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7 Things In-House Misses When Litigation Consultants are Underutilized

Ken Lopez
By: Ken Lopez

Litigation Consulting, Litigation Support, Storytelling, Practice, In-House Counsel, 3D Printing


by Ken Lopez
Founder/CEO
A2L Consulting

I think that a lot of in-house counsel don’t know that litigation consultants exist in the role that they play today. Trials are so rare these days that this is understandable. But high-quality litigation consultants are in business quite precisely because trial is so rare.

Top litigation consultants go to trial dozens of times per year, while even the best and highest-profile litigation attorneys go to trial once every several years at most.

Litigation consultants help inform litigators about new trends both in rhetoric and in visual presentation and help provide litigators with a knowledgeable sounding board. They are trusted advisors focused on winning. Yet many top litigators are resistant to using litigation consultants or, if they have them, they don't use them to their best advantage.

I'm pretty sure that any in-house counsel would see the value of hiring someone simply to offer opinions about the case, who either has been a litigator or is a jury consultant with tons of trial experience. Common sense tells you this is good for the client. Yet many litigators still resist.

Can you imagine an athlete who used to play a game many times a year who takes a multi-year break not using a coach of some sort to come back up to speed? It wouldn't make sense. Yet in-house counsel allow litigators to do this all the time.

Here are seven useful insights that the client misses out on when litigation consultants are underutilized.

1. The power of storytelling. We know that jurors learn and understand a case by viewing it as a story.

2. The structure of storytelling. A story needs to have a distinct beginning, middle and end.

3. The most persuasive order to present a case. An experienced consultant knows how to build a case in a persuasive way.

4. Practice. Simply by acting as a sounding board, a top consultant induces a trial lawyer to step up his or her game by constant practice.

5. A good visual strategy. Most litigators understand trial practice but they are not familiar with the latest research on how to present ideas visually.

6. Avoiding silly mistakes. Just one misconception, if it is not caught in advance by a consultant and shot down, can lose a case.

7. The insights of a person focused on winning not ego. Consultants have been in court hundreds of times. They know what wins.

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