Top 10 Litigation Consulting Tips

from Magna’s Jury Consulting Team

1. HILIARY L. REMICK, ESQ.
DIRECTOR, SENIOR LITIGATION CONSULTANT

“The benefits of jury research can be dramatically heightened by conducting research earlier than the “eve” of trial. An early mock trial can help you use the discovery process to assess and refine themes. In a high value case, early research allows you to conduct iterative research exercises if needed, to tackle thematic problems more quickly, and to find out if you are taking a wrong turn.”

2. DENISE M. MONTIEL
VICE PRESIDENT, LITIGATION SOLUTIONS

“Be clear on what constitutes clear visual communication. Visual communication is not just “graphics”: it’s about distilling the facts and information in your case down into a clear, concise visual story that both teaches and persuades. Just because someone knows how to use graphics and illustration programs does not mean they have the knowledge or skillset to craft a strong visual message. Conceptual development is key, and getting the message across should always be the design priority.”

3. TRENT S. KELSO, M.A.
SENIOR LITIGATION CONSULTANT

“Jurors tend to express the belief that there is almost perfect communication within a large organization, that management is able to exercise extremely high levels of control over employees and the actions of divisions or subsidiaries. This view likely prevails because most jurors have never had any exposure to the upper levels of a large organization and therefore assume unrealistic levels of coordination and control.”

4. ERIC LALANDE
LITIGATION CONSULTANT

“Millennials are not the self-entitled jurors you may think they are. Millennial jurors are the fastest growing demographic among juror pools, and overall, millennials are the highest educated generation in history. These young adults feel like the socio-political system their parents created destroyed their opportunities for success. They do not live out of their parents’ homes out of laziness but out of necessity. Millennial jurors may be vindictive when it comes to judging corporate America but they can easily be educated. They also will typically listen to all of the evidence before judging the parties, while keeping an open mind.”

5. PAUL SMITH
SENIOR CREATIVE CONSULTANT & DESIGNER

“A timeline is a supporting demonstrative for your spoken narrative. It should provide a visual overview of events, not a written record of every detail. If you are going to say it, then it doesn’t need to be typed out entirely in your graphics. Jurors can’t listen and read at the same time.”

6. JULIE CAMPANINI, M.A.
SENIOR CREATIVE CONSULTANT

“When trying a case in front of a jury, don’t act like the smartest person in the room. It alienates jurors (psst…they already know you are smart).”

7. DAVE KURZMAN
COO LITIGATION CONSULTING GROUP

“When trying to determine the value of a case, one of the most overlooked criteria in a verdict search is timing (when the verdict came in). For example, verdicts in a specific trial venue from ten years ago will often be vastly different from the same fact pattern ten years later. Current events, public opinions and even age of the jury pool play a huge factor.”

8. DANIEL HALENZA
SR. CREATIVE CONSULTANT, ANIMATOR & ILLUSTRATOR

“Design and decoration are two different things. Beware of visual distractions that impede the message your graphics are meant to convey. Simplicity is beauty!”

9. RACHEL YORK COLANGELO, Ph.D.
NATIONAL MANAGING DIRECTOR OF JURY CONSULTING

“When selecting (or de-selecting) jurors in 2017, be cognizant of the effect our recent presidential election has had on people. Sometimes referred to as the “Trump Effect,” the polarizing nature of the 2016 election has increased tensions between people of different demographics and political affiliations and has hardened potential jurors’ viewpoints, biases, and predispositions. Now more than ever, it is critical to identify characteristics that might impact how certain jurors will react to your case. Utilizing jury selection tools such as Magna’s JuryScout social media surveillance will afford your trial team insight into potential jurors’ attitudes, opinions, and biases, including how the Trump Effect might influence their perceptions of your case. Once critical characteristics are identified, you can make informed decisions about cause and peremptory strikes based on personal information jurors may not be willing to share during voir dire.”

10. PETER HECHT
THE SALES GUY

“Thinking about a mock trial or focus group but you’re concerned about the costs? Call Magna at 866-624-6221 to learn how our ALM award-winning online jury research tools can provide you with the tools to test your case and assess damages at a fraction of the price for traditional in-person programs!”