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The Litigation Consulting Report

Lawyers Often Can (and Should) Say More to Reporters Than “No Comment”

Posted by Ken Lopez on Fri, Sep 4, 2015 @ 12:13 PM

 

what-can-lawyers-comment-say-reporters-pressBy Jim Grandone
Special Guest Author
Grandone Media Strategies

A lawyer I worked with recently summed up the love-hate relationship between lawyers and the news media as follows, “We spend 50 percent of the time trying to get publicity about our firm and the other 50 percent worrying about what the press is going to write about us.”

It’s true that in some states, there are constraints on what a lawyer can say about a pending case. But in general, a lawyer is allowed to discuss the basics --such as the claim, the offense or defense involved, and (except where prohibited), the identity of the persons involved; any information on the public record; the fact that an investigation is in progress; and the scheduling or result of any step in litigation.

Why then are lawyers so reluctant to speak to reporters? After all, these allowable types of comments – and many states permit lawyers to say even more about their cases – give lawyers considerable leeway to talk to reporters. So you can go ahead and promote whatever your firm is doing that is admirable, successful or high-profile.

Reporters already have instant electronic access to what you have filed, so why not emphasize the most important messages? Do not expect the reporter to communicate your key message for you! You can reach your most important audience outside the courtroom by simply reiterating what you have already said in court documents, even if it is only a summary.  Develop a message and clearly communicate the key points of the case.The audience for legitimate pretrial and trial publicity of this nature can be a single judge or an entire jury pool. Advocate your client's position while abiding by the rules, and you are doing your job. You can begin to establish yourself and your firm as experts in the minds of the readers, listeners and viewers, which can lead to new business. That doesn’t mean, of course, that you should pollute the jury pool by disseminating information that would be a serious threat to the fairness of the adjudicative process.

Various tools exist for identifying key media messages and getting them into the media in a way that makes them most effective.

Techniques include media training, which can help you become savvy about how different types of media work and how their needs are different; adjusting your message to each medium (very valuable for lawyers who are not accustomed to explaining the law to lay people); and learning how to bridge from a question you’d rather not answer to an answer you’d like to give.

The least you have to gain by talking to reporters is getting your firm's name in the news, promoting something positive about it, or positioning yourself as a strong advocate for your clients. 

Of course, winning your cases helps too!

Other articles from A2L Consulting related to advocacy, litigation public relations and jury selection include:

A2L Consulting Voir Dire Consultants Handbook

 

Tags: Jury Questionnaire, Jury Consulting, Juries, Jury Selection, Press, Litigation Public Relations

Is Litigation Coming for Major Retailers of Herbal Supplements?

Posted by Ken Lopez on Fri, Feb 6, 2015 @ 10:04 AM

 

herbal-supplement-retailers-litigation-fraud-product-liabilityby Ken Lopez
Founder/CEO
A2L Consulting

In case you missed it, the New York Attorney General's Office dropped a bombshell this week. They have accused major retailers including Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreen's and GNC of knowingly selling supplements that contain either none of what is advertised (an incredible 80% of the time) or something else entirely.

The herbal supplement industry is estimated to have close to $100 billion in annual sales. That's about five times the revenue of all AmLaw 200 law firms combined.

Once I saw the New York Times piece reporting on this issue, I wanted to learn more about what this might mean for litigators. Fortunately, I knew exactly who to speak with.

Below is an interview with Dr. David Schwartz, head of scientific support to counsel at Innovative Science Solutions. He describes his role as something of a scientific detective, regularly helping ISS’s clients defend and support pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals, medical devices, foods, and dietary supplements in the courts, the regulatory arena, and the market place.

In this six-minute interview, Dr. Schwartz shares his outlook for how this issue might unfold in the courts.

Dr. Schwartz and I have had the pleasure of collaborating on litigation issues ranging from tobacco, to fracking to cell phone caused brain cancer. If you've not read his Science & Law blog, I highly recommend it.

Other resources on A2L Consulting's site related to science, complex litigation and helping fact-finders work through difficult issues at trial include:

expert witnesses and complex cases webinar

Tags: Litigation Consulting, Litigation Support, Science, Expert Witness, Press, New York, Dietary Supplements, Fraud

Download the Best of the National Law Journal 2013 Here - A2L Voted #1 in Demonstrative Evidence!

Posted by Ken Lopez on Mon, Mar 25, 2013 @ 01:41 PM


a2l consulting voted best demonstrative evidence consultants best of nlj 2013Ken Lopez
Founder & CEO
A2L Consulting

For someone who is on trial, there is often no substitute for a jury of one’s peers in rendering a fair verdict. For a company such as A2L Consulting, which works with the top litigators in the nation every day and provides trial consulting services, there is no substitute for the judgment of the people we work with on a regular basis. And those judgments, embodied in a National Law Journal nationwide survey, placed us first in the category of demonstrative evidence providers.

More than 450 firms were nominated in the various categories, more than 5,000 non-vendor votes were tallied and A2L Consulting outpolled some very well-known trial exhibit and demonstrative evidence firms to reach the #1 spot.

We are very proud to have earned the confidence of the legal industry, with whom we go to trial in state and federal courts across the country. The trial exhibit and trial consulting field has changed dramatically from 1995, when we were founded. For example, in our less than two decades in business, PowerPoint became the standard for presentation software, jury consulting services are increasingly moving online and printed trial boards went out of favor and are now undergoing a renaissance. At A2L, our job is to stay ahead of the rapid pace of technology in many different areas.

We hope to work with you in the future. Our principals are trial lawyers ourselves, and we understand the pressures and dilemmas that trial presentations involve. We can and will be at your side in creating the best possible presentations and the most convincing evidence.

You can download the full 2013 National Law Journal guide to the top legal support service companies by clicking here or on the image below:

a2l consulted voted best demonstrative evidence consultants national law journal nlj 2013

 

 

Tags: Trial Graphics, Litigation Graphics, Trial Presentation, Courtroom Presentations, Demonstrative Evidence, Animation, Articles, PowerPoint, Press, Scale Models

8 New Ways to Connect with Clients - How Our Litigation Consulting Firm Does It

Posted by Ken Lopez on Wed, Nov 21, 2012 @ 06:15 AM


litigation consultants a2l nyc dc tx ca deby Ken Lopez
Founder & CEO
A2L Consulting 

At A2L, we work hard to stay in touch with our clients, potential clients and our industry.  Like most litigators, lawyers and even litigation consultants, we use many traditional methods of communication like meetings, lunches, phone calls, and emails. But in the modern era of social networks, developing and maintaining relationships presents a new challenge. 

In the past several years, we've enthusiastically embraced the movement toward communication via social networks and other modern communication methods. I think it is a great trend since it’s a way of finding out how much we have in common with our clients and other industry members, both in terms of common contacts and common interests. Also, since all of us receive too many phone calls from sales people, the more closed, self-selected network makes it easier for us to limit the number of people who can reach us. With social networking done right, clients can choose to spend virtual time 'with us' rather than via the old fashioned method of interrupting what they are doing.

Click here to Download a Free Litigation E-Book

While nothing can replace a face to face conversation with a long trusted adviser, social networking and modern communication tools are providing methods for lawyers, law firms, litigation consultants and litigation support firms to communicate in a meaningful way. Obviously, our clients agree that we’re staying in touch successfully - we've grown more in the last two years than ever before in our 17-year history - and I believe social media has had a lot to do with it.

I want to share eight new ways that we stay in touch with clients so that you may find one that benefits your client relationships. As described below, they all work for our clients in different ways.  I encourage you to connect with us in any or all of these ways, and you'll quickly see how we do it. My hope is that by seeing how we do it, you can use these tools to form closer relationships with your client base.

  1. Blogging is the single biggest and easiest change a firm can make to increase client engagement. Our blog, The Litigation Consulting Report, covers timely topics in litigation, trial advocacy, and courtroom presentations and is updated several times a month. Since you are reading this, you probably see the value, right?
     
  2. LinkedIn, with many recent improvements and functions, is the new powerhouse of social media for the legal industry. We create new discussions on a variety of litigation groups each week and reach out to specific clients. It’s a great way to keep up with business developments of all sorts. Go to our company page and choose "Follow" to be notified of new articles in your LinkedIn newsfeed.

  3. Twitter is a powerful albeit quirky tool. It is a quick and easy way to see what’s going on, with links to our blog articles and other notable news items. Go here and press "follow" to see how we use Twitter as a business communication tool.
     
  4. Facebook is definitely not just for teenagers, vacation pictures and cute cats anymore. Yes, Facebook can be used for business purposes as well. Since I watch it everyday anyway, I find it especially useful to see news in my newsfeed, like articles A2L posts or litigation news. See A2L news in your Facebook newsfeed by going here and pressing "Like."

  5. Google+? Ever heard of it? Although Google+ hasn’t caught on as quickly as many expected, its interface is very clear and easy to use. I think it may find a place as a good business alternative to Facebook over the next year. Drop by our page and "Follow" us, and you'll get a sense of how we are using the tool. We're happy to add you back if it helps you.
     
  6. YouTube creates a lot of buzz for A2L. Just one of our videos has been viewed 70,000 times. So much of what trial lawyers do successfully can best be captured on video. Watch a brilliant closing argument that follows A2L’s advice or post one of your own. Visit our YouTube Channel and choose "Subscribe" to see how you might use it for your business.
     
  7. RSS readers allow you to aggregate stories from multiple sources in one feed. I think it is not the most user-friendly tool, but some people love RSS Feeds. If you subscribe to a number of RSS feeds, you can effectively create your own publication catered to exactly your interests. Here's our feed on Feedburner for you to subscribe to.
     
  8. Pinterest is one of the newest but one of my favorite social networks. We post a wide variety of materials here, some that we generate and some that are generated by others. You can even see a wider range of updates on Pinterest. This, the newest to catch on of all social media, is also going well beyond the personal and is a good source for business information. Visit A2L's Pinterest page and choose "Follow" to connect with a stream of litigation content you might not normally see.

I believe each of these tools can be useful for individual lawyers, litigators, law firms, litigation consultanthat ts and litigation support firms. For an individual, creating LinkedIn discussions may be enough. For a firm, several of these may allow you to reach a wider audience. For a sophisticated business, you really must make use of all of these services in a thoughtful way to properly communicate with your audience.

Other resources related to litigation leadership on the A2L Litigation Consulting Firm Site:

Click here to Download a Free Litigation E-Book

Tags: Trial Consultants, Litigation Consulting, Management, Social Media, Leadership, Press, Marketing

Animators at Law: $500+ Million in Favorable Litigation Results in Q1

Posted by Ken Lopez on Mon, Mar 21, 2011 @ 10:39 AM


I am happy to report that Animators at Law has seen one of its strongest quarters for litigation wins since our 1995 founding.  Q1 is not yet over, and we have already helped clients achieve favorable outcomes in the hundreds of millions of dollars.  We expect that total to exceed $1 billion in favorable 2011 results in the next few weeks.

Early Trial Graphics Prep Means More Wins

Please join me in congratulating these Q1 high-achievers:

Paul Taskier, Esq., Ken Brothers, Esq., James Brady, Esq., Eric Albritton, Esq., Danny Williams, Esq., Matthew Rodgers, Esq., Gary Hoffman, Esq., Ryan Flax, Esq., Jeremy Cubert, Esq., and the rest of the Dickstein Shapiro/Williams Morgan/Albritton litigation team representing Dr. Bruce Saffran in Saffran, M.D., Ph.D., v. Johnson & Johnson et al.  This patent infringement matter was tried over seven trial days in January in the Eastern District of Texas using litigation graphics and litigation consulting from Animators at Law.  After only two hours of deliberations, the jury reached a $482 million verdict for Dr. Saffran and included a finding of willful infringement.  Judge Ward is expected to soon rule on enhanced damages.  Animators at Law has worked with teams from Dickstein Shapiro since 1996.

David Kiernan, Esq., John Hall, Jr., Esq., Samson Wu, Esq. and the rest of the litigation team from the Williams & Connolly/Hall Booth team for their representation of Georgetown University in Iacangelo v.Georgetown University et al. tried in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.  After a fifteen day jury trial, a defense verdict was reached.  Animators at Law has worked with teams from Williams & Connolly since 1998.  Animators at Law provided litigation graphics, litigation consulting and courtroom trial tech personnel.

Alan Briggs, Esq., Rebecca Worthington, Esq. and the rest of the team from Squire Sanders' Washington, DC Office for their representation of Trident Enterprises in Trident v. Airtronic USA.  The case was tried before a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.  After a three day trial, the jury returned a million dollar verdict.  Animators at Law provided litigation graphics, litigation consulting and pre-trial technology services.

Other firms we have worked with recently include:

  • Baker McKenzie
  • Paul Hastings
  • Skadden
  • Orrick
  • Foley
  • Boies Schiller
  • Dickinson Wright
  • Hughes Hubbard
  • The U.S. Department of Justice
  • NAACP Legal Defense Fund
  • Hogan Lovells
  • K&L Gates

If you would like to discuss using our graphics consulting or hot-seat personnel for an upcoming trial or hearing (Markman, class cert., PI, SJ, §337, etc.), please contact Alex Brown, Director of Sales and Operations, at 800.337.7697 /brown@a2lc.com.

Check Available of Hot Seat Trial Director Operators

Tags: Trial Graphics, Trial Technicians, Trial Consultants, Litigation Graphics, Hot Seat Operators, Patent Litigation, Press

E-Briefs: Animators at Law Produces Record E-Brief

Posted by Ken Lopez on Wed, Feb 9, 2011 @ 05:39 PM

WASHINGTON, DC — Animators at Law, a leading national provider of litigation support services, announces that it has produced what it believes to be a record-setting series of e-briefs (also called electronic briefs).  The firm reports that in its latest e-brief project, it created over 60,000 hyperlinks in over 4,000 pages of court briefs referencing 5,000 additional documents in under three weeks of work.  Animators believes this sets a record for the most complex ebrief created in the shortest amount of time for a federal court filing.

E-briefs, or electronic briefs, are electronic versions of traditional court filings (e.g. motions, briefs, complaints, etc.) where cited documents (i.e. letters, cases, exhibits, etc.) are hyperlinked from the main filed document instead of being provided in paper form.  Filed on a DVD or USB flash drive, e-briefs allow a judge and opposing counsel to review thousands of pages of information much more quickly than in paper form.  Since tens or hundreds of thousands of pages are not printed and delivered, ebriefs are considered a much more environmentally sensitive approach to large litigation filings.

Animators at Law has produced e-briefs for almost fifteen years making it one of the first firms to create an ebrief.  Because of its magnitude, this latest project required large teams working 24/7 with specialized training and software to complete the task that was ordered by a federal judge in a prominent intellectual property dispute. 

Animators was able to complete the project in no small part due to the use of ACCESS, the Animators Client Collaboration and External Sharing System.  An online litigator-friendly collaborative workspace with highly interactive features,this tool enabled Animators at Law and its client to send over 100 gigabytes of data back and forth across the country. Because it allows for multiple simultaneous uploads and downloads and offers AES-256 security, ACCESS eliminated the need to send thousands of files in hundreds of different emails or via an unsecured hard drive.

Animators at Law’s CEO, Ken Lopez, added, “Completion of this record-setting e-brief project capped off a series of impressive Animators at Law accomplishments in 2010. The launch of ACCESS has enhanced how litigation teams review draft trial exhibits and exchange documents with our on-site trial technicians.  We have continued to grow and enhance our team and, as a direct result of those upgrades, we ended the year by doubling our fourth quarter year-over-year sales.  We are very proud of our work on behalf of over 100 major law firms and corporations in 2010 and look forward to continued growth in 2011.”

About Animators at Law
Founded in 1995, attorney owned and operated Animators at Law provides litigation consulting, litigation graphics & litigation technology to major law firms and corporate legal departments worldwide. To date, Animators at Law has worked with more than 95% of the largest U.S. law firms and consulted on more than 10,000 cases with more than $2 trillion cumulatively at stake. The firm is well known for its high-profile work in the tobacco, transportation, pharmaceutical and energy industries. Statistically, half of Animators at Law's engagements are patent-related and most of those are tried in the Eastern District of Texas. 

Contact Us:
Alex Brown
Director of Operations
brown@a2lc.com
800.337.7697

Tags: e-Briefs, Trial Technology, Press

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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.


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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