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The Litigation Consulting Report

7 Things In-House Misses When Litigation Consultants are Underutilized

Posted by Ken Lopez on Wed, May 20, 2015 @ 01:08 PM

litigation-consultants-for-in-house-counselby Ken Lopez
A2L Consulting

I think that a lot of in-house counsel don’t know that litigation consultants exist in the role that they play today. Trials are so rare these days that this is understandable. But high-quality litigation consultants are in business quite precisely because trial is so rare.

Top litigation consultants go to trial dozens of times per year, while even the best and highest-profile litigation attorneys go to trial once every several years at most.

Litigation consultants help inform litigators about new trends both in rhetoric and in visual presentation and help provide litigators with a knowledgeable sounding board. They are trusted advisors focused on winning. Yet many top litigators are resistant to using litigation consultants or, if they have them, they don't use them to their best advantage.

I'm pretty sure that any in-house counsel would see the value of hiring someone simply to offer opinions about the case, who either has been a litigator or is a jury consultant with tons of trial experience. Common sense tells you this is good for the client. Yet many litigators still resist.

Can you imagine an athlete who used to play a game many times a year who takes a multi-year break not using a coach of some sort to come back up to speed? It wouldn't make sense. Yet in-house counsel allow litigators to do this all the time.

Here are seven useful insights that the client misses out on when litigation consultants are underutilized.

1. The power of storytelling. We know that jurors learn and understand a case by viewing it as a story.

2. The structure of storytelling. A story needs to have a distinct beginning, middle and end.

3. The most persuasive order to present a case. An experienced consultant knows how to build a case in a persuasive way.

4. Practice. Simply by acting as a sounding board, a top consultant induces a trial lawyer to step up his or her game by constant practice.

5. A good visual strategy. Most litigators understand trial practice but they are not familiar with the latest research on how to present ideas visually.

6. Avoiding silly mistakes. Just one misconception, if it is not caught in advance by a consultant and shot down, can lose a case.

7. The insights of a person focused on winning not ego. Consultants have been in court hundreds of times. They know what wins.

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Tags: Litigation Consulting, Litigation Support, Storytelling, Practice, In-House Counsel, 3D Printing

3D Printing to Change Courtroom Demonstrative Evidence

Posted by Ken Lopez on Tue, Jan 17, 2012 @ 10:43 AM


3d printing courtroom demonstrative models
At first it sounds like something out of science fiction, but 3D printing has arrived – and it can be very helpful to the litigator and litigation consultant.

In 3D printing, which was invented in 2003, the user either electronically sculpts or scans nearly any object into the printer, using a computer-assisted design (CAD) program to tinker with the color and shape of the object when necessary. It can be a hand tool, an architectural model, an auto part – nearly anything within a reasonable size limitation. The printer does the rest.

When you press “print,” the printer builds up a three-dimensional replica of the object gradually, by adding material one layer at a time in plastic or metal. In a short time, you have a new solid object in your hand. It is hard to believe, but this process creates usable, functional objects. A tool such as an adjustable wrench can be “built” on this type of printer, using an existing wrench or a 3D model as a template. 

Click me

While futurists are already speculating on whether this technology, once its price is reduced, will revolutionize manufacturing or even become the basis for a new type of industrial revolution, we are already planning on using it for trial exhibits in the courtroom.

At A2L Consulting, we are able to adapt this technology to offer a new option for demonstrative evidence. We can create miniature scale models of buildings in a construction case or larger models of tiny parts that can be at issue in a patent case. Previously, these types of replicas had to be sculpted by hand by artisans – a much more lengthy and expensive process.

In a case involving medical malpractice, a 3D printer can create a model of the body part in question, showing the damage or injury. A good example would be a 3D model of a spinal cord injury, which can be built up from a 3D medical image.

The cost of these printers is already beginning to come down, so we expect that their use will only expand in the coming decades. We are one of the first trial exhibit providers to offer this technology.

As is always true in the trial technology industry, anything that helps a juror understand or visualize the issues at trial is extremely helpful. Many jurors are visual learners and will naturally gravitate towards a 3D object during their deliberations, since it “tells a story” for them.

The short video below will give you a good idea of how this technology can be used. A2L Consulting has the ability to perform 3D printing operations for litigation in most major cities.




3d printing demonstrative evidence dc nyc


Tags: Trial Graphics, Litigation Graphics, Trial Presentation, Courtroom Presentations, Demonstrative Evidence, Science, Scale Models, 3D Printing

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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.

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