Court House

Magna Mock Trial Contributes to Client Win on All Counts

Court House

In preparation for an upcoming patent infringement matter in the United States District Court, Central District of California, the Honorable Judge Josephine L. Station presiding, Magna Legal Services (“Magna”) conducted both a mock trial and hourly consulting services as the case moved towards trial. Legal counsel from the firm Russ August & Kabat represented Pavo Solutions, LLC, a South Korean company that manufactures USB flash drives. Ben Wang, lead counsel with Russ August & Kabat, represented Pavo.

Over the course of the trial, Magna acted in the capacity of a strategic litigation consulting firm, through one of its senior jury consultants, Dr. John Gilleland. Strategic litigation consulting involves a systematic approach to optimizing the jury selection process and helps to refine the trial presentation themes and strategy of one’s case. The jury consultant frequently draws on the information gathered in the pre-trial research effort for additional follow-up consultation, which in this case, included both witness communication training and voir dire/jury selection assistance.

Trial Background and Specifics

Pavo manufactures a USB flash drive with a patented swivel cover.  The suit alleged that Kingston Technology manufactured and sold a product with identical, patented elements.

The Mock Trial Process

Magna conducted a mock trial on behalf of Russ August & Kabat utilizing three (3) separate panels of deliberating jurors. These panels followed a full trial format in which they heard opening statements, key evidence including witness testimony and then closing arguments from each of the respective parties.

The detailed feedback from each of the three deliberation panels helped to guide Mr. Wang’s trial team in the refinement of their case structure and trial presentation strategies. The Magna research team made recommendations ranging from: high-level structural issues for the various trial arguments, down to suggestions for simplification of key witness testimony. If left uncorrected, even the smallest of these issues could have a material impact on the actual trial.

After the mock trial, Mr. Wang said, “This mock trial was particularly helpful; feedback and issues were spotted all the way down to the team’s organization. The feedback at the mock trial turned out to be (identify) a key issue at trial and we were prepared for it, so we managed to keep it out. Having it come up in the mock and forcing us to prepare our response to it, got the judge to say “no-go”.  If we had to do it on the fly, we might not have had the same result.”

Through the mock trial process, Mr. Wang was able to anticipate challenges ahead of time, giving him and his client a distinct advantage in the actual trial setting.

Focus on Voir Dire

Dr. Gilleland’s recommendations regarding voir dire topics were of particular importance when it came to the actual trial. Through the mock trial process, Dr. Gilleland was able to formulate and refine specific questions, which were likely to help identify each jurors’ probable verdict orientation. Mr. Wang was able to take these questions and apply them to the actual trial, resulting in a positive impact on the eventual decision. “It was helpful to have Dr. Gilleland here to provide a first draft of questions for the jurors,” said Mr. Wang following the completion of the trial.

Magna specializes in end-to-end litigation consulting. Through Magna’s consulting process, we help clients set the stage for any of their litigation needs, including: scheduling depositions, language services, medical record retrieval, social media surveillance, graphics/demonstratives, trial technology and jury/bench/arbitration research and consulting. To learn more about our jury consulting process, request a free copy of The Ultimate Guide to Jury Consulting, from our website or contact our offices to schedule a free case consultation of your own.

Jury Consulting Guide

Strategies for Successful Virtual Courtroom Proceedings: Webinar by WAWTA

Webinar originally aired live on August 20, 2020

“In-person civil proceedings may be making a comeback in a few parts of the country, but virtual litigation is going to remain the order of the day for awhile longer.”

Law.com covered a great webinar that took place last week, “Strategies for Successful Virtual Courtroom Proceedings”, presented by the Washington Area Women Trial Attorneys and hosted by Magna’s own Canby B. Wood, Esq.

In May 2020, a Texas court held the nation’s first jury trial via Zoom. WAWTA’s webinar featured Judge Miskel, who presided over that case, as well as U.S. District Judge Paul Grimm, and other expert panelists. Watch the full webinar recording above to hear the panelists as discuss the future of remote courtroom proceedings in a COVID-19 world and new litigation strategies, including best practices for virtual hearings, trials, and motion arguments.

Law.com journalist Scott Graham wrote:

Texas state court Judge Emily Miskel was the star of the 90-minute webinar. Miskel presided over the nation’s first remote jury trial in May, and it sounded as if virtual proceedings have become second nature for her. “I finished up a bench trial today at lunchtime and we had about 24 people watching on YouTube,” she said.

Miskel said that four of the 12 jurors who served on her May trial had previously served on in-person juries, and reported that they could see witnesses and evidence on Zoom better than they could when seated from an angle, across a large courtroom. “I know many judges and attorneys are cautious about whether you can judge a witness’ credibility on Zoom,” she said, but the feedback from participants has been positive.

Click here to view the full Law.com article.

Webinar Speakers:

  • Judge Paul W. Grimm, United States District Court for the District of Maryland
  • Judge Emily Miskel, 470th District Court, Collin County, Texas
  • Michelle S. Kallen, Deputy Solicitor General, Office of Attorney General of Virginia
  • Katherine A. Helm, Partner, Dechert

Co-Moderators:

  • Sarah A. Tomkowiak, Partner, Latham & Watkins
  • Sarah M. Gragert, Counsel, Latham & Watkins

Introductory Statements:

  • Canby Wood, Esq., Magna Legal Services; Co-Founder, Washington Area Women Trial Attorneys
  • Judge Mark A. Drummond, Circuit Court Judge, 8th Judicial Circuit of Illinois (Retired); Judicial Director, Civil Jury Project

Click here to view more upcoming webinars and conferences by Magna

Award-Winning Legal Services: Magna LS Voted Legal Intelligencer’s Best of 2020

Magna Legal Services is honored to be named a Best of 2020 winner by the Legal Intelligencer. We would like to sincerely thank everyone who voted us as the “Best of” in Pennsylvania for:

Magna Legal Services was founded in 2013, and to this day, no other company matches its range of services. Magna is the only company with organic roots providing services throughout discovery, pre-trial and trial. When clients talk, Magna listens, and that is why Magna is an ALM “Best Of” winner every year. Magna is there for their clients with 24/7 scheduling and dedicated customer service.

This year, COVID-19 forced everyone into a new virtual world. Magna was able to quickly and seamlessly transition to 100% virtual platforms for its end-to-end litigation services. Completely remotely, clients can continue to hold depositions, arbitrations, meetings, witness communication training, focus groups, mock trials, and other jury research sessions.

Magna’s online research tools, JuryConfirm and JuryEvaluator software completely changed how attorneys prepare for trial. Instead of building products to attract clients, Magna found what clients needed and developed products and methodology to fit those needs.

Everyone at Magna recognizes our client relationships have made us who we are today. We would like to thank our communities for their trust and support. For more information about this contest, and how winners are selected, please visit the Legal Intelligencer’s website.

Virtual Mock Trial for Nursing Students: Tarrant County College & Texas A&M University Law School

FORT WORTH, Texas (PRWEB) August 13, 2020

On October 9th, Tarrant County College and Texas A&M University School of Law are hosting their first mock trial geared toward nursing students, which will now take place virtually with the support of Magna Legal Services.

The mock trial program is designed to help students understand the legal responsibilities of healthcare workers, malpractice cases and other legal implications of the nursing practice. Viewers will watch the case unfold as a nurse takes the stand and the prosecution and defense present their arguments.

The mock was originally planned as an in-person event, but due to COVID-19, will now be held virtually. Magna Legal Services, an end-to-end litigation support company, will be contributing its expertise and resources to host the event live using its virtual platform. “The unforeseen pandemic has cancelled classes and disrupted education throughout the nation. We are proud to sponsor this event and help ensure the nurses of tomorrow are properly prepared for their careers and ready to start caring for their communities”, stated Peter Hecht, Magna Partner & EVP of Sales.

Fully understanding the legal implications of their practice is extremely important for healthcare workers. Because mock trials give invaluable insight into the legal aspects of nursing, Tarrant County College (TCC) would previously finance their students to attend mock trials hosted by other schools. To make this opportunity further accessible to all of their students, TCC decided to host their own annual mock trials, starting with the October 9th event.

Texas A&M University (TAMU) School of Law joined TCC in hosting the mock trial, contributing their resources, expertise and esteemed personnel. Their law students, specifically those interested in health law, are encouraged to attend the mock trial.

Jim Mullen, RN, JD will play the nurse on trial, prosecuted by Colleen Carboy, RN, JD and defended by Kathleen Kearney, RN, JD. Expert witnesses include Nancy Roper Wilson, RN, JD and Patricia Blair, RN, JD. Justice Lee Gabriel will preside over the mock.

Magna Legal Services has been hosting virtual mock trials for over a decade, with even greater popularity following the start of COVID-19. TCC’s mock trial will be held on the Magna LegalVision platform, with Magna’s trial presentation consultants managing exhibit display and annotations and handling back-end tech support.

“Whether it’s a trial, hearing, arbitration, mediation or deposition, the Magna LegalVision platform has the flexibility to mimic any in-person proceeding, except with all the added benefits of going virtual” said Andrew Lunanuova, Magna’s Director of Audio, Video and Virtual Services.

Hosting the event remotely will allow for social distancing and a larger audience capacity. Virtual proceedings also prove for increased viewer attention and understanding due to:

  • Greater exhibit visibility— All exhibits and demonstratives will be displayed directly in front of each attendee on their devices, ensuring they can see and hear everything. In contrast, exhibits for in-person trials are usually displayed on TVs and format boards, where distance and other factors can hinder visibility.
  • Enhanced annotation— Magna’s virtual platform allows for seamless, real-time annotating, like highlighting and blow-ups, which will improve viewer understanding.
  • Speaker view— The virtual platform allows each attendee to have a front-view of each speaker, rather than the side or back-view they would normally have at an in-person trial.
  • Speaker identification— Viewers can better follow along with the presentation because all speaker names are clearly visible throughout the event’s duration.

The Tarrant County College & Texas A&M University Law School mock trial plans to bring in over 500 attendees including first-year TCC nursing students, TCC faculty and TAMU students focusing on health law.

To learn more about virtual proceedings and mock trials, visit MagnaLS.com.