Savor It

March 4th, 2019|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: Trials and litigation are unpleasant, right? For one party, it stems from a loss or injury that forces them into court as a last resort, and for the other party, it’s a quite-unwelcome need to defend oneself against an accusation. So what’s to enjoy? As a communication experience, it is often thought of as something to “weather,” to “bear,” or to “get through,” and not something to enjoy. In some cases, some points during those cases, and for some parties, that is going to be true. But in other cases and moments, might it be possible

Rehabilitate Your Lying Witness

February 28th, 2019|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: It was another big moment yesterday as Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal lawyer, testified publicly before the House Oversight Committee. Widely seen as an opening act prior to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the election, Cohen’s testimony focused on continuing business in Russia during the campaign, on the pre-election “hush money” payments to former mistresses of Mr. Trump, as well as various other allegations of legal and ethical failings. Several Members of Congress, including the Committee Chair, Elijah Cummings, noted the central problem: Given Mr. Cohen’s past dishonesty, and indeed his conviction for

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

February 28th, 2019|Litigation Insights|

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

10 Ways to Maximize Persuasive Courtroom Storytelling (Part 4)

February 25th, 2019|The Litigation Consulting Report (A2L Consulting)|

This article is the last in a series of four articles about courtroom storytelling. My goal in this series is to reveal some of the tricks of the persuasive storytelling trade in one place for the busy trial lawyer. I hope that these recommendations can serve as a pretrial checklist for anyone who wants to draft an opening statement. A2L’s litigation consultants have published dozens of articles about storytelling, and we’ve released books and webinars on the subject. These ten tips represent the essence of what we have learned and of what we have taught. If you apply these ten suggestions when

Beware of ‘Participation Deception’ in Your Surveys and Mock Trials

February 25th, 2019|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: Imagine that you receive a phone call and the voice on the line offers participation in a research project, and also offers pay. Then, the caller walks you through a series of questions to determine your eligibility, and it becomes clear what the “right” answer is. And let’s say you could use the money. Do you shade your answers to lean toward what you think they’re looking for? Now, I like to think that readers of this blog, many of them lawyers, are more honest than the average person, so perhaps the answer is “probably not.” We

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

February 25th, 2019|Litigation Insights|

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