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INTERVIEW: A First-Hand Perspective of Remote Trials

January 13th, 2021|

Remote trials represent a new frontier for most attorneys. As courthouses across the country cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, many are offering the option of a remote trial. One federal judge even ordered a remote jury trial over the objections of the defendant in the case. In this week’s blog, we interview Joe Grube from Breneman Grube Orehoski, PLLC in Seattle, Washington. Joe recently finished up a remote bench trial and shared his experience with us. How would you describe the overall experience of a Zoom trial? Overall, I would say it was good. There are many formalities of a

A Close Look at the Logistics of Online Mock Trials

January 6th, 2021|

In the early months of the pandemic, most of our clients chose to postpone their mock trials and focus groups to later dates when it would be possible to conduct them in person. After all, it was unclear when the courts would open and when trials might resume. Much has changed since then. Several trial venues have adopted hybrid approaches to trial where jury selection is conducted online while the trial is conducted in-person. Some parties have agreed to conduct entire trials online. In December, a federal judge ordered a remote jury trial over the objections of one of the

Will 2021 Bring Mandatory Remote Trials?

December 28th, 2020|

Courts across the country continue to struggle with the logjam that has been created by the pandemic. After months of no trials early in the spring, state courts in Seattle re-opened in August to hybrid civil jury trials where jury selection was conducted over Zoom, followed by an in-person trial. However, trials were shut down again in November when the state’s governor issued new guidelines to deal with the second surge of COVID-19. Zoom jury trials are an option that have been tried by some courts across the country, but in most cases, these have only occurred when all parties

Zoom Glitches and Delays Are a Much Bigger Deal Than You Thought

December 9th, 2020|

We have all experienced the glitches and minor delays that come with videoconferencing platforms such as Zoom. No matter how good the internet connection, they are inevitable. In fact, they are so common that attorneys might overlook the effect that such glitches or delays have on the participants in the conference. Research shows that the impact is more profound than many might expect and should give attorneys pause as depositions, court hearings, and even trials have shifted to Zoom in order to prevent our justice system from coming to a grinding halt during the pandemic. Over the past few decades,

5 Factors for Determining if a Remote Trial is Right for Your Client

December 2nd, 2020|

With the late Fall surge in COVID-19 around the country, many courts are again having to consider the option of conducting remote trials through a videoconferencing provider. Notably, some venues around the country have already conducted remote trials, with many touting them as tremendous successes during these difficult pandemic times. For example, Florida Circuit Chief Judge Jack Tuter said in a recent Law.com article, “You never could have convinced me back in March that we could have a jury trial on the internet….I would just think there’s just so many limitations, but it seems like for every limitation we had

Finding Your “North Star” through Early Case Assessments and Research

November 19th, 2020|

I never thought when I had Colin Cowherd’s The Herd on as a much needed distraction from all the political news, that there’d be a litigation strategy gem. Cowherd was interviewing Matthew McConaughey about his recent memoir, Greenlight, when they had an interesting exchange about the process McConaughey uses when working with writers/producers on a new project. Here’s a bit of the exchange:  Cowherd began, “Years ago I thought about writing a screenplay, so I read a book about it called Save the Cat by Blake Snyder and he says to name the film before you start writing it; because

Overcoming the Death of Facts at Trial, Part 2

November 11th, 2020|

I wanted to begin this column with the observation that the election is finally over, but your perspective on that probably depends on your political affiliation. Setting aside the outcome, it is notable that more people voted in the 2020 presidential election than in any other presidential election in United States history. While Biden received the most votes of any presidential candidate in history, Trump received the second most in history. What we learned most from this election and the continuing aftermath is that we are a deeply divided nation that can look at the same facts and arrive at

Strategic Insights on Affective Economy: Countering Juror Anger With Sadness Can Exert Downward Pressure on Damages

October 29th, 2020|

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the impact of emotional economy on juror decision-making. Research tells us that the emotional state of jurors has distinct impacts on the way they process and apply evidence and testimony at trial. We also know that in times of a national crisis, like the one we are currently experiencing with the COVID-19 pandemic, people’s emotional states are heightened and amplified. What this means is that you can gain a distinct advantage at trial by understanding how emotional states impact cognition, decision-making, perception of evidence, and your client. Effective plaintiffs can win massive damage

Are Millennial and Gen Z Jurors More Likely to Go Nuclear? Interesting Findings from Controlled Studies

October 21st, 2020|

Millennial and Gen Z jurors. If you are a defense attorney, your blood pressure might already be rising at the mere mention of the emergence of these jurors. After all, millennial and Gen Z’ers are often cited as one of the primary causes of the rise of so-called nuclear verdicts. The narrative generally goes that they are anti-corporate, too idealistic, and, in some cases, too young to have any realistic concept of money. Some of them have weird tattoos. Some of them have unnatural colors in their hair. Many of them cannot enjoy a night out without staring at

Key Insights You May Not Have Considered for Jury Selection Over Zoom

October 14th, 2020|

As some of our readers may already know, King County Superior Courts in Seattle, Washington have resumed civil jury trials with a novel strategy for minimizing potential COVID exposure: jury selection over Zoom, followed by an in-person trial with a variety of social distancing and other protective measures in place. The King County judges and court staff deserve a great deal of credit for what they have accomplished. I was an early skeptic due to all of the potential complications, but the process they have put in place works incredibly well, with only a few minor bumps in the road.