What are the absolute best practices in the trial support industry? What lessons can be learned from decades of experience?
Recently, three of A2L Consulting's top courtroom experts were interviewed about their combined 50 years of work in the industry.
Those interviewed were Ryan H. Flax, Esq., Managing Director, Litigation Consulting at A2L and patent litigator who has contributed to teams winning more than $1 billion of jury verdicts; Theresa D. Villanueva, Esq., Director, Litigation Consulting, who has experience consulting on more than 200 cases and worked in litigation at a major law firm; and Kenneth J. Lopez, Founder & CEO of A2L, who has worked as a consultant with every major law firm.
From their interviews, we culled 10 helpful tips for litigators and those who support trial teams.
The six-minute video contains more details, but the 10 tips can be summarized as:
- Bring in your litigation graphics firm early in the case, early enough so that they can quickly get a good grasp of the facts. Don’t wait until the last minute.
- Test your case either via mock trial or a less formal setting. In particular, try to use mock trials and mock judges, and collect their input in an actionable way.
- Use a proven trial technician/hot-seat operator. A good one is one who works so far behind the scenes that the jury doesn’t even notice him or her.
- Use litigation consultants to help separate the forest from the trees. The trial lawyer will know all the facts but can get “lost” in the facts, and the consultant can identify the most important and convincing ones.
- Use of trial technology is now a requirement. Otherwise, you look as if you’re not fully prepared.
- Use your opponent’s materials against them. Not everyone does this, and it can help with the case.
- Match your presentation medium to the issues. If necessary, be prepared to describe highly technical processes through courtroom animation or other high-tech methods so that the jury can see as well as hear the explanation.
- Meet judges' and juries' increasing expectations of quality. People are so in tune with sophisticated media that if your presentation doesn’t match what they see every day online in quality of graphics, they will turn you off. You’re not in the age of typewriters and dictation any more.
- Plan for your courtroom constraints early. Is the courtroom wired? What’s the judge’s tolerance for technology?
- Take input from many sources. The world’s best litigators leave themselves open to great ideas from any number of places, and then they do what feels right to them.