Best Article I Read This Week: The Science of Jury Selection and the Art of Conversation

By
Theodore O. Prosise Ph.D.

Tsongas Litigation Consulting

The goal of jury “de-selection” is to reveal jurors with attitudes and experiences antithetical to your case themes and messages.  Effectively and thoughtfully observing juror data and reactions, and then interpreting and evaluating communicative expressions, takes experience, expertise, organization, and effort.  Creating, through performance, the environment conducive to such public expression in a court of law is critical.

The courtroom is an intimidating place; especially for potential jurors.  For many, it is their first time in a courtroom. The formality of the process and the unique elements of the communicative environment can impede their comfort in expressing their views.  In addition, they are often unfamiliar with issues that are deeply embedded within a trial team’s experience.  As such, what can roll off a lawyer’s tongue in questioning may take extra time for potential jurors to process, assess, and react to.  Because the lawyers cannot (or at least are not supposed to) discuss their evidence or the law in voir dire, jurors are often asked many abstract questions which they need time to process before considering how they should answer.  But here is the conflict….

Read the full article here:

http://tsongas.com/blog-posts/the-science-of-jury-selection-and-the-art-of-conversation/

16 Litigation Graphics Lessons for Mid-Sized Law Firms

litigation graphics mid size law firm

by Ken Lopez
Founder/CEO
A2L Consulting

Over the past three decades, law firms have figured out that litigation best practices include the extensive use of visual aids, the regular use of a trial technician to manage electronic evidence at trial, and the value of conducting one or more mock exercises. Each of these practice areas has developed in response to specific problems that exist in bench and jury trials alike, and there is an art and science (and about a $250 million industry) that exists around litigation consulting.

So, as more large litigation is pushed into midsize firms as a cost containment measure, I notice something interesting. Most midsized firms just don’t know how to use litigation consultants, and what might look like cost savings is going to yield troublesome results later. After all, we figured all of these problems out once in the 1990s, and an industry exists to provide solutions.

So in the spirit of offering the midsized firm, or frankly any firm that is not an AmLaw 50 firm, a solid primer on what’s been learned these past 20 years, I offer the following 16 lessons:

1. Using Litigation Graphics Yields Better Results: It’s beyond “broad scientific consensus,” it’s just a fact, Litigation graphics provide better results. This recent 2013 study on the effect of visual evidence on juries [PDF] does a good job of summarizing the science of litigation graphics.

Read more here:

http://www.a2lc.com/blog/bid/69374/16-Litigation-Graphics-Lessons-for-Mid-Sized-Law-Firms

Making Good Use of Trial Director & Demonstratives in an Arbitration

Posted by Ken Lopez

TrialDirector, a trial presentation software package produced by InData, is an indispensable aid to the presentation of electronic and other evidence at trial. There is a reason why this product has claimed the majority of the market share for trial presentation software for more than 10 years: It can actually make it interesting for a jury or other fact-finder to listen to a witness testify about corporate balance sheets, long-ago emails, and other documents that can be fatally boring and lose the attention of the fact-finder.

trial director technology presentation

Read more here:

http://www.a2lc.com/blog/bid/51467/Making-Good-Use-of-Trial-Director-Demonstratives-in-an-Arbitration

The 5 Biggest Issues in Patent Law Right Now

by Ryan H. Flax, Esq.
Managing Director, Litigation Consulting
A2L Consulting

The field of patent law, like all other areas of the law in the U.S., is constantly in flux and is constantly being refined or even rewritten by the courts and the lawmakers.  Even more so than most other areas of law this is true for patent law because, if for no other reason, there are so many nuances to it and so many different complimentary and competing doctrines within the greater label of “patent law.”

patent litigation law issuesTo make matters more volatile, patent practitioners have two courts to deal with in terms of those believing they’re the last word on the relevant law: the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.

So, recently there have been some interesting issues evolving in patent law.  Here’s a brief review to keep everyone up to date.

1. Trolls – slaying the beast under the bridge

patent trolls litigationThe most frequent patent news as of late relates to newly proposed legislation to make it less attractive for non-practicing entities

Read more here:

http://www.a2lc.com/blog/bid/68746/the-5-biggest-issues-in-patent-law-right-now?source=Blog_Email_%5BThe%205%20Biggest%20Issues%5D

24 Mistakes That Make For a DeMONSTERative Evidence Nightmare

Posted by Ken Lopez

demontrative evidence demonsterative halloween demonsteritive evidence

Demonstrative evidence is a general term for evidence introduced in litigation that is neither spoken testimony nor “real” evidence like an actual murder weapon. Demonstrative evidence is introduced in order to make evidence and facts in a case easier for the judge or jury to understand.

Here are some common mistakes to avoid.

  1. Waiting until it is too late. From the very beginning, plan your case with an eye toward its presentation to a jury. See our article on using a dual-track strategy in trial preparation.
  2. Cheating on your charts. There are many ways to lie using charts, including axis changes, using logarithmic scales, cherry picking data, and much more. These “black-hat” techniques are not only inappropriate but if you get caught, they are likely to draw sanctions or worse.

Read more here:

http://www.a2lc.com/blog/bid/60819/24-Mistakes-That-Make-For-a-DeMONSTERative-Evidence-Nightmare

7 Things You Never Want to Say in Court

by Ken Lopez
Lawyers say a lot of things in court – but here’s a list of seven things that, for various reasons, you never want to hear yourself saying in court.

Number 1: “Your Honor, could I please have a moment to sort out this technical issue.” The middle of trial is not the place to fix your technical glitches – yet one hears lawyers utter this sentence all the time. With few exceptions, technical problems are almost entirely preventable. And in any case, you always have a backup plan, right? Take a look at these related articles for more background on this:

Number 2: “My client.” I believe the phrase “my client” should be banished from the lexicon of all litigators….

things not to say in court

Read more here:

http://www.a2lc.com/blog/bid/68380/7-things-you-never-want-to-say-in-court?source=Blog_Email_%5B7%20Things%20You%20Never%20W%5D