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by Ken Lopez Founder/CEO A2L Consulting The best defense lawyers come to A2L with their toughest cases. This means that some of the cases that arrive on our doorstep are essentially unwinnable. Although the trial team won't often directly say so, they will say, “The client considers a plaintiff's verdict for anything between zero dollars and XYZ dollars a win." In these cases, typically, there is no good settlement position. Our company is highly focused on winning cases. We just love doing it, and it is central to our culture. So it can be a tough adjustment for our team and our clients when we have to accept that we're going to lose. Surprisingly, there is a real art to this. Here are the trial strategies we recommend when taking a case to trial and your goal is not to win, but to lose an acceptable amount of money. Test the case with a mock jury (to be sure you lose). All cases with sufficient dollars or issues at stake benefit from research in a mock trial process. This is true whether it’s a bench trial or a jury trial. Often, when you are listening to your mock panel deliberate, you hear a line of reasoning that may take your argument in a new and positive direction. See 7 Reasons In-House Counsel Should Want a Mock Trial and 12 Astute Tips for Meaningful Mock Trials and 6 Ways to Use a Mock Trial to Develop Your Opening Statement.   Test the case with a mock jury (to know why you lose). It's often surprising to me how independent panels of mock jurors will reason through a case the same way. There are patterns common to almost all juries. However, it is actually helpful to hear multiple panels from a mock jury separately reason through a case and pick the same good guys and bad guys and apply the same set of values to decide the outcome. See 10 Things Every Mock Jury Ever Has Said and Webinar: 12 Things Every Mock Juror Ever Has Said.

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by Ken Lopez Founder/CEO A2L Consulting Today, we are publishing our latest free book -- A Trial Lawyer's Guide to Jury Consulting and Mock Trials. This free 328-page book is based on the idea that even after some decades in which jury consulting has grown and established itself as a business, many lawyers still don’t necessarily understand what jury consultants do and how valuable they can be. Many lawyers probably still harbor the old idea that a jury consultant is just someone who sits next to a lawyer and uses a “gut feeling” based on a potential juror’s occupation, body language or appearance to ask the lawyer to exclude the juror or keep the juror. If that stereotype were ever true, it’s certainly not true today. We’re about as far now from the O.J. Simpson days 20 years ago as we are from the Perry Mason days. This book is dedicated to bridging whatever conceptual gap may remain between trial lawyers and jury consultants. It pulls together many of the lessons that jury consultants have learned, so that any lawyer who reads the book can get up to speed quickly and save herself a good deal of money and time. We have been dismayed at times at the disconnection between long-held myths held even by seasoned litigators and what the data show.  Excellent trial strategies are the product of balancing art and science, data and wisdom, confidence and humility.  Among the topics in this book are: 14 Places Your Colleagues Are Using Persuasive Graphics That Maybe You’re Not, Is Hiring a Jury Consultant Really Worth It?, Why Do I Need a Mock Trial If There Is No Real Voir Dire, 21 Ingenious Ways to Research Your Judge, 7 Videos About Body Language Our Litigation Consultants Recommend, 15 Things Everyone Should Know About Jury Selection and 6 Good Reasons to Conduct a Mock Trial. A good lawyer knows the law. A great lawyer knows the jury and how it works. Read this book and reflect on its contents to know more than most trial lawyers do. This book is based on hundreds of trials and years of data, not mere theory or presumption. We hope you enjoy it and share it. Please send us your feedback and let us know if you have any questions or comments, any time. If you have any questions about a case, a witness, a jury pool, a venue, strategic options or dilemmas, or think your case is unwinnable, we’re only a phone call/email away and would love to hear from you. 

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by Tony B. Klapper, Managing Director, Litigation Consulting & GC, A2L Consulting and David H. Schwartz, Ph.D., Co-Founder, Innovative Science Solutions 

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  by Ken Lopez Founder/CEO A2L Consulting If you can learn the secrets of how mock jurors commonly behave during mock trial deliberations, you will be better positioned to win at trial. These behavior patterns are understandably foreign since most people see mock juries deliberate infrequently. However, when you are a jury consultant, mock trials are routine, and repeat behavior patterns become clear over a long career. Surprisingly, it turns out that no matter where you go in the country, mock jurors tend to act in similar ways. Although there are venue-specific idiosyncrasies, mock jurors act quite similarly from locale to locale. If you understand the questions they almost always ask, the order of deliberations they usually follow and how mock juries address damages almost every time, you will be far ahead of almost all of your peers.   We at A2L have put together a free 75-minute webinar, 12 Things Every Mock Juror Ever Has Said. It will be conducted live on December 9, 2014 at 1:30pm ET and is designed to share A2L's accumulated knowledge about mock jurors. Click here to register for it for free.

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by Elise Jefferson, MA A2L Consulting An intriguing and complex aspect of civil litigation is the use of damage awards as a means of achieving justice. This remains an inexact science; no one can predict the amount of money that a jury is going to award the plaintiff if liability is found. However, a good deal that is worth knowing has been learned about what goes into that decision. For example, studies have examined damage awards when jurors are asked to award a specific amount, as well as how jurors’ perceptions of the plaintiff’s motives for suing can affect damage awards. Although it can be difficult to predict how much money a jury may award, it is still important to consider the various theories that attempt to explain what influences jurors when determining damages. Following are four theories that reflect the current state of the art.

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7 Things You Never Want to Say in Court

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