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Magna’s expert graphics team focuses on providing clients with demonstratives that effectively communicate technical, ﬁnancial, medical and other complex information. Our experience, gained from thousands of hours of trial work, allows us to skillfully manage any presentation situation, from a high-stakes trial to a one-day mediation.
Virtually all construction or property related decisions should be made with costs in mind. But some people are afraid of math.
Regardless of whether you’re an attorney, insurance professional, property owner, or manager, you need to be able to focus on the “vital few” issues, and virtually ignore the “trivial many.” This means knowing how much things cost – not to the penny, but rather a reasonable approximation. The best place to start, when working to make smart economic decisions, is on the BIG expensive issues. You begin by chopping a project into logical parts, and estimating the cost of those chunks, so you can see the forest AND the trees. The earlier in the process you do this, the better.
Magna Legal Services hosted a webinar on January 27, 2021 (recording below), which featured expert panelists explaining the framework behind analyzing and monetizing construction defect claims.
“There’s a lot of parties involved [in a construction defect case]. You have to understand the structure and you have to speak the language… whether it’s the folks on the ground or in the board room, you have to be able to do both,” said Paul Danner of Goldberg Segalla.
Aileen Schwartzof Hill International, Inc. says she makes sure to bring in experts early on to prevent dragging out litigation. “I’ve had cases that were brought in and there were no damages against us. If there are no damages, there is no case”, she said.
If the case ends up going forward, it’s important that it is not a jury trial, Aileen noted, saying “nobody on a jury wants to listen to your construction defect claim. They’re falling asleep. You really need a judge who knows what you’re talking about to hear the cases.”
Every party wants to get the case settled sooner to avoid costly and timely litigation. Magna’s Scott Horwtiz said “Magna’s jury consultants are getting involved more and more on the early side of things to test theories and test themes to see if a small amount of money up front could take care of all of this”.
When preparing your case, organization is key. Pete Fowler explained the importance of starting with “a discreet list of issues — whether its one issue, or hundreds of issues.” In conjunction with the list of issues, Fowler utilizes “a sensible list of costs associated with each issue, and a sensible list of all the people who might be involved with each of those issues.” “It gets to be this big horrible matrix,” he added.
Watch the full webinar recording below to hear our expert panel break down these complex cases.
Technology is increasing everywhere, including in the legal field and when offering testimony at a trial. Attorneys use video depositions when they want key witnesses in front of a court but the witnesses are unable to give live testimony. A video deposition allows an expert witness to present their professional perspective or a fact witness their story. Videos can show all of the nuanced body language and demeanor cues that a written affidavit or deposition transcript alone cannot convey. This effective use of technology serves the courts and the interested parties well.
The most effective arguments to a jury tell a story that resonates. By painting a picture of what happened, attorneys can bring jurors to their side and thus they will view the case from their client’s perspective. Witness testimony and artifacts are important pieces to this puzzle, but imagery is another crucial way to build a successful case.
These days, most legal professionals use some form of technology in the courtroom. But if you haven’t yet used trial graphics to support your legal arguments, you’re missing out on the many benefits that come with presenting images and videos at trial. If you have spent countless hours researching for your case (which is just one of the many roles of a criminal defense attorney) then you want your findings and evidence to be presented in the best possible way. This means that when you display all the things you’ve found in the research, the jury will take the evidence on board much easier than if you were to present it in any other way. If you are a trial lawyer or any other legal professional that is interested in bolstering your cases with the use of technology, take a look at what trial graphics are and how you can start using them in the courtroom.