by Alex Brown
This weekend, while my oldest child was in Boston at a gymnastics meet, we thought this would be the perfect time to “renovate” her room back home. My youngest daughter wanted to help but also wanted to negotiate her fee to do so. I came up with many reasons for her to find value in helping: the good of the family, experience, and enjoyment, but none of these provided the proper balance of cost and value to her. Finally I told her that she will be able to destroy something that belongs to her big sister, without any concern for retaliation. This brought her on board, and in the end she not only loved it but she also had the added benefit of being able to tell her sister how much fun it was to destroy her room and how destructive the work needed to be.
As litigators, you have a similar job of having to persuade your client about, say, the importance of using expert witnesses or the need to bring on a litigation support team. This is always a delicate conversation because there are so many factors in play; emotions, money constraints, and inexperience, to name a few. For years, the use of expert witnesses has been an easy sell for the most part. But the importance of litigation support (i.e. theming, visual presentations, trial technology/hot seat operators, and mock trial exercises) is not universally accepted, so it can be more of an uphill struggle to convince clients of the need for these things and even harder to persuade them of the value. But why? It’s clearly not the cost, since that normally runs anywhere between .5 percent and 5 percent of the legal fees in a big case. So the sticking point is the need for these services.
Here are a few of the things we hear when discussing our services.
- It's just PowerPoint, I can do that myself?
- Just give me a list of universal questions I can ask the jury.
- We'll just run a mock trial at the office.
- I think we can bring you in after we know what we want, so it will be cheaper.
David Beldon of iExecuVision International and Vistage once gave me the most important mantra that you as a litigator should incorporate into your life: “I will only do today, what ONLY I can do.”
Other A2L articles and resources related to the role of litigation support, getting value from litigation support and making a case for litigation support services to in-house counsel:
- The Real Value of Jury Consulting, Litigation Graphics & Trial Tech
- How PowerPoint Failures in Demonstrative Evidence Can Sink a Case
- No Advice is Better Than Bad Advice in Litigation
- 10 Things Litigation Consultants Do That WOW Litigators
- 16 PowerPoint Litigation Graphics You Won't Believe Are PowerPoint
- The 13 Biggest Reasons to Avoid Last-Minute Trial Preparation
- Practice is a Crucial Piece of the Storytelling Puzzle
- 11 Traits of Great Courtroom Trial Technicians
- How Long Before Trial Should I Begin Preparing My Trial Graphics?
- Good-Looking Graphic Design ≠ Good-Working Visual Persuasion
- Planning For Courtroom Persuasion? Use a Two-Track Trial Strategy
- 25 Things In-House Counsel Should Insist Outside Litigation Counsel Do
- 7 Questions Will Save You Money with Litigation Graphics Consultants
- With So Few Trials, Where Do You Find Trial Experience Now?
- A2L Consulting's Litigation Support Services
- Do I Need a Local Jury Consultant? Maybe. Here are 7 Considerations.
- 9 Things In-House Counsel Say About Outside Litigation Counsel
- 11 Problems with Mock Trials and How to Avoid Them
- Trial Graphics Dilemma: Why Can't I Make My Own Slides? (Says Lawyer)