Litigation Insights

Home/Litigation Insights

How Do Jurors’ Customer Service Expectations Affect Company Defendants?

January 16th, 2020|

We recently conducted a focus group, along with a nationwide survey of over 150 respondents, that shed light on how the internet – and particularly social media – has influenced juror’s attitudes, experiences, and expectations toward customer service. What we learned suggests that their changing attitudes are likely to have a notable effect on consumer-facing company defendants. Let’s look at some of our key results: 1) Social Media Is a Growing Method to Contact Customer Service and Interact with Companies More and more, jurors are using the internet and social media for customer service and to interact with companies. While

How Do “Anchors” Affect Damage Awards for Pain and Suffering?

December 19th, 2019|

“You can’t place a value on human life.” “No amount of money can bring someone back.” These are quotes we hear over and over from mock jurors, as they struggle to place a value on someone else’s suffering. Jurors often struggle more with this than any other part of their deliberations. In many ways, this is not surprising. Not only do jurors have little experience with the legal system as a whole, but they are being asked to do something that, to many of them, feels fundamentally wrong. How do you reduce someone’s life down to a simple figure? How

How a Royal Wedding Shed Light on Implicit Bias

November 13th, 2019|

A Royal Couple v. The Press In early October of 2019, Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, took new steps in what has been described as an ongoing battle between the couple and the British Press. In separate filings, the couple sued Associated News, the owners of the Mail on Sunday, along with two other British newspapers, the Sun and the Daily Mirror, over the publication of a private letter to Meghan’s father. In a statement released on the couple’s personal webpage, Prince Harry describes the “ruthless campaign” undertaken by the media against Meghan, and pushes back against “bullying”

Does Trial Length Increase Jury Damages?

October 30th, 2019|

During a particularly lengthy hardship and jury selection process recently in the New York City Asbestos Litigation (NYCAL) court, a client of ours brought in some interesting research his firm had conducted over the past four years in that venue.  For asbestos cases that saw a plaintiff verdict, they documented the length of the trials and the jury damages awards, as they had the suspicion that the longer the trial, the higher the award.    This was an intriguing hypothesis, since many of our dust cases (asbestos, silica, coal, talc) can exceed six weeks – which, according to most jurors, is an interminable amount of time.    What Are Some Possible Factors at Play? 

What’s the Best Presentation Software for Presenting Documents at Trial?

September 19th, 2019|

We often get questions about what presentation software to use for presenting documents at hearings, arbitrations, and trial. As is so often the case, using the tool best suited for the situation can really make a difference in the outcome – and the wrong choice can leave you holding a stick in a sword fight. Attorneys have a lot of options when it comes to presenting documents in the courtroom. But when it comes to your main workhorse software, the decision is usually between general presentation software like PowerPoint, and more specialized software like Trial Director and OnCue.1 Neither tool

4 Realities of Using Graphics in Trial (According to a Great Trial Attorney)

August 28th, 2019|

At Litigation Insights, we’ve had decades to work with trial graphics and technology. But ours is an assisting role; we experience the world of trial graphics from one side – the consultant’s. As such, we wanted to learn more about how lawyers themselves plan for and use demonstratives. So, we reached out to one of the best trial lawyers we know, Kurt Niederluecke, who chairs Fredrikson & Byron’s Intellectual Property Litigation Group in Minneapolis. Kurt was kind enough to share with us his own experiences with trial graphics. He discussed the realities of using visuals in modern trials and how

How to Counteract the Anchoring Effects of a Plaintiff’s Damages Request

August 15th, 2019|

Question: How did the jury arrive at the decision to award the plaintiff $20 million in damages? Actual Juror #1: We came up with a percentage approach, and that’s what we all discussed. We started with what she was asking for – $80 million, which seemed like a very high amount, and went down and down from there. Actual Juror #2: None of us had been on a jury before, so we had no idea where to start. What’s a life worth? It would have been nice to have some precedent to go by, but we didn’t. So, we started with

Community Attitude Survey vs. Change of Venue Survey: When Should Each Be Used?

July 23rd, 2019|

When it comes to understanding jurors, each case an attorney tries presents a whole new set of unknowns. What do these jurors think about local employers, large corporations, or pharmaceutical safety? How do jurors in, say, the Central District of California differ from those in the Northern District of California? What experiences might they have with cars or accidents that could influence their leaning in an automobile product defect case? Has media coverage affected their ability to fairly judge the case? Gaining answers to questions like these allows attorneys to develop an informed case strategy. Given the title of this

What Trial Graphics Belong in My Closing Arguments?

July 8th, 2019|

Imagine this:   The jury has just sat through two weeks of endless testimony with duplicative questions and answers throughout. You put together an excellent opening statement slide deck. You used effective video deposition clips and transcript pages to cross-examine your witnesses. You had an interactive map that your expert walked the jury through and he was crossed on. You used the latest trial presentation software to do annotations and callouts on at least 15 documents – per witness. And opposing counsel did the exact same thing. In other words, both sides were great at utilizing technology and trial graphics. Congratulations. It was perfect. To jurors, it

Is a Shadow Jury Worth the Risk?

June 17th, 2019|

Attorneys seem to be using the shadow jury (also called a “feedback jury” or “mirror jury”) less in recent years than they used to.  And that’s too bad.  Especially when the perceived risks of the technique are being given undue weight, scaring some clients away from one of the most vital sources of insight a trial team can utilize.  When words like “jury tampering” and “mistrial” get tossed around, it’s natural to get skittish about shadow juries.  But in our experience these fears are overstated and do not mirror reality.  After all, in our 25–year history of conducting shadow juries, we’ve never even had anyone call it out.  Meanwhile, we have always learned valuable information we could not have obtained otherwise.    In this blog, we want to wash away the exaggerated risks surrounding shadow