Source of article 2's Company - Magnus Insights.
In the first few months of this year I have received several calls from attorneys looking to engage a trial consultant in what I consider to be ridiculously short time periods. Two cases will illustrate my point. First was a call from an associate attorney at one of the largest law firms in the state who was defending a significant and complex commercial case. The call came less than a month before trial and at a time the trial team was so slammed with last minute depositions and hearings that they really did not have time to conduct mock jury research. And, another call was from an associate at a plaintiffs’ law firm about a medical malpractice case involving catastrophic birth injuries including brain damage. That attorney was specific for the need to do the research on a specific day (and, as has been reported in another post – asking that many other shortcuts be taken as to venue and more). That specific day was about a week from the time of his call to me, and though he did not tell me on the first call, that day was 3 days prior to trial. All of which means, on a potentially multi-million dollar case, the first call to a trial consultant was 10 days prior to trial. In both of these cases I got the impression that the attorneys expected their cases to settle, and that never thought there would be a need to go to trial – or hire a trial consultant. We have written in other posts and places about this phenomenon of a disconnect in the preparation of cases by some attorneys and a lack of experience that is hurting their ability to fully represent the client to achieve the best outcome. Perhaps when it is the defendant or a commercial plaintiff, the end client has been unwilling to permit the use of a trial consultant; sometimes this is the case. And, we have had calls, usually with a little more of a window of time, in which we have been called late and were able to put the research together. But, these 2 examples were the worse of recent late calls. With this background, I’ve been struck by the chorus of the song Ready for War (Pray for Peace), released in late 2016 by the band Adelitas Way, which repeats the line “I pray for peace but I’m ready for war.” While clearly written in another context, this line says much about the scenario I’ve just described. Just as armies train constantly, make sure their weapons are ready, and that ammunition is stockpiled to be sure any negotiations for peace (settlements) are done from a position of strength, so do our knowledgeable and experienced clients prepare for trials (wars). Being prepared and not needing all of the “ammunition” one stockpiled is much less harmful to clients than not being ready to do battle in trial if all else fails. Are you ready for war? If not, call us – sooner rather than later. As the Boy Scouts say “Be prepared.”