Without question, COVID-19 has overturned familiar patterns in every field including the legal system. When it comes to jury trials, courts around the country are trying to adapt to conduct fair and effective trials while keeping jurors, litigants and court staff safe from infection. As U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell of Eastern District of Kentucky described her efforts to conduct a COVID-era trial, the process can be “like building an airplane while you’re flying it.” Measures to address COVID safety while resuming jury trials will evolve based on what the courts and litigants learn in the early days, and on the surge and decrease of COVID rates in different venues.
This article was originally published in the Legal Intelligencer on February 16, 2021.
In 2009, two prominent trial attorneys introduced a litigation tactic known as the “reptile theory,” a strategy that aims to stoke fear and anger in the minds of jurors and, ultimately, compel them to hand down massive verdicts in civil lawsuits. In trucking accident lawsuits, it’s a method plaintiff lawyers have deployed in pursuit of so-called “nuclear” jury verdicts, those resulting in judgments of $10 million or more against motor carriers.
“In trucking cases, the reptile strategy is almost a given,” Dr. Rachel York Colangelo, Magna’s National Managing Director of Jury Consulting, told Transport Topics. “And it’s been very effective with jurors.”
She added, “There are buzzwords that will be coming in cases that will always be a red flag — words like ‘safety,’ ‘training,’ ‘community,’ ‘accountability.’ They let you know that the plaintiff attorney is headed down the reptile road.”
On that road, they’ll typically examine not just the accident, but also a carrier’s safety profiles and procedures, ranging from driver hiring, training and supervision to truck maintenance and use of motor carrier data.
Click here to read the full Transport Topics article, originally published on 1/19/2021.
The few patent jury trials that were able to take place in 2020 had some of the largest verdicts of the past decade. Magna’s National Managing Director of Jury Consulting, Rachel York Colangelo, Ph.D., spoke with Law360 about the tendency of juries “to slap the defendant in a way that gets their attention” when they believe corporations have intentionally acted unethically.
In her article, published on 12/22/2020, Law360’s Dani Kass wrote:
The COVID-19 pandemic saw patent trial after patent trial delayed and ultimately pushed into 2021, but the few jury trials that did go forward across the nation had some of the largest verdicts of the last decade.
This year featured three jury verdicts that surpassed $500 million, along with a nearly $2 billion judgment from a bench trial. On top of that, Apple paid off a judgment worth nearly a half-billion dollars, and a $752 million verdict against Kite Pharma from 2019 surpassed $1 billion when final judgment was entered in April.
Law.com covered a great webinar that aired live last week, hosted by Magna Legal Services and Winston & Strawn.
“I felt like I learned more about IP trial strategy in one hour Wednesday from Alan Albright, Tom Melsheimer, Matt Powers and Rachel York Colangelo than I did during the rest of 2020″, Law.com reporter, Scott Graham stated.
“Maybe it was Winston & Strawn partner Mike Tomasulo‘s easygoing style of moderating, or maybe it was Tensegrity Law partner Matt Powers‘ tranquil Zoom background. Whatever it was, Winston and Magna Legal Services‘ webinar, “Effectively Communicating With Jurors in a Patent Case,” had the feel of IP trial veterans sharing tricks of the trade over cocktails—with some jury research science thrown in for good measure.”
– Michael A Tomasulo, Partner, Winston & Strawn
– Judge Alan D Albright, District Court Judge, Western District of Texas
– Tom Melsheimer, Dallas Managing Partner, Winston & Strawn
– Matt Powers, Partner, Tensegrity Law Group
– Rachel York Colangelo, Ph.D., National Managing Director Jury Consulting, Magna Legal Services
– Peter Hecht, Partner & Executive Vice President of Sales, Magna Legal Services
– Meredith Cherry, Business Development Manager, Magna Legal Services
The 2016 transcript pertains to a defamation lawsuit filed in New York and was produced by Magna Legal Service’s Court Reporting.
Read Ghislaine Maxwell’s original deposition here.
PDF retrieved from The New York Times.
Magna Legal Services again gains national recognition for its good work in providing court reporting services in the deposition of Ghislaine Maxwell.
We are proud of our court reporters who give us the reputation as the international go-to court reporting and litigation consulting company for large, important and well-known cases.
Magna made its way into all of the top news stories through Ghislaine Maxwell’s deposition transcript that just got unsealed yesterday morning,
People can now read the 2016 transcript, which is all over the press and
twitter, and has Magna’s logo on almost every page!. https://www.npr.org/2020/10/22/926590153/jeffrey-epstein-update-read-the-deposition-that-ghislaine-maxwell-fought-to-hide
No matter the case, Magna always brings that same award-winning reliability.
Live on Court TV yesterday, Magna’s Ross Suter weighed in on the Florida vs. Erin Robinson “Jealous Lover Murder Trial” and how new COVID protocols can affect the trial.
The plaintiff is a Florida man, Erin Robinson, who is facing decades in prison for allegedly brutally beating a man to death for making comments to his girlfriend. Yesterday, 12 jurors and 2 alternates were selected for the trial.
“While we call it jury selection… the defense side is looking to ‘de-select’ jurors”, Ross Suter said while discussing voir dire strategy.
Watch above for the full Court TV recording, where Ross Suter explains how social distancing, masks, face-shields and people’s unwilliness to show up for jury duty may affect the trial.
Magna Legal Services, a nation-wide jury research, litigation graphics, medical records collection and court reporting company, opened a new office in Colorado to better serve the Denver legal industry. Magna’s Joseph Glenn is taking his decade of legal support experience to Colorado to lead business development in the new office located at 9250 E. Costilla Avenue, Suite 130, Greenwood Village, CO 80112.
Joe Glenn is a Bucknell University alumnus, holding a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. After 5 years of working for Chicago’s leading trial consulting firm, Creative Counsel, he joined Magna’s Chicago team when Magna acquired his company in 2015. There, Joe demonstrated his ability to assist clients with reducing litigation spend and designing custom programs to secure more successful case outcomes.
Conference rooms for hosting depositions are available at the Magna’s Colorado location at no extra charge when used with a Magna LS court reporter. Additionally, Magna is still providing complimentary use of their virtual deposition platform with a Magna court reporter, which includes free tech support monitoring & user training (limited time during COVID-crisis).
Magna Legal Services provides end-to-end legal support services with 100% remote capabilities to law firms, corporations and governmental agencies throughout the nation. With a mission to deliver legal support in a high-quality, reliable and responsive manner, Magna provides strategic advantages to clients at every stage of the litigation cycle, including:
- Court Reporting
- Virtual Depositions, Mediations, Hearings & Arbitrations
- Record Retrieval Services
- Interpreting & Translation Services
- Jury Consulting
- Witness Preparation
- Online Focus Groups & Mock Trials
- Social Media Surveillance
- Trial Graphics Consulting
- Accident Recreation Videos
- Trial Presentation
- Video Services (& Certified Legal Videography)
- Courtroom & War Room set-up
- & more!
This article was originally published on October 13, 2020 by PRWeb
“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.
- 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
- Sarah A. Tomkowiak, Partner, Latham & Watkins
- Sarah M. Gragert, Counsel, Latham & Watkins
- 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
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.