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3 Excellent Ways to Use “Top-Bottom” Timelines in Trial

March 23rd, 2017|

by Tony KlapperManaging Director, Litigation ConsultingA2L Consulting Timelines are a frequently used, time-honored trial technique that we have discussed in these pages more than once. Since human beings like to focus on a story – what happened first, what happened next, and so on – timelines have the power to summarize, in a simple and straightforward way, the entire narrative of a case. But not all timeline graphics are created equal. Here are three ways to use what we call “top-bottom” timelines that most successfully take advantage of their power to persuade. In the first type of “top-bottom” timeline, the chronological

The Key Elements of a Good Narrative – at Trial or Anywhere Else

March 21st, 2017|

by Tony KlapperManaging Director, Litigation ConsultingA2L Consulting Here in these pages, we often talk about storytelling as a fundamental principle of successful trial work. But what are the elements of a good story? A good story is one that will be retold – it’s one that begs to be retold. Just as our ancestors told and retold the fundamental stories of their nations by the fireside, a great story is one that people today will repeat at the watercooler, in the bar, in the line at the grocery, or anywhere that there’s time for a narrative. A compelling movie (think

Still Think Persuasion is About Talking While Showing Bullet Points?

March 13th, 2017|

by Ken LopezFounder/CEOA2L Consulting We recently asked three top trial lawyers about what makes them so successful in the courtroom. They are quite a successful trio. One of them is Bobby Burchfield of King & Spalding, whose bio notes, “Mr. Burchfield has never lost a jury trial.” That's an especially impressive track record as he's been in practice more than 30 years. So what does winning take? Well, as we saw in previous clips from the same interviews, these trial lawyers believe, as we do, that storytelling is at the heart of building a successful case. Furthermore, as all demonstrative evidence

Lawyers: It’s Time to Make Time for Trial Preparation

March 8th, 2017|

by Tony KlapperManaging Director, Litigation ConsultingA2L Consulting At A2L, we tend to work with the top litigators at some of the nation’s best-known firms. These men and women are obviously excellent lawyers, very good at what they do. They are also very busy. They always have another complaint to respond to, another discovery dispute to resolve, another brief to write or edit, another partners meeting to attend, another associate to evaluate, and another set of bills to review before a client sees them. So when it comes time to thinking about what trial presentation works best, some of these lawyers

The Value of Storytelling: A Current Case in Point

March 1st, 2017|

by Ken LopezFounder/CEOA2L Consulting An article last month in The Recorder, a publication of American Lawyer Media, makes clearly and concisely one of the points that we frequently try to make here on this blog. The article explains what happened in a wrongful-termination trial in federal court in San Francisco, which ended on February 6 with a $10.8 million verdict, plus $5 million in punitive damages, against Bio-Rad Laboratories and in favor of the company’s former general counsel, Sanford “Sandy” Wadler. It quotes James Wagstaffe, the lead lawyer for Wadler and a partner at the small San Francisco firm of

10 Fears That First-Time Users of Litigation Consultants Have

February 27th, 2017|

by Ken LopezFounder/CEOA2L Consulting At A2L, we have worked with thousands of clients over the last several decades. When we first started, almost no trial lawyers had experience with litigation consultants. However, as time went on, the majority of the people we work with have used either jury consultants, litigation graphics consultants, or trial technology in-court specialists at some point in their careers. All these years later, perhaps 20 percent of our clients are first-time litigation consulting users. Not surprisingly, first-time users exhibit many of the same fears that newcomers have shown for decades. Most of these fears are simply

12 Reasons Using Trial Consultants (Like Us) Is Possibly Not Fair

February 16th, 2017|

by Ken LopezFounder/CEOA2L Consulting When I speak to an audience about the work A2L does (other than trial lawyers from large law firms), I sometimes hear the question, “Is the kind of work A2L does fair?” That is, is it fair to have trial consultants support a trial team and use the latest in persuasion science to advocate only one side of a case? In a group setting, my lawyerly answer is usually something like, “What does ‘fair’ mean to you?” Then we litigate the nuances of fairness. What I really think, however, is that the work we do definitely tips

Using Litigation Graphics in Bench Trials: How Different Is It From Jury Trials?

February 9th, 2017|

by Tony KlapperManaging Director, Litigation ConsultingA2L Consulting We’ve spoken here more than once about the fact that jurors, unlike most attorneys, tend to be visual learners who like to be shown, not told. The best way to show them what they need to know, as we have said, is through litigation graphics. Science has also taught us that the best way to keep a jury’s attention is by telling a story in the courtroom. These insights obviously have major implications for how trial lawyers should use the arts of persuasion in a jury trial. What about a bench trial or

NITA Experts Agree: Jurors Want Lawyers to Show, Not Tell

February 2nd, 2017|

by Tony KlapperManaging Director, Litigation ConsultingA2L Consulting We have written many times about the fact that scientific studies have shown that nonlawyers (who are the vast majority of jurors) tend to be visual learners, and tend not to be auditory learners or kinesthetic learners –people who learn by experiencing. Lawyers (who are the ones who present facts and tell stories to jurors) tend not to be visual learners and are often drawn from the ranks of auditory or kinesthetic learners. Of course, this can present an intrinsic problem that we have discussed before. If most lawyers like to tell but

How to Get Great Results From a Good Lawyer

January 31st, 2017|

by Ken LopezFounder/CEOA2L Consulting Not all lawyers are created equal. It's amazing how hard it is for those outside the legal industry to understand this. Many people regrettably believe that those human aptitudes that require creativity and skill are binary. Either you can design a house or you can't. Either you can knit or you can't. Either you have a singing voice or you don’t. And in that same vein, either you're a lawyer or you're not. This is the wrong way to look at it. In all these areas, there are variations and gradations of skills. This is never more