EVERY STEP OF THE WAY
The longer a client has been with us, the earlier in the litigation they contact us. Many now call when they anticipate a filing or an action against their client, or before they file a new case. Complex litigation involves thousands of chess moves from beginning to end and we’ve been playing the game for a long time.
Facing a dilemma about where to file? Judges and jurors vary greatly, but often demonstrate predicable trends. Let us do an analysis of your 2 to 3 top choices. For each, we will review the prospective jury pool, the local area and the likely judges and provide you with tiered recommendations and rationale.
Judges & Arbitrators
Are you in a venue where you know nothing about the judge, or do you need to make a decision involving comparing several judges? Have you been given a list of potential arbitrators? We can not only do the legwork of background research for any judges or arbitrators, but we can also employ our experience and vast network to create a comprehensive profile or comparison, complete with recommendations.
Who testifies, and how they perform, can make or break a case. But, it’s not just about having great witnesses, (more on that below). Which witnesses do you bring to trial? In what order should they testify? Is a rebuttal witness needed? We can provide strategic recommendations on almost every aspect involving witnesses imaginable, at any stage of the litigation.
Having participated in many mediations, we can attest to hearing the speculative assertions about what “a jury will do” with a particular argument or piece of evidence. Imagine the advantage of actually having case-specific data to back up your positions or to push back on your opponent’s. We offer budget-conscious research designed specifically for the mediation environment.
We get the same comment consistently from counsel and their clients; that we bring a “calming effect” to any trial team. Trials are stressful, and the guidance and wise counsel that comes from years of experience in the trenches can be invaluable.
As the number of jury trials continues to decline, fewer lawyers have significant trial experience. Lead counsel may have a robust trial record, but a team with little courtroom time. Managing a trial team, making strategic decisions, preparing witnesses and presenting them, crossing the opposition’s witnesses and preparing arguments is a tall order for any team. We bring decades of jury research and countless hours of trial experience that is unmatched in the field.
We are a highly skilled group of non-testifying expert consultants. We do not compromise the quality of our services by offering off-the-shelf pricing like other, more commodity-based vendors. Our offerings are customized to provide the unique insights needed to achieve a positive result in high stakes litigation. Just ask our clients.
In many of our cases, jury selection is driven by data derived from pre-trial research and combined with Trask database information to support a robust juror profile. Other times, decades of experience combined with instinct drive our recommendations. Do you which jurors you need to identify? Do you know how to find them?
Drafting effective voir dire is an art and a science. Executing effective voir dire is a challenging skill for any trial lawyer, particularly because it involves advocating against the positions that you will advance through the rest of the trial. We can help with both.
Supplemental Juror Questionnaire
Today, many courts will allow supplemental juror questionnaires. A case-specific, research-driven, concise questionnaire that is non-argumentative can be a useful tool at trial.
Additionally, the Trask archive contains hundreds of road-tested questions that have proven to be valid and reliable for identifying particular types of jurors.
Witnesses can make or break your case. We bring a non-lawyer, social science- based insight to witness preparation; and provide a fresh perspective that mimics that of an “expert juror”. We can work with witnesses during regular pre-trial prep sessions with counsel, set up mock testimony in front of mock jurors, and observe and provide feedback during preparation sessions onsite at trial.
Trask Whole Witness™
Stubborn client representative who is incredibly smart, but thinks he knows everything? Charming CEO whom means well but talks too much? Wonky but brilliant inventor who is scared to death of people? If you have a problem witness or a bet-the-company case, (or both), the Trask Whole Witness™ program is what your witness, or witnesses, need.
A multi-day, multi-dimensional training protocol designed to address the whole testifier; this comprehensive program dives deep. Trask Whole Witness™ leaves no stone unturned in the pursuit of helping a witness achieve their best possible day, (or days) when they go under oath.
We are often called up on to assist counsel in preparing and executing mock arbitrations, mock appellate arguments and mock witness examinations, (both direct and cross). Our unique perspective, deeply rooted in the studies of communications and psychology, and our ability to see the forest for the trees, can make a real difference in charting a course going forward.
Approximately 65% of the population are primarily visual learners, and in an information age that includes significant “screen time,” being able to convey complicated, abstract information visually is imperative. Our consultants work directly with the graphic artists, both in house and with other shops, to ensure that the story resonates.
Trial Skills Training
With fewer trials, younger lawyers have a difficult time gaining the experience they need to win stand-up roles at trial. Our trial skills training and CLE offerings provide opportunities to bridge that gap.
In litigation, it’s important that you see the forest and the trees. Proper testing of the issues in any case is invaluable. We bring rigorous quantitative and qualitative methodologies to each project, thoughtfully customized to obtain data and results that add maximum value to the case. All of our research projects are accompanied by an extensive report that includes conclusions and recommendations.
Issue Identification Focus Group
Used in various stages throughout the litigation, and for a wide range of purposes, Issue Identification Focus Groups can be organized quickly and for less cost than larger studies.
The most “trial-like” of our research offerings, our standard research protocol has been honed over decades to deliver the most relevant information in a truncated format. Our state-of-the-art mobile courtroom provides everything needed for presentation and recording, and our set-up allows for comfortable viewing for observers. Our participant recruiting is conducted in house and is the best in the business.
Identifying the most dangerous types of potential jurors for your case is one of the most indispensable tools you can bring to trial. All data collected from pre-trial research, including focus groups and mocks, is gathered to generate an Ideal/Non-Ideal Juror Profile for use in jury selection.
It’s impossible to know what one juror is thinking at any given time. But it’s not impossible to have some sense of what the jury as a whole is thinking about various discreet issues. How? A shadow jury. We recruit a demographically representative group of shadow jurors to observe the actual trial. The shadow jurors observe court daily from the gallery and witness the same testimony as the seated jury. Shadow jurors are then debriefed every evening. It is the successful trial lawyers secret weapon.
The Jury’s Voice™
There’s no need for either side to make assertions about what “a jury would do.” If settlement talks are going nowhere, join forces with the other side to gather some data on what a jury would really think of the case by testing case facts on mock jurors.
While some may argue that Atticus Finch wouldn’t need twenty-first century courtroom presentation technology, we think the correct use of it would have made him even more effective. We believe that the best presentations blend traditional advocacy skills with the utilization of modern tools that are derived from cutting edge advances in cognition, neuropsychology and communications. What has never changed? When the shooting starts, you better be ready, and the “Wild Wild West” is our specialty.
Our professionals bring a unique ability to execute an unparalleled level of service in the most difficult situations. Our state-of-the-art presentation software and hardware provides cutting edge abilities in the preparation and creation of graphics, management of exhibits, and shooting and editing video depositions for trial use. We also offer full War Room set up; one more thing you can check off the list.
We have decades of experience working with courtroom staff to ensure smooth and effective integration of our cutting edge technology with any that the court has in place. Our trial techs or “hot seats” run the equipment during trial to make sure that the right image is on the screen at the right time.
The creation of effective graphics is a science and an art. Our trial consultants and graphics artists work with the trial team to develop demonstratives that assist counsel in communicating key themes and abstract concepts. Effective visual strategy is always supportive of the narrative, never distracting.