Prep with Purpose: Six Best Practices for Witness Meetings

April 29th, 2019|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: Prior to deposition or trial testimony, it is common for witnesses to have one or more meetings. These are sessions with their attorneys, and sometimes with others including trial consultants or client representatives. One goal of these sessions is uncertainty reduction: both client and counsel need to know what to expect. Another goal, of course, is to prepare. You want to have some control over your adversary’s discovery, and you want your witness and their testimony to be as effective as possible. In conducting these meetings, every attorney has their own way of doing things. I

Questioning Jurors? Give Options

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

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: Let’s say you want to know something from your prospective juror: “Do you tend to think that corporations are basically dishonest, or not?” You get a chance to talk to them in court during oral voir dire, or even better, you get to give them a questionnaire that they’ll fill out in advance. Their response will be the basis for that consequential choice: Do I strike or do I keep? Now, if you have a social scientist near you, they might whisper in your ear that it matters how you ask, and it matters a great deal. And

Litigation Graphics in Arbitrations

April 24th, 2019|The Litigation Consulting Report (A2L Consulting)|

In most years at A2L, we are in one or more courtroom-based trials every single day of the year. Increasingly, however, I’m seeing arbitration take the place of more and more trials. One recent article published by Law360 noted that the number of federal trials has dropped by nearly half and pointed to the increased use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) as one of the reasons for that. While the lawyers who lead an ADR team are often the same lawyers who run trial teams, I have noticed that there is far less sophistication in the use of litigation graphics

Feed the lawyers

April 23rd, 2019|2's Company - Magnus Insights|

In a previous post, David and I discussed the challenges we have faced with some of our clients, who did not think we should provide food and beverages to the mock jurors and other research participants who work with us on a case. Sad, but true. Somewhat more surprisingly, we have had other clients who would not authorize Magnus to order lunch or dinner for the attorneys who were working with us on a research day. These clients, who also happen to be attorneys, instructed us not to allow the attorneys who worked in their law firm to order any

Summarize With Care

April 22nd, 2019|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: Americans finally got to see the redacted report from Independent Counsel Robert Mueller last week. The report on Trump campaign issues relating to Russian election interference raised questions in a great variety of categories, one of those categories being the accuracy of Robert Barr’s summary of that report to Congress a few weeks earlier. While the Attorney General had, at that time, only set out to report the main conclusions, a number of critics have pointed to some substantial discrepancies between Mr. Barr’s summary and the actual report. To take one example, the summary suggested that the

Project Your Voice

April 18th, 2019|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: It is one of the central messages of witness preparation: Be confident, because if you’re confident, you’ll be more credible. Once, I got the reply from a witness, “But I don’t feel confident,” and the question, “Should I act confident even if I don’t feel it?” The short answer, “Yes.” The longer answer is, “Let’s work on the reasons you aren’t feeling confident, but at the same time, let’s focus on the behaviors that convey confidence.” That’s the right approach because the behaviors matter independently. In one study, researchers from the University of Utah, Notre Dame, and Berkeley (Tenney