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How to Rehearse Your Closing Argument – Without Stumbling Over Your Slides

March 13th, 2019|

You know how to frame a great closing argument.  You know how to deliver it to a jury.  But in our experience, the real hurdle arises when you take that great argument and great delivery and try to incorporate technology.  Which you certainly should!  With juries these days, you need to channel a Steve Jobs product launch as much as a Perry Mason trial.  Yet, in doing so, you introduce potentially unpracticed skills and tools, and place your reliance on an extra variable: the tech itself.  Including slides changes the way you’ll need to prepare and rehearse your closing argument.  Think about Jobs revealing a brand-new product.  The cadence was so smooth, the

4 Major Defense Weaknesses in Health & Safety Products Liability – Part 3

February 28th, 2019|

No sugar-coating it:  the defense weaknesses we discussed in Part 2 are dangerous.  If you don’t have solid, convincing responses to them, you’re looking at significant challenges for your case outcome.  Finding the best solutions will, as always, depend on the specifics of your case.  However, because plaintiffs’ main arguments (and jurors’ reactions to them) are common and have broad applications, there are a number of important steps you can take every time:  Ask Yourself the Important Questions – and Answer Honestly 1. What are your case facts?  How thorough was your testing?  Was there evidence of a problem?  Did you warn sufficiently?   If there was an issue, how quickly did you respond?  What did

4 Major Defense Weaknesses in Health & Safety Products Liability – Part 2

February 25th, 2019|

Now that we’ve covered how jurors tend to think about health and safety products liability cases (Part 1), let’s examine the 4 common plaintiff themes that can cause major trouble for the defense:  1. You Favored Profits Over People This argument tends to be the crux of the plaintiff narrative.  And rightly so – these cases offer plentiful opportunities for plaintiffs to blur the lines between business and financial decisions.  Plaintiffs will suggest to jurors that money is the driving factor behind your client’s actions, not the safety of its consumers.  They can also point to less-than-ideal company documents (there always seem to be a few…) that discuss the

4 Major Defense Weaknesses in Health & Safety Products Liability – Part 1

February 20th, 2019|

When it comes to medical and safety products liability, the defense is inherently at risk.  While we’ve basically seen it all from plaintiffs, where human safety is concerned, a defendant tends to be vulnerable to a common set of plaintiff arguments.  But under the circumstances, in some ways this is actually good news.  At least if you know what to expect from your opponent and from jurors, you can try to do something about it.  The best way to begin to counter weaknesses in litigation is first to understand why the weaknesses exist.  So, here in Part 1, we’ll take a look at the elements that combine to give plaintiffs such an advantage in these cases.  Then, in Part

4 Major Defense Weaknesses in Health & Safety Products Liability – Part 1

February 20th, 2019|

When it comes to medical and safety products liability, the defense is inherently at risk.  While we’ve basically seen it all from plaintiffs, where human safety is concerned, a defendant tends to be vulnerable to a common set of plaintiff arguments.  But under the circumstances, in some ways this is actually good news.  At least if you know what to expect from your opponent and from jurors, you can try to do something about it.  The best way to begin to counter weaknesses in litigation is first to understand why the weaknesses exist.  So, here in Part 1, we’ll take a look at the elements that combine to give plaintiffs such an advantage in these cases.  Then, in Part

Why So Many Mediations Fail, and How You Can Up Your Success Rate

January 10th, 2019|

Over the last 23 years, I’ve attended plenty of mediations with clients to help them prepare and present their mediation presentation.  But from what I’ve seen, there’s not much actual mediation going on.  Instead, it usually goes something like this:  Mediator:  You never know what you’re going to get with some crazy jury, so your best bet is to settle this here with me.  Would each side like to make an opening statement?  Plaintiff:  We know what a jury will do.  We’re going to kick your butt.  Defense:  No, we know what a jury will do, and we’re going to kick your butt.  (Both sides adjourn to separate rooms and eat M&Ms.  Mediator’s corns get worse going

Top 10 Travel Tips for Road Warriors

December 11th, 2018|

At our recent all-firm meeting, the topic of travel came up; not surprising, given that most of our team covers a lot of ground each year.  Soon enough, we all began sharing our favorite travel tips, and were pleased to discover a few that even our hardened LI “road warriors” hadn’t heard of.  Given that our average reader is no stranger to airports either, we thought we’d share our best travel tips here, in the hopes they make your life a little easier as you travel the friendly skies. Top 10 Travel Tips Stay Charged.  If you’ve got a lengthy flight where you hope to get a lot of work done, try to book an aircraft that has AC electrical outlets available for the cabin.  When booking flights online, airlines will list

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

November 5th, 2018|

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 […] The post Trial Technology: What Has & Hasn’t Changed in Nearly Two Decades appeared first on Litigation Insights.

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

October 23rd, 2018|

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 […] The post My Case Isn’t Going to Trial, So Why Do I Need a Trial Consultant? appeared first on Litigation Insights.

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

October 11th, 2018|

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 […] The post How to Persuade Jurors in Trial Using Their Own Voir Dire Feedback appeared first on Litigation Insights.