Source of article 2's Company - Magnus Insights.
It happened again. I am introduced to a new, prospective client, a lawyer at a very large firm – one with a nationwide presence, hundreds of lawyers, and many offices. This is the kind of attorney whom I assume understands the concept of what a trial consultant does. But, no. I send an email introduction and the response is “…I’ll keep you in mind if we ever get to the trial stages of a case – very rare at a firm like this.” I know it is rare, and the truth is most of our work is conducted way before any trial, and usually, before mediation. Therein lies the problem with being known as “trial consultants.” Most of our work is done to help clients get an idea of the up or down side of a case. A benchmark, if you will; recently a client referred to our work as an “analytic.” Sometimes it is a “reality check.” Early research helps sort through the issues to determine where to focus the trial team’s efforts, what is needed in discovery, and to create something of a litigation road map. I don’t know how we ever get out of the pigeon hole of only being seen as needed for trials – other than me saying and writing things like this. (We’ve written about this before, see,
https://magnusinsights.com/2017/03/identity-crisis-of-trial-consultants-part-2-trials-v-mediation/.) As trial consultants, we do considerable work that should not wait for trial preparation. For example, we are called upon to conduct witness preparation to ensure witnesses are ready to do their best at depositions. This is much preferred to getting called in after the witness has dug a hole for himself or herself. Finally, calling a trial consultant when all else has failed and trial is the only path forward puts everyone in a bind. We’ve seen trial teams that followed unproductive paths, wasting time and money on dead ends throughout the litigation. Worse, some of these teams were invested in the wrong approach to the case but they could not easily adjust and respond to what they learned in jury research. The timing for when to get the most benefit from experienced trial consultants is best determined by calling the consultant early and collaboratively working through the issues in the case.