Case Analysis and Strategic Planning
Focuses on the key issues and realities of your case
- How is a jury likely to react to the parties, their claims, and defenses?
- What are the strong points and the weak points of your case?
- Who will tell the story of your case?
- How will your client(s) come across during depositions, during mediation, at trial?
- What evidence is good for you? What evidence is bad for you?
- What evidence is good or bad for the opposing party, or parties?
Jury issues of a case are often different than “legal issues”. I help you develop effective strategies for case presentation that are sensitive to your venue, your judge, your jury pool, witnesses, and work with you to graphically convey your case, and succeed in jury selection.
Persuasive Framing, Themes, and Anchors
Central to your ability to convince others that you are right, and your opponent is wrong. Images of courtrooms, trials, attorneys, judges, crimes (civil and criminal) and trials saturate today’s jurors. I help you frame your case, identify key themes and anchors to inspire jurors to agree with your side of the story and return a verdict in your favor.
Mock Juror Research – Focus Groups and Mock Trials
I design, conduct and analyze mock juror research to answer your questions and concerns and improve your ability to win your case. Mock juror research reveals how jurors are likely to respond to:
- Plaintiff’s and defendant’s cases, themes, and case issues,
- The parties, claims, and key documents, and exhibits, etc.
- Key witnesses, and
- Your presentation style.
Winning or losing often turns on witness testimony. Courtrooms are challenging and often upsetting settings for most people. Witnesses, non-professionals and experts are often scared, uncomfortable, angry and worried about testifying. Expert witnesses often struggle to communicate effectively to a lay audience. I help witnesses improve their ability to testify clearly and persuasively in depositions and in the courtroom. I am well respected by my clients and their witnesses for my skill and sensitivity to the challenges they face.
Voir Dire Preparation and Juror Questionnaires
Some attorneys enjoy oral voir dire and others don’t. Successful voir dire is a special skill, which most litigators rarely use. It is a skill that requires preparation and practice. You need to be yourself and respect jurors to effectively obtain information that will allow you to make the right decisions about which jurors to excuse, and who to protect.
Drawing from my work on hundreds of cases, I provide counsel:
- Voir dire questions and probes
- A case specific juror questionnaire (to be submitted to opposing counsel and the court) which each juror completes before voir dire begins
- Evaluate completed juror questionnaires and assign ratings to inform jury selection decisions (usually provided in conjunction with In-Court Assistance with Jury Selection)
In-Court Assistance with Jury Selection
Two heads are better than one, and four hands are better than two. I assist in-court with evaluating jurors’ responses and demeanor, provide real time follow-up questions, document jurors’ answers to voir dire questions, and help counsel make strategic and winning decisions about challenges. Oral voir dire is a daunting task. My assistance in-court can be central to your success at trial.
Understand your audience. Before you try your case to a jury, you need know the characteristics of the jury pool, what they know about the case and the parties, what attitudes and experiences do they have that will shape responses to your case? Community analysis includes identifying local political trends, voter affiliations, local employers, and community issues. If your case has been a topic of public attention, reviewing media coverage will inform insights about attitudes to be on the alert for in jury selection and reactions to topics that will arise at trial. I consult with professional colleagues in conducting community attitude opinion (telephone or on-line) survey research.
Post-trial Juror Interviews
Protecting a verdict, pursuing a mistrial, or simply learning about how jurors responded to case issues, witnesses, key aspects of the evidence, and/or trial counsel are the most common goals of post-trial juror interviews. Post-trial interviews are especially useful when counsel anticipates working with similar clients or issues in other cases or settings.