<img height="1" width="1" alt="" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1482979731924517&amp;ev=PixelInitialized">

The Litigation Consulting Report

Say Goodbye to the David vs. Goliath Courtroom Myth

Posted by Ken Lopez on Fri, Mar 2, 2012 @ 08:17 AM

We often hear from clients or prospective clients that it won’t help them if they look like a big company that is attempting to overwhelm or dazzle its opponents with technology. Jurors won’t buy that sort of stuff, we are told, even from a litigant that is actually a large company.

But although some may think that if the other side can present a “David vs. Goliath” story line, a major corporation will end up in danger of losing its case, research suggests that this is not so. In the first place, jurors have a pretty good idea about which corporations are large ones, and it won’t help to “hide the ball.”

In the second place, this sort of argument made more sense a decade or more in the past, when technology was just getting a foothold in America. Now, technology is simply a fact of daily existence, and jurors expect to see it.

In 2011, 78 percent of Americans used the Internet regularly, and just over 50 percent of Americans used Facebook. Forty-four percent of Americans owned a smartphone, up all the way from 18 percent just two years before. And these numbers are only going to go up.

Click me

Dr. Lou Genevie, a voir dire and trial consulting expert and founder of Litstrat, noted, "In our research, big companies that try to play small often pay a high price in a further erosion of their credibility.  Finding the visual porridge for a big company that feels and looks 'just right' is a challenging process, very case specific, and the reason for testing the visual case long before rolling it out at the actual trial."

Trial consultant David Davis, a founder of R&D Strategic Solutions in Lexington, Mass., recalls: “In an agricultural area of Oklahoma, we worked for a client who was concerned about how their exhibits would be received by the jury and whether it would make the client appear to be slick and wealthy. In post-trial juror interviews we found there had been no problem. One juror commented, ‘I see better things on my computer every day.’ ”

Trial Behavior Consulting's Sarah Murray, a social and cultural anthropologist recognized for her expertise in trial strategy, jury selection, witness preparation and visual communication, says, “My research and experience over the years consistently show that jurors like well-executed graphics and that a "David vs. Goliath" scenario is not a problem. The problem is when a team has not well thought out its graphics or graphic communication strategy and has a lot of graphics that go nowhere but show that a lot of money has been thrown at the case.”

In a similar vein, a litigation support specialist for a United States Attorney’s office has written in the United States Attorneys’ Bulletin [pdf] “There is always some concern that using technology … will make the government look too slick or fuel the argument from defense counsel of the ‘vast resources of the federal government.’ In reality, the jury expects the government to be prepared and smooth in presenting the case to them. They already know that the government has resources.”

Thus, this supposed David versus Goliath issue ultimately doesn’t appear to us to be as significant as it once might have been, for either the David who is considering using its status to its advantage, or the Goliath who is concerned about appearing a giant. High quality preparation, irespective of stature, is what today's judges and juries are looking for and expecting.

See also: Trial Presentation Too Slick?  Here's Why You Can Stop Worrying 


Click me  

Tags: Trial Graphics, Litigation Graphics, Trial Presentation, Jury Consulting, Courtroom Presentations, Litigation Technology, Demonstrative Evidence, Trial Technology, Articles

Confidential A2L Consulting Conflicts Check Form

Join 8,800 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


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.


Tony Klapper joined A2L Consulting after accumulating 20 years of litigation experience while a partner at both Reed Smith and Kirkland & Ellis. Today, he is the Managing Director of Litigation Consulting and General Counsel for A2L Consulting. Tony has significant litigation experience in products liability, toxic tort, employment, financial services, government contract, insurance, and other commercial disputes.  In those matters, he has almost always been the point person for demonstrative evidence and narrative development on his trial teams. Tony can be reached at klapper@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

Follow Us on Google+

A2L on Google+