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The Litigation Consulting Report

How To Find Helpful Information Related to Your Practice Area

Posted by Ken Lopez on Fri, Jan 2, 2015 @ 04:34 PM

 

practice-area-experience-a2lby Ken Lopez
Founder/CEO
A2L Consulting

Not every page, blog article, webinar or e-book on A2L Consulting's site is right for everyone. As the saying goes, what is everyone's favorite radio station? WII – FM, of course. Otherwise known as "what's in it for me?"

With hundreds of articles, dozens of e-books and hundreds of other pages, A2L's website has over 2,500 pages of valuable content. Sometimes, finding materials that are specific to your litigation practice area or need can be a challenge with all the available options.

You can search A2L's site or even browse by topic area using a topic list in the sidebar of every blog post. In spite of this, I still hear from a lot of people who wonder whether we have experience working in their specific practice area or where they can find useful information related to their practice.

I wrote this article to highlight some very useful information organized by practice area below. I've broken down the practice areas into 14 topics that cover most of the work we do. The alphabetical list with links under each topic should prove helpful when looking for the information most relevant to you.

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Antitrust: Our work in antitrust often involves making complicated economic principles make sense to judge and jury. Working with experts is essential in these cases to help them develop a coherent story.

Banking, Securities & Finance: Our banking litigation work has most often included allegations of banking fraud, disputes involving CDOs or some other financial industry-collapse related litigation.

Bankruptcy: Our bankruptcy work usually involves advisory disputes or the failure of a large company.

Complex Civil Litigation: Many disputes we are involved in are contract disputes between large corporations. Goliath vs. Goliath litigation requires special care given the stakes and resources available to both sides.

Construction & Architecture: Architecture one type or another construction disputes typically relate to defects in construction or leasing disputes or construction delays

Employment & Labor: Our labor work often involves allegations of discrimination or other large scale labor disputes. Increasingly wage and hour disputes are finding their way to trial.

Environmental & Energy: Environmental work often involves discussing human health risk from a particular chemical or the migration of a particular leak.
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International:
 Our international work often involves arbitration work at ICSID at the World Bank, at the ICC in New York or at some other venue around the world.
Life Science-Related: Science-focused topics dominate many forms of litigation. This includes disputes around pharaceuticals, medical devices, biotech and many products. Our challenge as a litigation consulting firm is frequently to make the material understandable for judge and jury.
Medical Malpractice: Our medical malpractice work sometimes involves showing how a surgery occurred and sometimes involves handling allegations of errors.
Patent, Trademarks & Copyright: Our are patent work is wide ranging and frequent, covering all lines of marketplace. About half of the cases we consult on are complex patent cases.
Product Liability: We have spent the last several decades consulting on everything from tobacco litigation to cell phone litigation to fracking litigation.These cases always involve detailed interaction with consulting experts and testifying experts.
Transportation (Aviation, Space, Automobiles, Trains and Ships): Although trials are rare since most cases tend to settle that involve a crash of planes trains or automobiles. More often transportation cases involve product liability or some other cause of action.
White-Collar & Criminal: Our work in criminal cases used to be restricted to basic white collar criminal work. Increasingly though, we are being called upon to consult on everything from campus sexual assault cases to murder cases.


Other articles and resources on A2L Consulting's site that relate to our experience by type of case and by type of experience:

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Tags: Patent Litigation, Science, Environmental Litigation, Banking Litigation, Construction Litigation, White Collar, Labor and Employment, Product Liability, Antitrust Litigation

Legal Graphics in Cases Involving Architecture

Posted by Ken Lopez on Fri, Feb 10, 2012 @ 09:38 AM


Litigation involving architecture usually involves some failure in the construction process, a dispute over lease terms like sight lines or common areas, an insurance claim involving an allegedly negligent design, or the responsibility for a building damaged in a natural disaster.


Since most jurors are familiar with architecture to some degree, what usually has to be explained is the legal meaning of seemingly everyday terms, the process of design and construction, or the common customs of the architectural and construction businesses.  That's where legal graphics often enter the picture.

 

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Architecture-related litigation, especially when major damage has occurred, can involve high stakes. As a law firm that works in the area has written [pdf],

 

The goriest photos, the most damning letters from the builder, the contract specifications, juxtaposed with the defense expert's field notes stating that some critical element is missing and noting damage. That's what the attorney begins assembling, and in some logical, meaningful manner, if possible.

* * *

As the trial date approaches, court-imposed deadlines for exchange of motions become the new reality. Trial briefs, responses and replies on legal issues; motions seeking to prevent introduction of evidence (also called motions in limine); exhibit lists, witness lists and a myriad of other tasks are due. The exhibit and jury consultants must be summoned to assist in creating oversize photos, boards, demonstrative exhibits, models, flow charts, and any other visual aid that might help in keeping the jury focused on the facts, and on "our" side of the case.  


We have had considerable experience creating legal graphics in many types of litigation that center around architecture and design. For example, when buildings are damaged as a result of a natural disaster such as a hurricane or tornado, litigation often follows. In the legal graphic presentation below, we created an interactive PowerPoint map of a building to show the damage from many perspectives.


In a very different kind of matter, we are frequently involved in disputes involving commercial leases in which millions of dollars are at stake. Below, a simple legal graphics site tour comes to life with interactive photos of the office areas in question linked to the floor plan. This presentation made an otherwise dry exhibit much more gripping.

 

In the case below, the issue in a landlord-tenant commercial dispute was whether the architectural sight lines permitted a retailer’s branding to be clearly seen. The planned new plaza would introduce new sight lines and possibly breach the lease. Our courtroom legal graphics showed how that occurred.

 

With careful planning, legal graphics can help any architecture related dispute be understandable and those same legal graphics can help persuade the fact-finder that your position is correct based on the facts and law.  This is true whether the architectural dispute relates to design, construction, landlord-tenant issues, insurance coverage, environmental issues or a dispute over a contract.

 

Other useful resources on A2L Consulting's site related to architecture litigation:

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Tags: Trial Graphics, Litigation Graphics, Trial Presentation, Courtroom Presentations, Animation, Construction Litigation, Insurance Coverage, Architecture

Construction Litigation Graphics: Construction Delay or Defect

Posted by Ken Lopez on Thu, Apr 28, 2011 @ 09:37 AM


Construction cases are among the most difficult for even the most experienced litigator to present to a jury.

As Gary Greenberg, a professional engineer and frequent expert witness in construction cases, has written on a construction blog, trials involving construction defects, failures to perform up to specifications, scheduling problems, and similar issues create many practical problems for trial lawyers.

Greenberg notes that jurors often become lost in technical jargon, don’t understand the sequence of activities required to complete a construction project or the relationships and responsibilities of the various parties, and fail to see why every major construction project is truly unique and cannot be compared to producing widgets in a factory. 

Greenberg, who works for Arcadis, a well-known consulting firm, writes that in one case in which he testified, a jury found that a design professional violated the standard of care, caused a six-month delay to the opening of a new hospital wing, and was responsible for the need to rework various essential systems, but was assessed only one dollar in damages by the jury. 

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Clearly, many otherwise skillful attorneys have often failed to do a good job in persuading juries to award damages to their clients, even when there has been considerable proof of a significant loss.

We are aware of all these issues and problems, and we have prepared a number of trial presentations that have successfully set forth a complex set of facts in a way that is appealing and intuitive to jurors.

The “Construction Litigation Graphics Showing Construction Delay” animation covers months of construction in less than three minutes, using small boxes to represent panels needed in the project and to show how many areas were left unfilled during construction. This gives jurors a clear picture of the delay that occurred in this particular instance.



In a construction project, delays in one part of the project often have cascading effects and cause construction delay in the entire project. Jurors often have a hard time understanding the concept of a “critical path” – a sequence of activities that must be followed in order to get the project done. This idea is developed on a visual basis in the below overview trial exhibit, “Understanding Construction Schedule Charts.” We use standard construction chart flags, colored bars, and other graphic devices to introduce the subject.

Critical path and construction litigation trial graphics

A typical construction defect case, involving an inadequate technique for soil compaction, is clearly explained in our trial graphic, “Actual vs. Recommended Structural Compacted Fill.” Here we show graphically how a building footing was placed on top of unsuitable or uncompacted soils, potentially leading to serious damage.

Construction trial graphics involving construction defect
These trial exhibits show the breadth of ways in which we can make complex construction concepts clearer to juries.

Tags: Trial Graphics, Litigation Graphics, Juries, Animation, Illustration, Construction Litigation, Construction Defect, Construction Delay, Information Design

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Authors

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-headshot-500x500.jpg 

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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