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Introducing Alan Rudlin

Ken Lopez
By: Ken Lopez

Litigation Graphics, Jury Consulting, Mock Trial, Litigation Consulting, Jury Consultants, Storytelling

Alan Rudlin is a retired litigation partner from Hunton & Williams [now Hunton Andrews Kurth] in Richmond, Va., and a senior litigation consultant at A2L who has worked with us for about two years. Here is a brief Q and A to introduce Alan to the readers of this blog.

Q. What brought you to the world of trial litigation?

A. I graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law and spent a couple of years working in Washington, D.C., for a Joint Presidential-Congressional committee in the Watergate era. Then I decided to move back to Richmond, where I grew up, and to undertake a career in civil litigation.

Q. What kinds of cases did you try?

A. I worked on a wide variety of cases around the nation, including mass torts, First Amendment cases, environmental cases, and business disputes of all sorts. I tried dozens of cases to juries.

Q. How did you become interested in trial techniques and the science of persuasion?

A. Many years ago, I had a case where we and our client didn’t know if it made sense for our client to apologize for something. We put together a panel of ordinary people and used two-way mirrors to communicate with them. The answer they gave, by the way, was: Don’t apologize. Anyway, at that time I became fascinated with the art and science of jury studies, and used them when it made sense. Just as valuable I found was to seek the post-trial opportunity to learn whatever I could from jury interviews.

Q. What is the most important benefit of those interviews?

A. It’s very simple. If you won a case, but you don’t know why you won it, you don’t know very much. It’s like what doctors do. When something goes wrong in a surgery, they do a post-surgery review to figure out what went wrong and to do better in the future.

Q. What kinds of questions do you like to ask jurors after a trial?

A. I would have a detailed set of questions, and my favorite was to ask: Was there a point during the trial that was crucial for your understanding of the facts, when something clicked for you? Another good question is: What was your perception of the lawyers, the witnesses and the litigation graphics?

Q. What is your opinion of jurors and their conclusions in a trial?

A. I learned that one can trust jurors in complex cases. They may not express their opinions and conclusions in a way that a lawyer might, but they have a great deal of practical wisdom, and learning how to tune in to their ways of reasoning about what was fair or right is a critical skill.

Alan Rudlin can be reached at rudlin@A2LC.com.

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