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Authors

KenLopez resized 152

Ken Lopez founded A2L Consulting in 1995. The firm has since worked with litigators from all major law firms on more than 10,000 cases with over $2 trillion cumulatively at stake.  The A2L team is comprised of psychologists, jury consultants, trial consultants, litigation consultants, attorneys and information designers who provide jury consulting, litigation graphics and trial technology.  Ken Lopez can be reached at lopez@A2LC.com.


ryanflax blog litigation consultant 

Ryan H. Flax, Esq., Managing Director, Litigation Consulting, joined A2L Consulting on the heels of practicing Intellectual Property (IP) law as part of the Intellectual Property team at Dickstein Shapiro LLP, a national law firm based in Washington, DC.  Over the course of his career, Ryan has obtained jury verdicts totaling well over $1 billion in damages on behalf of his clients and has helped clients navigate the turbulent waters of their competitors’ patents.  Ryan can be reached at flax@a2lc.com.


dr laurie kuslansky jury consultant a2l consulting
Laurie R. Kuslansky, Ph.D, Managing Director, Trial & Jury Consulting, has conducted over 400 mock trials in more than 1,000 litigation engagements over the past 20 years. Dr. Kuslansky's goal is to provide the highest level of personalized client service possible whether one's need involves a mock trial, witness preparation, jury selection or a mock exercise not involving a jury. Dr. Kuslansky can be reached at kuslansky@A2LC.com.

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Good-Looking Graphic Design ≠ Good-Working Visual Persuasion

 

 

goldfish visual persuasionby Ken Lopez
Founder/CEO
A2L Consulting

All of a sudden, presenters are waking up to an unfamiliar world. Audiences are demanding more than pretty pictures from their presenters. Now, instead of thinking a presentation is good because it foregos bullet points and instead uses stock photos like the ubiquitous jumping goldfish, audiences are demanding higher quality visuals and more efficiently delivered content. 

Let's consider the progression of modern presentations, and I'll offer a view into the near future:

  • 1990s - Where it used to be sufficient to talk, visual aids are demanded.
  • 2000s - Where it used to be sufficient to use visual aids, electronic PowerPoint presentations are demanded.
  • early 2010s - Where it used to be sufficient to use text-heavy PowerPoint slides, less text and more pictures are demanded.
  • (the near future) late 2010s - Where it used to be sufficient to use more pictures, visual persuasion is demanded.

No longer are audiences satisfied by the mere conveyance of information, no matter how attractively it is presented. They are demanding more from presenters in two key areas.

First, audiences are demanding high-quality, not just pretty, visuals. We just can't use a few stock images downloaded from Getty or ShutterStock and hope to be persuasive or received well. Using such imagery increasingly feels cheap. One or two stock photos in a presentation works, but one on every other slide is the visual equivalent of using many long block quotes from other authors in an article you "wrote" with an occasional original sentence mixed in. Sure, you've assembled the content, but you're really just repurposing the work of others who are outside of your organization. Instead, create your own visuals. Don't be afraid to take a photo yourself that tells a story. These will land better, allow you use storytelling and be more memorable.

Second, visual efficiency is more important than ever. That does not necessarily mean fewer slides. Rather, it means using clean design that allow the audience to understand your point very quickly, and it means using a charts, images and data to tell stories clearly and quickly. Remember, reading text that is also on screen is a recipe for utter failure. The best idea is to always combine the oral and visual message rather than duplicate the message.

The goal of most presentations is to demand action, whether a sales pitch, a closing argument, a report to a client or an internal presentation. Simply, the goal is to persuade.

How one organizes a presentation can have enormous impact on how it persuades. How well one uses storytelling will affect your outcome. However, how pretty the presentation is will usually not move the needle as much as using science-based persuasion techniques. This is why simply hiring a talented graphic designer to "spruce up" your presentation will make you look more professional, but that work will most likely not affect your overall persuasiveness.

Fundamentally, the lack of connection between pretty graphics and persuasive graphics explains the need for coupling science with design when persuasion is the goal.

Other A2L Consulting articles related to visual persuasion, developing persuasive graphics and the distinction between good graphic design and good persuasive design work:

 

how to persuade visually arguments persuasive graphics

About A2L Consulting

•  Leading national litigation consulting firm since 1995

•  Personnel nationwide

•  Routinely voted #1 for demonstrative evidence consulting, jury consulting or intellectual property litigation consulting nationally

•  Consulted for all major law firms on 10,000+ cases with trillions of dollars cumulatively at stake offering:

Trial Consulting: mock trials, Micro-Mock™, mock Markman hearings, jury consulting, shadow juries, jury selection and more; 

Trial Graphics: legal graphics and litigation graphics, courtroom animation, video, printed foam core trial exhibits, PowerPoint presentation consulting, simplifying the case story and more; 

Trial Technology & Onsite Personnel: ebriefs (electronic briefs), hot seat operators, trial technicians, courtroom presentations and more; 

Look for A2L trial consultants, graphics consultants and jury consultants in Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD, New York, NY, Boston, MA, Alexandria, VA, Atlanta, GA, Miami, FL, Chicago, IL, Houston, Texas, Los Angeles, CA, and San Francisco, California, Wilmington, Delaware, Philadelphia, PA, Phoenix, AZ, San Antonio, Palo Alto, Dallas, Detroit, Baltimore, Cleveland, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Richmond, VA, Salt Lake City, Denver, London, Dublin, Johannesburg, Brussels and many other cities and countries around the world. A2L Contact Information


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What is Visual Persuasion and What Do You Need to Know About It?

 

 

visual persuasion consultantsby Ken Lopez
Founder/CEO
A2L Consulting

Increasingly, battles of the mind are fought with pictures. Whether in the courtroom, in the boardroom or in a legislative setting, visual imagery is often the primary weapon of choice for those looking to influence decision-making and change minds.

Take a look at any of your social media feeds and you'll see why. The world-altering increase in the rate of information exchange caused initially by the Internet and now accelerated by social media has elevated the need for visual persuasion skills.

For more clarity, I think a definition of "visual persuasion" is in order. I'd define it as using science-based, visually-oriented methods to influence the decision-making of people, governments and businesses. The key part of the definition, I think, is "science based." In the last 20 years more science about how (and which) pictures influence decision-making has emerged than in the previous 100 years.

Indeed, the science about how to change minds with pictures is emerging so quickly that it is impossible to for any layperson to keep up with. At A2L Consulting, we spend a large portion of our time focused on using science-based visual tools to influence juries as part of a suite of litigation graphics consulting services. Being good at that, and I'm pretty sure we're the best, requires A2L to stay current on the science.

To address this demand for science-based visual persuasion, visual advocacy and visual influence in areas outside of the courtroom, A2L has added a forth item to its state of the art consulting services. In addition to jury consulting services, litigation graphics consulting services and on-site courtroom technology support consulting, A2L Consulting is now offering visual persuasion as a service.

We have been writing about visual persuasion for many years now, and these articles listed below describe interesting elements of this important topic:

If you seek to change minds and influence people, it is critical to remember that more than two-thirds of people prefer visual communications to the written word - and that's not pictures of words. It's pictures. No longer is it enough to use a bullet-point ridden PowerPoint presentation where you stand before an audience and read bullets if you want to have a meaningful impact.

We're in a new era. The world has changed and done so very very quickly. Fortunately, there are firms like A2L Consulting and a handful of other visual persuasion consulting firms around the world who can help you keep up. Whether you are a lawyer hired to influence the public's opinion on a topic, a consultant seeking to increase your win rate on your client pitches, a political campaign looking to use social media to influence voters, or an advocacy organization seeking to change opinions, you must now become an expert in visual persuasion - or outsource the effort.

 

how to persuade visually arguments persuasive graphics

About A2L Consulting

•  Leading national litigation consulting firm since 1995

•  Personnel nationwide

•  Routinely voted #1 for demonstrative evidence consulting, jury consulting or intellectual property litigation consulting nationally

•  Consulted for all major law firms on 10,000+ cases with trillions of dollars cumulatively at stake offering:

Trial Consulting: mock trials, Micro-Mock™, mock Markman hearings, jury consulting, shadow juries, jury selection and more; 

Trial Graphics: legal graphics and litigation graphics, courtroom animation, video, printed foam core trial exhibits, PowerPoint presentation consulting, simplifying the case story and more; 

Trial Technology & Onsite Personnel: ebriefs (electronic briefs), hot seat operators, trial technicians, courtroom presentations and more; 

Look for A2L trial consultants, graphics consultants and jury consultants in Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD, New York, NY, Boston, MA, Alexandria, VA, Atlanta, GA, Miami, FL, Chicago, IL, Houston, Texas, Los Angeles, CA, and San Francisco, California, Wilmington, Delaware, Philadelphia, PA, Phoenix, AZ, San Antonio, Palo Alto, Dallas, Detroit, Baltimore, Cleveland, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Richmond, VA, Salt Lake City, Denver, London, Dublin, Johannesburg, Brussels and many other cities and countries around the world. A2L Contact Information


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10 Surprising Facts About Litigation Consulting Report Blog Readers

 

 

who reads litigation blogs consulting report a2lby Ken Lopez
Founder/CEO
A2L Consulting

In 2011 we launched this publication, The Litigation Consulting Report blog, and began an experiment whose results continue to surprise me. What started with a handful of readers just three years ago now has 4,700 subscribers and sees close to 20,000 visits every month. Currently, 5 new people are subscribing every day.

Recently, the Litigation Consulting Report was honored by the American Bar Association as one of the top 100 blogs in the entire legal industry. This honor and others such as being voted the best jury consultants and the best litigation graphics firm by readers of a number of legal publications has brought a lot of attention to A2L and to The Litigation Consulting Report.

Periodically, I like to look at the profiles of our visitors. By keeping an eye on what our readers are downloading and what articles they read most, I can help guide what content will be most valuable to our readers going forward.

To get a better sense of our readership, I looked at the profiles of several thousand readers who visited our site in 2014. For most publications, this information would be confidential and proprietary. However, at the Litigation Consulting Report, our goals are to improve the way cases are tried and to improve the lives of those trying them. In that spirit, I think there is some valuable data here that would be of interest to our readers.

Here are 10 facts that surprised me about our readership.

  1. On average, for those readers who have downloaded one of our litigation e-books or watched one of our litigation webinars, they have done so at least three times. Here is a recent list of our top 15 free litigation e-books and free litigation webinars.
     
  2. Our average reader has visited 6 pages on A2L's site, and the highest number of unique pages read so far by a non-A2L person is 408. Here's a list of our 30 very best litigation articles.
     
  3. In the United States, 15% of our readers come from California, 8% are from New York, 8% are from Texas, 5% are from Illinois, 5% are from Florida, 4% are each from New Jersey and Pennsylvania, 3% are each from Georgia, Virginia, Colorado, Ohio Massachusetts, Arizona and D.C.
     
  4. 19% of our readers are from outside of the U.S. Of those readers, 13% are from Australia, 12% are from India, 10% are from Canada, 10% are from the United Kingdom, 6% are from South Africa.
     
  5. For those who specified their title, 40% are partners/shareholders at a law firm, 18% are paralegals and trial support, 14% are associates, 7% are students and 6% are in-house counsel.
     
  6. So far, only 1.1% of our individual visitors this year are A2L clients. However, a whopping 42% of visitors plan to use a litigation consultant in the next 12 months. Wow.

  7. 47% of our visitors have used a litigation consulting firm before similar to A2L (i.e. jury consultants, litigation graphics consultants or trial technology consultants).

  8. 55% identify their biggest fear about using litigation consultants is that they "cost too much." For those of you who feel this way, I really encourage you to read these articles:
     
  9. 41% say that the biggest benefit of using litigation consultants is a "fresh set of eyes" while 18% say litigation consultants "help me be a better lawyer." We agree and encourage everyone to subscribe free to this publication.

  10. 29% of visitors say their primary work focus is complex civil litigation, 21% says it is litigation support, 8% are in patent litigation, 8% say it is criminal cases, 2% environmental and 2% securities. 28% say they do something else.

It is an interesting litigation industry snapshot. Some of my takeaways are that both associates and in-house counsel need to spend more time on getting educated about how best to try cases by relying on resources like The Litigation Consulting Report and other blogs. In that spirit, here is a list of top litigation industry blogs I would recommend reading.

 

litigation consulting graphics jury trial technology

About A2L Consulting

•  Leading national litigation consulting firm since 1995

•  Personnel nationwide

•  Routinely voted #1 for demonstrative evidence consulting, jury consulting or intellectual property litigation consulting nationally

•  Consulted for all major law firms on 10,000+ cases with trillions of dollars cumulatively at stake offering:

Trial Consulting: mock trials, Micro-Mock™, mock Markman hearings, jury consulting, shadow juries, jury selection and more; 

Trial Graphics: legal graphics and litigation graphics, courtroom animation, video, printed foam core trial exhibits, PowerPoint presentation consulting, simplifying the case story and more; 

Trial Technology & Onsite Personnel: ebriefs (electronic briefs), hot seat operators, trial technicians, courtroom presentations and more; 

Look for A2L trial consultants, graphics consultants and jury consultants in Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD, New York, NY, Boston, MA, Alexandria, VA, Atlanta, GA, Miami, FL, Chicago, IL, Houston, Texas, Los Angeles, CA, and San Francisco, California, Wilmington, Delaware, Philadelphia, PA, Phoenix, AZ, San Antonio, Palo Alto, Dallas, Detroit, Baltimore, Cleveland, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Richmond, VA, Salt Lake City, Denver, London, Dublin, Johannesburg, Brussels and many other cities and countries around the world. A2L Contact Information


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7 Ways to Avoid Making Your PowerPoint Slides Your Handout

 

powerpoint handouts slidesby Ken Lopez
Founder/CEO
A2L Consulting

I feel for litigators.

Just a handful of years ago, we litigation graphics and visual persuasion experts were saying, "you must use visuals at trial!" And you know what? Litigators listened. They do use visuals at trial now, almost every time, and they are incorporating visuals into other presentations outside the courtroom as well.

Mission accomplished, right?

Well, not exactly.

What are we litigation graphics consultants saying now? Now that you use visuals, you must use them well, or you risk doing harm to your persuasion efforts. That is, if you visuals the wrong way, you might just end up in a worse position than if you had not used visuals aids at all!

Here are some tips for using visual aids well:

That's not a comprehensive list, but these are certainly six of ten key points I would make for most lawyers making presentations.

I'm going to add one more point to this list. It relates more to non-courtroom settings such as a CLE, a client pitch, a conference presentation, or an internal training session: Stop thinking of your presentation and your handout as the same thing, because doing so makes both your handout and your PowerPoint presentation low-quality.

I see it all the time, and very likely, so do you. Indeed, I saw it yesterday morning, although it was actually done pretty well. I attended a seminar on a topic of interest to me, and there was a knowledgeable presenter. The first thing the presenter did was handout a copy of the slides, three to a page. It's a well-intentioned gesture, but the slides alone were not especially helpful, because it was a modern low-text-style presentation. Then, the presenter handed out a few sheets of paper with some useful tips. Now, that part was helpful. She did it almost right. She separated the handout from the presentation slides.

When we think of our presentation also as a handout, we're likely to design a really bad presentation, because it will be word-heavy. When we think of our handout as presentation slides, we're likely to make a really bad presentation riddled with bullet points and lots of words.

The solution here is simple, but it is not easy. If you are going to deliver a PowerPoint presentation and there will also be a paper or electronic handout, follow these 7 tips:

1. Follow all the presentation rules above on using visual aids well. Click through and read those articles above.

2. Download our free guide for designing great visual presentations.

3. Download our free guide for delivering great speeches and talks.

4. Design a presentation that is in keeping with modern presentation styles. Our article about avoiding bullet points is packed with good suggestions and examples.

5. Insist that you create a separate handout and that your slides not be handed out.

6. Create a gorgeous and informative handout that contains your materials, additional reading and contact information. Your handout will largely mirror your script. Leave some room for people to take notes on it.

7. To the extent that you need it, put your written script in the notes fields of PowerPoint. This way, you can see your script (either on screen in Presenter View or in printed paper form). Here's more from Microsoft on the topic.

Here are some related articles about making amazing presentations, using PowerPoint litigation graphics well and overall being an effective presenter. Good luck!

litigation consulting graphics jury trial technology


About A2L Consulting

•  Leading national litigation consulting firm since 1995

•  Personnel nationwide

•  Routinely voted #1 for demonstrative evidence consulting, jury consulting or intellectual property litigation consulting nationally

•  Consulted for all major law firms on 10,000+ cases with trillions of dollars cumulatively at stake offering:

Trial Consulting: mock trials, Micro-Mock™, mock Markman hearings, jury consulting, shadow juries, jury selection and more; 

Trial Graphics: legal graphics and litigation graphics, courtroom animation, video, printed foam core trial exhibits, PowerPoint presentation consulting, simplifying the case story and more; 

Trial Technology & Onsite Personnel: ebriefs (electronic briefs), hot seat operators, trial technicians, courtroom presentations and more; 

Look for A2L trial consultants, graphics consultants and jury consultants in Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD, New York, NY, Boston, MA, Alexandria, VA, Atlanta, GA, Miami, FL, Chicago, IL, Houston, Texas, Los Angeles, CA, and San Francisco, California, Wilmington, Delaware, Philadelphia, PA, Phoenix, AZ, San Antonio, Palo Alto, Dallas, Detroit, Baltimore, Cleveland, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Richmond, VA, Salt Lake City, Denver, London, Dublin, Johannesburg, Brussels and many other cities and countries around the world. A2L Contact Information


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5 Tips to Avoid (Wo)Mansplaining in Single-Sex Juries

 

by Laurie R. Kuslansky, Ph.D.
Managing Director, Jury & Trial Consulting
A2L Consulting

Having an all-male or all-female jury presents unique challenges. The challenges range from the assumptions you make, to the language you use to the visual evidence used at trial.

Art often imitates life. Reginald Rose wrote 12 Angry Men, which first aired in September 1954, based on his own experience as an actual juror.

12 angry men all male jury

In 1911, we saw the first all-woman jury in California.

all female jury all woman jury

In the State of Florida v. George Zimmerman case, the male litigators faced a challenge with an all-female (not to mention all-white) jury.

New term, old concept: (Wo)mansplaining

One risk that exists when there is a single-sex jury and a litigator of the opposite sex is a litigator's tendency to engage in womansplaining or mansplaining.

That is, a litigator may inadvertently patronize, pander or condescend to the opposite sex when there is a single-sex jury. Anyone might do it, and just as there are men who would do it, there are certainly women who are guilty of talking down to men or acting as if they know more when they don’t.
 

What’s different with women?

Due to a history of gender inequality, women are more likely to be more sensitive to perceiving and reacting to mansplaining, and doing so is becoming more in vogue.

Therefore, what is important for litigators to realize – especially male litigators speaking to females in litigation – is that the concepts of mansplaining and womansplaining have risen from vague discomfort, or even hostility below the radar, to one starting to take center stage in the public’s consciousness, especially since 2011. It bespeaks a quicker readiness to detect and reject its occurrence. Litigators, witnesses and expert witnesses would be wise to heed the blinking red lights before doing things the same old way, if the old way includes mansplaining or womansplaining.
 

How to avoid Womansplaining and Mansplaining

  1. Assess the likely knowledge and experience of the males and female(s) you are addressing about the topic you plan to present. Don’t presume what they know or don’t know. The first all-female jury in 1911 pictured above found for the defense in an obscenity case against a newspaper editor.
     
  2. Rehearse your presentation to an all-female or all-male audience, gather their reactions, then heed them.
     
  3. Ask trusted sources if you have a tendency to (wo)/mansplain, ask for examples, and revisit steps to avoid repeating the tendency.
     
  4. Be mindful whether you are appropriately explaining or overdoing it because your audience is female or male. Specifically, are you clarifying, breaking down, deciphering, rephrasing, or over-interpreting – just because you are speaking to a female/male audience who already understands without your help?
     
  5. Beware of attacking a female or male witness as wrong if you would not do so to a witness of the other gender giving the same testimony with an otherwise identical background. 

litigation consulting graphics jury trial technology
 

About A2L Consulting

•  Leading national litigation consulting firm since 1995

•  Personnel nationwide

•  Routinely voted #1 for demonstrative evidence consulting, jury consulting or intellectual property litigation consulting nationally

•  Consulted for all major law firms on 10,000+ cases with trillions of dollars cumulatively at stake offering:

Trial Consulting: mock trials, Micro-Mock™, mock Markman hearings, jury consulting, shadow juries, jury selection and more; 

Trial Graphics: legal graphics and litigation graphics, courtroom animation, video, printed foam core trial exhibits, PowerPoint presentation consulting, simplifying the case story and more; 

Trial Technology & Onsite Personnel: ebriefs (electronic briefs), hot seat operators, trial technicians, courtroom presentations and more; 

Look for A2L trial consultants, graphics consultants and jury consultants in Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD, New York, NY, Boston, MA, Alexandria, VA, Atlanta, GA, Miami, FL, Chicago, IL, Houston, Texas, Los Angeles, CA, and San Francisco, California, Wilmington, Delaware, Philadelphia, PA, Phoenix, AZ, San Antonio, Palo Alto, Dallas, Detroit, Baltimore, Cleveland, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Richmond, VA, Salt Lake City, Denver, London, Dublin, Johannesburg, Brussels and many other cities and countries around the world. A2L Contact Information


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Top 15 Litigation E-Books & Webinars from the Past 12 Months

 



top 15 litigation ebooks webinars a2l consultingby Ken Lopez
Founder/CEO
A2L Consulting

Since 2011, hundreds of thousands of people have visited A2L's website and industry-leading litigation blog, The Litigation Consulting Report. They come to research A2L's litigation support services, they come to learn how to improve their results as litigators and litigation support professionals, and many come to download a free litigation e-book or watch a free litigation webinar.

Over the past year alone, tens of thousands have either downloaded a book or watched a webinar. Why?

One reason is that there is simply no other place for litigators and litigation support professionals to find the information that we publish. Whether it is a narrow topic like preparing for an argument before the Federal Circuit or whether it is a broad topic like discovering the value of litigation consulting, this information is just not collected elsewhere.

I loved my trial advocacy courses in law school, but in the 1990s at least, they did little to help me prepare to present in the modern courtroom. There was no teaching about how best to use visual evidence. There was very little discussion about the use of trial technology. There was certainly no training for how to set up and structure a mock jury exercise that would yield actionable data. 

All this information and more is what we offer here on this site for free. We publish it on our blog several times a week, but with hundreds of litigation-related topics, finding the information you need can take a bit of searching. That's why we combine blog articles into books with a common theme and offer them as a free download.

Some are practice-area specific themes like those for patent, environmental and antitrust law. Some are focused on different elements of litigation like preparing timelines, getting the most out of a mock trial or using PowerPoint litigation graphics to improve trial results.

Measured by the number of downloads, below are the top 15 litigation webinars and e-books from the past 12 months.

value of litigation consulting ebook a2l15. The Value of Using Litigation Consultants: Our litigation consultants have compiled 62 expert articles on topics related to litigation consulting and litigation generally. Learn about the latest trends and thinking in jury consulting, trial presentation and trial technology in this E-Book.


 

powerpoint trial graphics14. Using PowerPoint Litigation Graphics Webinar: Whether you are in-house counsel, outside counsel, or litigation support, this 60-minute webinar focused on persuasion using PowerPoint graphics techniques will prove valuable. Recorded version is watchable anytime.

 
 

new normal legal economy ebook13. Maximizing Value from Litigation Consultants in the New Normal Legal Economy: In our first book about changes faced by litigators, consultants and in-house counsel because of the changing legal marketplace, we also offer first-of-its-kind content authored by litigation consultants who have been serving the legal community for the past 30 years.



expert witness webinar12. How to Get the Most Impact from Expert Witnesses: In this one-hour and fifteen minute webinar, Dr. David Schwartz shares how sophisticated litigation teams use both testifying and consulting experts to stay on message. Litigator turned litigation consultant Ryan Flax shares what he's learned about explaining complicated subject matter while trying complex cases for a dozen years helping to amass more than $1 billion in jury verdicts and now helping hundreds of top litigators as a litigation consultant at A2L. Ted Dunkelberger describes how to pick the best experts and how to make sure they are ready for trial based on his experience in hundreds of litigation engagements. 


storytelling in litigation webinar11.  Using Storytelling as a Persuasion Tool at Trial Webinar: Whether you are in-house counsel, outside counsel, or litigation support, this 60-minute webinar plus 20-minute Q&A will improve your understanding and use of storytelling techniques during litigation.



 

patent litigation ebook10. The Patent Litigation Toolkit - 3rd EditionAt 200 pages, this edition of the book is more than twice as large as 2012's 2nd edition. Over the past 18 years at A2L, about 50 percent of our work has been in the patent litigation field. Simply, this type of information is not assembled anywhere else and is incredibly valuable to a patent litigator.


 

using science to win in litigation9. Using Science to Win at Trial or in the Public Eye: This unique science-focused book is co-written by the litigation-focused scientists and experts at Innovative Science Solutions and A2L's industry leading litigation consultants. It is an unprecedented guide for those who manage science issues inside and outside the courtroom.

 
 

trial technicians trial technology8. How Best to Use Trial Technicians and Trial Technology: Whether you are a veteran courtroom litigator or even a litigation support professional, you will find this 3rd edition version of this book valuable. This guidebook includes useful articles about how to best organize your trial technology resources for courtroom success.

 
 

persuasive visual presentations7. Creating Persuasive Visual Presentations: This book is a must-have for anyone who prepares persuasive PowerPoint presentations, creates charts designed to influence or prepares any visual designed to change what people think.

 

 

litigation storytelling for lawyers6. How to Use Storytelling in Litigation E-Book: In our biggest e-book yet on courtroom storytelling, our litigation consultants have compiled 75 expert articles on topics related to litigation support and litigation generally.


 

jury consulting trial consulting mock trials5. Using Trial and Jury Consultants to Win at Trial: In our most comprehensive e-book about trial consulting and courtroom persuasion, A2L's jury and graphics consultants have compiled 50 expert articles in what is a first-of-its-kind book.


 

complex civil litigation support4. Winning Techniques for Complex Civil Litigation: Whether you are a veteran trial lawyer or support trial teams, you will find this book valuable. This guidebook includes 74 articles about how to best to prepare and try a complex civil case for bench and jury trials.


 

litigation trial timelines3. How to Design and Use a Great Trial Timeline: This book is a must-have for anyone who prepares informative or persuasive timelines designed to influence and change what people think.


 

describe the image2. How to Deliver a Great Presentation: Whether you are in-house counsel, outside counsel, litigation support or even outside the legal industry entirely, you will find this book valuable. This guidebook includes articles about organizing a presentation, tips for preparing to present to a group and even how to persuade with visuals most effectively.


 

litigation graphics trial graphics consultants1. Using Litigation Graphics at Trial: In our most comprehensive e-book about litigation graphics and courtroom persuasion, A2L's jury and graphics consultants have compiled 74 expert articles in what is a first-of-its-kind book.

 

 

litigation consulting graphics jury trial technology

About A2L Consulting

•  Leading national litigation consulting firm since 1995

•  Personnel nationwide

•  Routinely voted #1 for demonstrative evidence consulting, jury consulting or intellectual property litigation consulting nationally

•  Consulted for all major law firms on 10,000+ cases with trillions of dollars cumulatively at stake offering:

Trial Consulting: mock trials, Micro-Mock™, mock Markman hearings, jury consulting, shadow juries, jury selection and more; 

Trial Graphics: legal graphics and litigation graphics, courtroom animation, video, printed foam core trial exhibits, PowerPoint presentation consulting, simplifying the case story and more; 

Trial Technology & Onsite Personnel: ebriefs (electronic briefs), hot seat operators, trial technicians, courtroom presentations and more; 

Look for A2L trial consultants, graphics consultants and jury consultants in Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD, New York, NY, Boston, MA, Alexandria, VA, Atlanta, GA, Miami, FL, Chicago, IL, Houston, Texas, Los Angeles, CA, and San Francisco, California, Wilmington, Delaware, Philadelphia, PA, Phoenix, AZ, San Antonio, Palo Alto, Dallas, Detroit, Baltimore, Cleveland, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Richmond, VA, Salt Lake City, Denver, London, Dublin, Johannesburg, Brussels and many other cities and countries around the world. A2L Contact Information


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5 Ways to Apply Active Teaching Methods for Better Persuasion

 

 

lecture tech courtroom jury active method jigsawby Ken Lopez
Founder/CEO
A2L Consulting

As I mentioned in my article about the value of litigation consulting earlier this week, studies offering guidance on the best ways to persuade in the courtroom are released almost daily. Most are not courtroom-focused studies per se. Instead, they focus on topics like how best to educate, how best to use visual aids, and how best to influence decision-makers.

Virtually all litigators have made it over the hurdle of whether to use litigation graphics at trial - almost all now do. The challenge now is how to use litigation graphics and demonstrative evidence most effectively - and learning how is getting harder, not easier. Like a lot of things, the more you understand the subject, the more complex you realize it is.

At A2L, we advocate strongly for the use of science-proven methods of persuasion in the courtroom. Many of these methods are counterintuitive, like the technique for overcoming confirmation bias by using a hard-to-read font. Many techniques make more obvious sense, like the avoidance of bullet points.

I noticed an education-sector study released last month that proves how bad lecture-only courses are for learning. The traditional expert-exposition method is simply the worst method one can use for education when compared to more active learning methods like small group exercises. As one Harvard professor commenting on the study in the ScienceInsider noted, "the impression I get is that it’s almost unethical to be lecturing if you have this data."

I concur, and I believe there are lessons for the courtroom as well.

Of course, we can't engage our jurors in a thoughtful Q&A session during trial, but what can we do is use scientifically-validated education methods to beat out our opponents. Here are five takeaways based on this and other educational studies that you can apply in the courtroom.

  1. Switch Your Methods Often: I sometimes say, mix your media to get the point across. I sometimes say you need to use surprise to your advantage in the courtroom. The overarching point here is change, visual or otherwise, drives attention, and you need attention to persuade. Switch up your presentation methodology often.

  2. Have Your Expert Interact With Your Judge or Jury: Whether it is by using a scale model that an expert can hand to the jury or whether it is by using a trial board that an expert can stand up an interact with, find a way to let them get more involved with your decision-makers. Just remember to prepare your expert witnesses thoroughly. Here's a recorded webinar that covers this topic too.

  3. Remember a Jury Trial IS a Small Group Exercise: The study referenced above points to how well small group exercises are for learning in a classroom setting. A trial might seem like a lecture since your "students" can't really interact. However, at the end of your "lecture," jurors actually do have to work together (deliberate) to solve a problem. So give them all the tools they need to do that - this includes very clear guidance on damages, a discussion of the verdict form and a suggestion of how to structure their deliberations that favors your positions.

  4. Lead Them There - Don't Just Lecture: As this study suggests, if all you do is lecture, you are going to lose your jury. So, inject some storytelling in your opening and closing statements and create a path that inevitably leads the jury to the right conclusion. Give them all the tools they will need in the classroom's lab exercise (a.k.a. deliberations) like demonstratives that can be taken into jury room.
     
  5. Show Them - Don't Just Tell Them: As one of the original litigation graphics consulting firms, A2L was, of course, founded on this principle. Good science now shows just how important litigation graphics are to a successful case outcome. You must practice continuous learning if you are going to be effective. Here is a good webinar on using PowerPoint litigation graphics successfully, taught by the top visual persuasion consultant at A2L who happens to have also tried complex cases for more than a dozen years.

These related A2L articles will also help you learn more about persuading with litigation graphics, about the science behind courtroom persuasion and about how to keep a jury engaged:

litigation consulting graphics jury trial technology

About A2L Consulting

•  Leading national litigation consulting firm since 1995

•  Personnel nationwide

•  Routinely voted #1 for demonstrative evidence consulting, jury consulting or intellectual property litigation consulting nationally

•  Consulted for all major law firms on 10,000+ cases with trillions of dollars cumulatively at stake offering:

Trial Consulting: mock trials, Micro-Mock™, mock Markman hearings, jury consulting, shadow juries, jury selection and more; 

Trial Graphics: legal graphics and litigation graphics, courtroom animation, video, printed foam core trial exhibits, PowerPoint presentation consulting, simplifying the case story and more; 

Trial Technology & Onsite Personnel: ebriefs (electronic briefs), hot seat operators, trial technicians, courtroom presentations and more; 

Look for A2L trial consultants, graphics consultants and jury consultants in Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD, New York, NY, Boston, MA, Alexandria, VA, Atlanta, GA, Miami, FL, Chicago, IL, Houston, Texas, Los Angeles, CA, and San Francisco, California, Wilmington, Delaware, Philadelphia, PA, Phoenix, AZ, San Antonio, Palo Alto, Dallas, Detroit, Baltimore, Cleveland, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Richmond, VA, Salt Lake City, Denver, London, Dublin, Johannesburg, Brussels and many other cities and countries around the world. A2L Contact Information


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Don't Overlook Deleted Social Media Profiles During Voir Dire

 

 

social media voir dire deleted profilesby Laurie R. Kuslansky, Ph.D.
Managing Director, Jury Consulting/Mock Trials
A2L Consulting

“Given high profile stories such as WikiLeaks and the recent NSA surveillance reports, individual citizens are becoming increasingly more wary of cyber-related privacy concerns.”1

Privacy breaches encountered by the public, such as the theft of Social Security numbers and the unprecedented hacking of 40 million credit card numbers and 70 million addresses, phone numbers, and other personal information of Target customers (Thanksgiving 2013) add to such wariness.

Indeed, there’s a movement toward more restrictive privacy settings among people who have profiles on social media and a search for more Internet privacy.2

All Atwitter?

In response to these concerns, instead of wearing their hearts on their sleeves and posting a photo of it online, a number of people have opted out of social media after participating in it. They don’t just elect to make their profiles invisible to others through settings – they are removing their profiles altogether.

People who remove their profiles may surprise you in terms of their privacy concerns, their addiction to the Internet, and personality3 compared to ongoing users.

“Quitters” are:

  • More cautious about their privacy
  • More addicted to the Internet
  • More conscientious

It is useful in voir dire, therefore, to inquire -- not only if someone currently has any accounts on the Internet -- but to ask if they ever had any such accounts, and if they no longer do, to have them explain why they elected to make a change. If privacy and diligence are relevant to your case, this line of inquiry may be a new window into prospective jurors who must decide such issues.

In addition, there is a relatively large body of research that offers insights into Internet use and its impact on users.4 A few highlights are that passive users (who merely scroll through posts by others to see what others/peers are doing) on sites such as Facebook, end up feeling bored, disconnected and depressed because they tend to compare themselves to others, whereas active users (who interact with others and post their own information) tend to feel more connected and happier.

Hence, voir dire is an opportunity to ask – not only if prospective jurors use the Internet, and how frequently or which sites they use or where they have accounts, but to dig a bit deeper into how they use it and how actively engaged they are when doing so, if at all. 

Privacy

While at least 75% of Millennials (born at the turn of the millennium) have a profile on a social networking site, most have placed some level of privacy boundaries on their social media profiles.5

Research6 has shown that adults with greater desire for privacy had feelings of less control over personal information and less satisfaction with their perceived degree of control.

Interestingly, despite an increased level of concern over privacy in general, research has shown a “privacy paradox,” whereby even people who report concerns about their privacy nevertheless provide personal information on public profiles in social media, i.e., their attitudes are inconsistent with their behavior.7

In the old days, one might ask how often, if at all, a prospective juror shopped late at night on TV channels such as QVC or HSN as a potential indicator of loneliness, or at least of insomnia.  Nowadays, you must broaden your inquiry to connect – or disconnect – as the case may be.

litigation consulting graphics jury trial technology

 

Articles related to voir dire, jury selection and jury consulting from A2L Consulting:

 


[1] Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCIA, Editor-in-Chief of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, from the Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, CA.

[2] Lewis, K., Kaufman, J., & Christakis, N. (2008). The taste for privacy: An analysis of college student privacy settings in an online social network. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 14(1), 79-100.

[3] Stefan Stieger, Christoph Burger, Manuel Bohn, and Martin Voracek. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. September 2013, 16(9): 629-634. doi:10.1089/cyber.2012.0323 Online at http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/cyber.2012.0323?journalCode=cyber

[4] How Facebook Makes Us Unhappy, The New Yorker, Sept. 10, 2013, posted b aria Konnikova. Online from http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2013/09/the-real-reason-facebook-makes-us-unhappy.html

[5] Millennials: Confident. Connected. Open to Change, Pew Research Center, Feb. 24,2010.  Online from http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2010/02/24/millennials-confident-connected-open-to-change/

[6] Stone, Eugene F.; Gueutal, Hal G.; Gardner, Donald G.; McClure, Stephen. A field experiment comparing information-privacy values, beliefs, and attitudes across several types of organizations.  Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol 68(3), Aug 1983, 459-468. Online at http://psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=buy.optionToBuy&id=1983-32583-001 

[7] Barnes, S.B. (2006). A privacy paradox: Social networking in the United States. First Monday, 11, Retrieved August 8, 2008 from http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs


 

About A2L Consulting

•  Leading national litigation consulting firm since 1995

•  Personnel nationwide

•  Routinely voted #1 for demonstrative evidence consulting, jury consulting or intellectual property litigation consulting nationally

•  Consulted for all major law firms on 10,000+ cases with trillions of dollars cumulatively at stake offering:

Trial Consulting: mock trials, Micro-Mock™, mock Markman hearings, jury consulting, shadow juries, jury selection and more; 

Trial Graphics: legal graphics and litigation graphics, courtroom animation, video, printed foam core trial exhibits, PowerPoint presentation consulting, simplifying the case story and more; 

Trial Technology & Onsite Personnel: ebriefs (electronic briefs), hot seat operators, trial technicians, courtroom presentations and more; 

Look for A2L trial consultants, graphics consultants and jury consultants in Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD, New York, NY, Boston, MA, Alexandria, VA, Atlanta, GA, Miami, FL, Chicago, IL, Houston, Texas, Los Angeles, CA, and San Francisco, California, Wilmington, Delaware, Philadelphia, PA, Phoenix, AZ, San Antonio, Palo Alto, Dallas, Detroit, Baltimore, Cleveland, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Richmond, VA, Salt Lake City, Denver, London, Dublin, Johannesburg, Brussels and many other cities and countries around the world. A2L Contact Information


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The Real Value of Jury Consulting, Litigation Graphics & Trial Tech

 


value of litigation consulting ebook a2l consultantsby Ken Lopez
Founder/CEO
A2L Consulting

After nearly 20 years running A2L and in the litigation consulting industry, I think we may be in the industry's most exciting time. Driven by widely available information about the value of litigation consulting, more litigators than ever are using litigation consulting services, and trials (and clients) are much better for it.

In celebration of this era and to help those seeking to understand the benefits of litigation consulting, today, we are releasing a free 187-page e-book, The Value of Litigation Consulting. It helps explain how and why the best litigators rely on litigation consultants. Hopefully, this book will be used by litigators to explain the value of litigation consulting to clients, younger in-house counsel will use it to explain value up the chain of command, and those new to litigation will benefit from being introduced to this niche industry.

The term "litigation consulting" collectively describes a set of services that A2L provides: jury & bench trial consulting, litigation graphics consulting, on-site courtroom technology support and related services. I've written about who I think a litigation consultant is before.

Even in a time when civil cases still rarely make it to trial, litigation consulting services are widely used where they were rarely used just two decades ago. Why is this so? The answer differs for each service and each is rooted in good science.

  • Litigation Graphics: It might seem hard to believe now, but twenty years ago, most litigators thought showing demonstrative evidence to jurors was largely unnecessary. Today, science has demonstrated that litigation graphics are essentially mandatory for success. The challenge for litigators now is not whether to use them, it is to learn how to use them to enhance persuasion.
     
  • Jury Consulting: I think jury consulting got off to a very rocky start in the 1970s and 1980s. The jury consultants of 20 years ago were all too often people who told litigators what to do or what a jury would say. Today, most jury consultants worth their salt rely on the data derived from highly structured exercises to anticipate good strategies. In other words, they let mock juries do the talking. Now, especially at A2L, jury consulting is scientific exercise.
     
  • Trial Technology: More so than any study about the power of showing evidence (and there are many), this video of a rural jury being interviewed by trial consultant Robb Helt demonstrates the value of technology in the courtroom. In the words of this jury, who I think mirrors most, juries expect technology now, find it useful and it helps them reach a decision
This complimentary e-book provides some amazing insights into why litigation consulting is so valuable. Its 187 pages are divided into four sections: 1) The Value of Litigation Graphics; 2) The Value of Jury & Trial Consulting Services; 3) The Value of Trial Technology Consulting; and 4) The Value of Litigation Consultants.

Each section is packed with hand-curated articles that relate to these topics, such as: Explaining the Value of Litigation Consulting to In-House Counsel; 12 Alternative Fee Arrangements We Use and You Could Too; Will Being Folksy and Low-Tech Help You Win a Case?; 12 Insider Tips for Choosing a Jury Consultant and much more.

Download The Value of Litigation Consultants complimentary e-book by clicking here or by clicking the image below.

litigation consulting graphics jury trial technology


About A2L Consulting

•  Leading national litigation consulting firm since 1995

•  Personnel nationwide

•  Routinely voted #1 for demonstrative evidence consulting, jury consulting or intellectual property litigation consulting nationally

•  Consulted for all major law firms on 10,000+ cases with trillions of dollars cumulatively at stake offering:

Trial Consulting: mock trials, Micro-Mock™, mock Markman hearings, jury consulting, shadow juries, jury selection and more; 

Trial Graphics: legal graphics and litigation graphics, courtroom animation, video, printed foam core trial exhibits, PowerPoint presentation consulting, simplifying the case story and more; 

Trial Technology & Onsite Personnel: ebriefs (electronic briefs), hot seat operators, trial technicians, courtroom presentations and more; 

Look for A2L trial consultants, graphics consultants and jury consultants in Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD, New York, NY, Boston, MA, Alexandria, VA, Atlanta, GA, Miami, FL, Chicago, IL, Houston, Texas, Los Angeles, CA, and San Francisco, California, Wilmington, Delaware, Philadelphia, PA, Phoenix, AZ, San Antonio, Palo Alto, Dallas, Detroit, Baltimore, Cleveland, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Richmond, VA, Salt Lake City, Denver, London, Dublin, Johannesburg, Brussels and many other cities and countries around the world. A2L Contact Information


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The Magic of a 30:1 Presentation Preparation Ratio

 

 

30 1 preparation ratioby Ken Lopez
Founder/CEO
A2L Consulting

I find that by knowing how long something typically takes to do well, one can actually become better at doing that task. It makes sense, right? Once you know how long great work takes, you stop second-guessing your schedule as you do the work. I remember noticing this when I was doing computer animation in the 1990s.

Back then, I had recently finished law school, I was launching A2L, and I could do a bit of 3D animation work myself. However, with the company taking off, I had a chance to work with trained professional animators for the first time. I was shocked to learn that they could spend months working on a single minute of 3D animation to get everything looking just right.

Rendering, the computational process of allowing a computer to create the frames of an animation, could take hours for just a single frame (there are often 30 frames for every second). A minute of animation might have 1,800 or even 3,600 frames of animation. That time scale surprised me and took some getting used to. Once I did get used to it, however, I became a much better animator and designer.

Of course, understanding how long it takes to create great work is not limited to art.

how to persuade visually arguments persuasive graphics

I find the same is true for giving speeches, planning an opening statement, prepping for a mock trial or making a sales presentation. To do them well, it takes time, but how much?

I believe the right answer lies in a 30:1 preparation to speaking-time ratio. That is, if you have prepare a one-hour opening statement, you should take 30 hours to write, prepare and practice that opening statement. I think the same is true for a speech or a sales pitch.

Last week, I had a chance to deliver a commencement speech to the graduate-level students at the University of Mary Washington, my undergraduate alma matter. As I wrote about in 21 Steps I Took For Great Public Speaking Results, I practiced a lot, I used a coach and I exceeded a 30:1 preparation ratio by a wide margin for my 18-minute speech. I'm happy to say it was very well received.

"They call it the practice of law, but nobody is practicing."

My colleague Ryan Flax said this not long after he joined A2L and after 13 years of litigating cases. I think it is an insightful statement.

Perhaps driven by client cost pressure, very few litigators are practicing like they should be. The ones who do are mostly those at the top of the profession. Perhaps it is because they have less cost pressure and can afford to conduct multiple rounds of mock trials and other preparation events.

We have written about the importance of practice before. In 3 Ways to Force Yourself to Practice Your Trial Presentation, we discussed some specific strategies for encouraging more practice. Hollywood chimed in on its approach to getting ready for a performance in Practice, Say Jury Consultants, is Why Movie Lawyers Perform So Well. In Accepting Litigation Consulting is the New Hurdle for Litigators, I related the value of using a litigation consultant to help prepare for trial to the role of a coach helping a professional athlete.

 

Articles related to giving effective presentations, conducting good trial preparation and practice on A2L Consulting's site include:

deliver great presentations inside and outside of the courtroom

About A2L Consulting

•  Leading national litigation consulting firm since 1995

•  Personnel nationwide

•  Routinely voted #1 for demonstrative evidence consulting, jury consulting or intellectual property litigation consulting nationally

•  Consulted for all major law firms on 10,000+ cases with trillions of dollars cumulatively at stake offering:

Trial Consulting: mock trials, Micro-Mock™, mock Markman hearings, jury consulting, shadow juries, jury selection and more; 

Trial Graphics: legal graphics and litigation graphics, courtroom animation, video, printed foam core trial exhibits, PowerPoint presentation consulting, simplifying the case story and more; 

Trial Technology & Onsite Personnel: ebriefs (electronic briefs), hot seat operators, trial technicians, courtroom presentations and more; 

Look for A2L trial consultants, graphics consultants and jury consultants in Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD, New York, NY, Boston, MA, Alexandria, VA, Atlanta, GA, Miami, FL, Chicago, IL, Houston, Texas, Los Angeles, CA, and San Francisco, California, Wilmington, Delaware, Philadelphia, PA, Phoenix, AZ, San Antonio, Palo Alto, Dallas, Detroit, Baltimore, Cleveland, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Richmond, VA, Salt Lake City, Denver, London, Dublin, Johannesburg, Brussels and many other cities and countries around the world. A2L Contact Information


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