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The Litigation Consulting Report

Trial Presentation Services: Not Just for Big Defense Teams

Posted by Theresa Villanueva on Thu, Sep 13, 2012 @ 10:00 AM

litigation graphics budget small medium law firm attorneyby Theresa Villanueva, Esq.
Director, Litigation Consulting
A2L Consulting 

A common misconception I hear is that trial presentation services are just for big defense teams who have clients with deep pockets. This could not be further from the truth. While, yes it is true that many of our clients are large firms involved in high stakes litigation, that is just one part of our client base. We have many small or mid-size firms that we work with frequently.

The use of trial presentation services is not specific to the size of the firm or the type of case, but more so to the type of attorney. The modern litigator has a solid understanding of the need for trial services. An attorney that understands the value add of demonstrative exhibits, trial technology, and jury consulting is the type of attorney that is likely to be a client, regardless of the size of the firm in which they work.  Yes, it is true their needs and budgets may be different but there are many large firms with budgetary constraints as well.  Hence, in reality the size of the firm does not matter.

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Smaller and mid-size firms utilize the same services as their larger counterparts and are just as likely to have a case that warrants the use of trial graphics and trial technology services.   Small firm does not necessarily mean small case.  Many clients today are looking to the smaller or mid-size firms and even boutique firms because they prefer the intimate atmosphere and personal touch of these firms.  Also, many smaller or boutique firms specialize in a specific area of law, and hourly rates can be more manageable without sacrificing the quality of the work. 

Attorneys with smaller and mid-sized firms frequently engage us for trial, mediations or arbitrations, as do larger firms.  Moreover, smaller or mid-sized firms use the same if not a more varied array of services.  Not only are they just as likely to engage us for our trial consulting, jury consulting, trial graphics and trial technology services, they are also apt to utilize e-brief services and more likely to use less common trial presentation services such as preparing demonstrative exhibits to be incorporated into their trial briefs or to be used with depositions.

It is the familiarity and desire to reach the audience the drives attorneys to explore and use demonstrative evidence and technology. The “CSI Effect” has infiltrated our living rooms, and the expectations of our legal audience have been set. Thus it is more common than not to see some type of trial graphics or trial technology in courtrooms today. The savvy litigator recognizes the added value of consulting services whether a member of a large firm, mid-sized firm, or small firm, and acknowledges this as part of the litigation process. 

As new attorneys graduate and enter the work force, the probability that their educational career has been based on and dependent on the use of technology greatly increases. These same graduates will embark on their careers among big and smaller firms alike thus bringing with them the understanding of the need to reach the audience visually. The increased exposure to technology increases the likelihood they will want to “teach” using some type of technology interface.  Add to that the fact that if our up and coming attorneys have been using technology throughout their lifetime, it is safe to say that their audience has had the same exposure, and has the same expectation of some type of “high tech” presentation.

Trial presentation services are determined for each new case. The scope of the trial (mediation or arbitration) is assessed, appropriate services are recommended and budgets are set.  Frequently we work with small and large firms to make sure they and their client are happy about the services decided upon as well as the cost associated for these services. The common denominator is these firms see the benefit of using demonstrative exhibits and trial technology to help win their case. 

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Tags: Trial Graphics, Litigation Graphics, Trial Presentation, Jury Consulting, Courtroom Presentations, Trial Consulting, Demonstrative Evidence, Hot Seat Operators, Trial Technology

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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.

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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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