglas – all fatal shootings we’ve heard and read about, occurring in different places, at different times of day, and targeting different people. The frequency […]

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