The Litigation Consulting Report (A2L Consulting)

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Find Your Own “Sputnik Moment” at Trial

October 4th, 2017|

On this day sixty years ago, a 34-foot-tall Soviet rocket lifted off the Earth from a Cosmodrome in present-day Kazakhstan.  Its payload -- a shiny silver globe with four external antenna masts to broadcast a repeating radio chirp back to Earth.  The Soviets called it Prosteyshiy Sputnik 1 -- “Simple Satellite 1.” The world’s first successful orbiting satellite was tiny, just 22 inches in diameter and weighing 184 pounds.  But its “beep-beep -- beep-beep” signal was rebroadcast everywhere and easy to pick up directly by shortwave radio.  Sputnik could also be seen in orbit by the naked eye, the sun

These Days, More Clients Are Hiring Law Firms, Not Lawyers

September 27th, 2017|

During the past three decades, I've heard many clichés about the legal industry. One of them is that companies hire the lawyer and not the law firm. I think this one is often still true, but, for the first time in my career, I am noticing that this cliché is no longer as applicable as it used to be. This change is happening both at law firms and at litigation consulting firms like ours. It's true there are some special lawyers out there, particularly trial lawyers. Many of them can be recognized by their first names only, like Beth, David, and Brendan. To

3 Suggestions for Overcoming Memory’s Inherent Limitations

September 20th, 2017|

Forty years of research about the psychology of human memory has shown that our memories are far from perfect replicas of the events that they purport to describe. Eyewitness accounts, in particular, have been proved unreliable – with a profound impact on the value of courtroom testimony. Thousands of criminal convictions have been based on identifications and accounts later shown to be incorrect. Human memory is malleable -- it is affected by a number of factors that can modify it or distort it. It is well known that people can be induced to remember and to sincerely believe episodes from

Courtroom Technology and Its Limitations

September 11th, 2017|

We write here frequently about the importance of using visual evidence in trials and indeed in all sorts of other legal forums. But technology is not the be-all and end-all of persuasion. It is a very useful tool, but the importance of technology does not lessen the need to tell a convincing story to a jury or another decisionmaker. In fact, if courtroom technology is not deployed correctly, presenting visuals to a judge or jury can detract from one’s message rather than enhance it. In other words, figuring out who will be victorious at trial is not simply a matter

Use Fonts to Power-Pack Litigation Graphics With Meaning

August 17th, 2017|

The other day, I noticed a New York Times obituary for Alan Peckolick, a graphic designer and illustrator known for his distinctive corporate logos and typeface designs. Peckolick championed “expressive typography.” He wrote a textbook called “Teaching Type to Talk.” He created General Motors’ “GM” logo, and letterforms for Mercedes-Benz, Pfizer and Revlon. In a 2015 interview, Peckolick explained that he conceived of “letterform as a piece of design. Cat is not ‘cat’ — it’s c-a-t. That’s what led to the beginning of the expressive topography.” Peckolick belonged to a pioneering generation of designers who reinvented typeface as a form

Why the Internet Has Permanently Changed the Techniques of Persuasion at Trial

August 15th, 2017|

It is unquestioned that technology has had a profound impact on our environment in the last couple of decades. Our brains are constantly adapting at a physical level to our environment, and research has suggested that technology has changed the way we perceive, remember, and process information. Not much has yet been said, however, about how technology has changed the ways in which jurors process information and the appropriate new styles that trial lawyers ought to use in presenting information to a jury. The growth of the internet, 24-hour television, and mobile phones means that we now receive five times

3 Types of Litigation Graphics Consultants

August 10th, 2017|

As you might expect, I think about the litigation graphics industry a good deal. It’s a fairly new industry, and it is undergoing constant change. The way I think about it, the industry is actually fairly small. There are perhaps three other serious national players that I would be mildly comfortable recommending when A2L is conflicted out of a case. Still, though, these firms are quite different from A2L, so a trial lawyer should expect an entirely different experience as a customer than with A2L. Most of our competition now uses the term “litigation consultant” that we first started using

9 Things That Define the Best Litigation Graphics

July 25th, 2017|

A trial team might reasonably start a meeting with their litigation graphics consultants by saying, “We’re looking to you to help us design the best litigation graphics possible for this case.” It's a reasonable sounding goal to be sure. But what does it mean really? I think this means a lot of things. Ultimately, it must mean those trial presentation graphics will help win the case. Nothing else matters more. So, when you are talking to your trial graphics consultants, consider what you really intend to communicate about your goals. Here are nine things that I think define the best litigation

Please Pretty Up These Litigation Graphics

July 20th, 2017|

Since litigation graphics are so crucial to winning a case, it’s a necessity to put your litigation graphic artist in a position where he or she is most likely to succeed. How should a litigation graphic artist begin his or her work? Here are some possibilities.  The artist can listen to the attorneys and experts describe what kind of demonstrative exhibits they want; The artist can take direction from an intermediary like a litigation consultant or jury consultant; The artist can work from the pleadings; The artist can improve upon a deck that's already been produced in draft form; The

How to Use the Principles of Advice-Giving to Convince a Jury

July 14th, 2017|

Many of us find ourselves, from time to time, in the position of having to give advice to friends and acquaintances. In those circumstances, it’s simply human nature that the person who is seeking the advice is frequently more than a bit resistant to following it. So the person giving advice needs to figure out ways to overcome that resistance and to persuade the friend. I believe that the same principles that help us persuade our fellow human beings to follow our advice are also very helpful for trial lawyers who want to convince a jury of the rightness of