The Litigation Consulting Report

Trial Graphic: Could a Wall Chart Change How Litigators Prep Cases?

Posted by Ken Lopez on Fri, Mar 25, 2011 @ 09:45 AM


I have had the great pleasure of working closely with hundreds of world's best litigators since 1995.  One common theme they communicate is that they see simplifying their case, prior to walking into the courtroom, as part of their job.  Today, I am writing to share about a 'new' tool designed quite precisely for this purpose.

The new tool is a modern software version of a decades-old technique modeled on centuries-old principles.  In general this tool facilitates the visualization of complex and interrelated ideas. Specifically, I am talking about a process called mind mapping.

Mind mapping is a 60s-era-sounding term for an activity that seems, at first glance, like it must have certainly been born on the left-coast.  In a sense, both of those things are true.  It was in fact developed in the era between the 50s and 70s, and it was born on a left coast of sorts. However, this 'left coast' is really the western suburbs of London.

Regardless of mind mapping's nonconformist origins, I believe it has a place in the toolkit of the modern litigator.  After all, many thought-leading litigation trends were born in California or places like it (e.g. demonstrative evidence, jury research, courtroom animation, etc.).

A small version of a 30 inch x 90 inch litigation mind map is shown below. I encourage you to download a full-sized .pdf version of the actual chart to get a feel for how it is laid out.

litigation mind map case analysis trial graphic

This sample mind map is based on a group of cases where we have used mind mapping as a system for quickly understanding a complex case in a short period of time, brainstorming a trial presentation approach and laying out specific exhibits.  In this chart, green circles represent likely demonstrative exhibits, red boxes represent problems with our case that require additional strategic attention and the yellow boxes contain the background information on the case, trial team and strategy.

The same approach we take for trial graphics development can easily be taken by a trial team organizing a complex case with many experts, theories and potential trial strategies. In addition to the obvious organizational benefits, the beauty of using this approach is just how easily one can pick up where one left off.  I have gone a month or more between deeply complicated meetings and been able to start precisely where we left off without spending time trying to re-teach the team everything that was discussed weeks or months before.  This is one of those benefits that I think one has to experience to believe.

While litigation-specific tools do exist that offer a some of the features in today's mind mapping software, I prefer using a flexible tool that works very well.  I have used two products:  1) Tony Buzan's iMindMap (he is considered the father of modern mind mapping); and 2) Mindjet's MindManager.  I prefer the latter, as I find it to be a bit more business-oriented.

When working with our firm on trial presentation strategy, we will likely be using mind mapping either internally or overtly.  However, we are interested in testing this approach with a trial team at the front-end of a case rather than within the time period we are more typically consulting with the trial team (6 months prior to trial).  If you would be interested in testing this technique with your trial team, we are willing to do so gratis for a limited number of trial teams working complicated cases with at least $10 million at stake.  The output will be a wall chart for your team that you can refer to on an ongoing basis.

free litigation mind map

Tags: Trial Graphics, Litigation Graphics, Trial Presentation, Jury Consulting, Litigation Technology, Trial Consulting, Litigation Management, Articles, MindMaps, Trial Preparation, Information Design, Antitrust Litigation

    Join 5,200 Subscribers and Get Notified of New Articles Every Week

    Watch Now: Using PowerPoint Litigation Graphics to Win - Webinar

    using powerpoint litigation graphics

    Free Litigation Webinars - Watch Now

    ryan flax a2l litigation consultants webinar recorded


    patent litigation webinar free litigation graphics demonstrative

    Featured E-Book: The Patent Litigator's Guide to Trial Presentation & Trial Preparation

    patent litigation ebook 3rd edition

    Featured Free Download: The Complex Civil Litigation Trial Guide

    a2l consultants complex civil litigation trial guide download

    Free Webinar - Integrating Expert Evidence & Winning Arguments - Watch Anytime.

    expert witness teach science complex subject courtroom webinar

    Nationally Acclaimed - Voted #1 Jury Research Firm and #1 Demonstrative Evidence Firm in the U.S.

    voted best demonstrative evidence consultants

    A2L best demonstrative trial graphics consultants
    best demonstrative evidence litigation graphics consultants

    Download the (Free) Storytelling for Litigators E-Book

    describe the image

    Considering Using a Trial Technician at Your Next Trial? Download this first.

    trial technicians trial technology atlanta houston new york boston virginia

    Featured Free Download: Using Science to Prevail in Your Next Case or Controversy

    using science to win at trial litigation jury

    Featured FREE A2L E-Book: Using Litigation Graphics Persuasively

    using litigation graphics trial graphics trial presentation consultants

    Free Jury Consulting & Trial Consulting Guidebook for Litigators

    jury consulting trial consultants guide

    Timelines Appear In Most Trials - Learn how to get the most out of using trial timelines in this ebook

    trial timelines graphics consultants litigators

    Featured Complimentary eBook - The 100-page Antitrust Litigation Guide

    antitrust ebook a2l litigation consultants

    Featured Complimentary eBook - Leadership Lessons for Litigators and Litigation Support

    leadership lessons litigation law firms litigation support

    Featured E-Book: The Environmental Litigator's Guide to Trial Presentation & Prep

    environmental litigation trial presentation trial prep ebook a2l

    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.

    Articles by Category

    Follow A2L Consulting

    Member Red Well Blog
    ABA Blawg 100 2013 7th annual

    • Letter from major law firm re: trial technician/hot-seat services.
      Letter from major law firm re: trial technician/hot-seat services.

    Follow Us on Google+

    A2L on Google+