Focus Groups. Focus groups
are excellent litigation tools for developing a compelling case
and helping jurors comprehend the complex information they must
absorb in trials. They enable you to test trial strategies in
practice, not theory, and question participants in detail concerning
their feelings about your case. Used strategically from the
inception of the trial through discovery and trial preparation,
focus groups are invaluable aids for positioning the case for
settlement or trial.
Mock Trials. Mock trials
enable you to integrate all the elements of your case into one
fluid presentation. They differ from focus groups in terms of
the quantity of information that is delivered and the fact that
the jury is given instructions and allowed to deliberate, as
in a trial setting. Mock trials are the most effective way to
learn how jurors are likely to evaluate your trial themes, opening
statement, exhibits, evidence presentation, witnesses and closing
argument. They often reveal flaws in timing, substance and order
of presentation that can go undetected using less comprehensive
Public Opinion Surveys.
Using the Jury Bias Model to structure questions
for public opinion surveys yields revealing information about
localized attitudes and biases. Identifying tort reform bias
and other underlying prejudices enables you to prepare more
effective questions for voir dire, hone trial arguments, prepare
change-of-venue motions, and present a more effective case in
every phase of trial.
of Venue Analysis.
Applying the Jury Bias Model
to identify prevailing community attitudes and prejudices relevant
to your case is advantageous in evaluating the impacts of pre-trial
publicity on the jury pool. We use carefully structured community
attitude surveys and exacting content analyses of media coverage
to gauge whether your client can receive a fair trial locally,
and to help prepare change-of-venue motions, where necessary.
Selection and Voir Dire.
Using the Jury Bias Model
to analyze structured questions for supplemental jury questionnaires
and evaluate jurors' answers helps identify bias, prejudice and
subjective opinion that go unnoticed using conventional methodology.
Applying these same principles, we write individualized voir dire
questions for each prospective juror and accompany you to court
for jury selection, where we are available to make suggestions
for peremptory and cause challenges.
Evaluation and Preparation.
Your witnesses bring more than
facts to the courtroom; their body language, vocal inflections
and psychological makeup can be the difference between whether
you win or lose your case. We prepare your witnesses for the arduous
environment of the courtroom, evaluating and preparing them to
communicate clearly, project credibility and inspire jurors' trust.
Statements and Closing Arguments.
Working in close consultation
with out clients, we draft opening statements and closing arguments
that integrate principles of the Jury Bias Model to overcome
biases and create a powerful personal connection with the jury.
The opening statement sets the stage for a convincing presentation
of trial evidence; it tells your trial story in a way that is
demonstrative, compelling and begins to persuade jurors that your
client should win. The closing argument brings all the evidentiary
elements of the trial together, repeats trial themes and summarizes
the case in a strong, seamless presentation.
Interpretive exhibits help you
tell your trial story by engaging jurors, answering their questions
and broadening their understanding of your case. We prepare exhibits
using imaginative graphics and concise language to communicate
layers and levels of information that support your communications
objectives, case themes and evidence. Drawing on insights gained
from applying the Jury Bias Model, our exhibits use analogies
and comparisons designed to strike a chord with jurors' inherent
perceptions of the world.
Pre- and Post-trial Publicity.
A public relations plan should be an integral part of the trial
lawyer's strategy from the outset of the case. Media coverage
can have a decisive impact on the trialŐs outcome; if the defense
senses that public sympathies are tilting toward the plaintiff,
they may worry that the jury will react similarly and become
more willing to settle. Post-trial publicity can help solidify
favorable public opinion of the specific case and the societal
benefits that it engenders, as well as heightening the public's
regard for the practice of plaintiff's law, in general.
Media Events. A well-organized
media event can benefit your case and the trial lawyer's profession
immeasurably. Timing, location, presentation, exhibits, press
materials - these are but a few of the components of a successful
media event. We have organized hundreds of media events nationwide,
coordinating with local-interest organizations, issues or personalities,
to heighten public awareness of our clients' cases and move
public opinion toward your corner.
We can work with you to form alliances with groups with common
interests and goals and, in many cases, form new advocacy organizations
for your specific purposes. The recognition and resources that
these groups bring to the table has added immeasurably to the
credibility and forcefulness of many of our previous campaigns.
Where appropriate, you can use the publicity associated with
a lawsuit to work with legislators to pass new laws increasing
consumer protections - in turn, generating more publicity for
the case and its social value.
Our attorney advertising
and public relations always ask a primary question: Will it enhance
the legal profession's image as well as bring in new cases? Or
does it promote an image of "greedy trial lawyer."
The majority of your
cases have saved countless lives, made products safer, and held
corporations accountable. Yet, lawsuit abuse advocates have blown
up a very few cases with excessive settlements to sway public
opinion toward tort reform. On top of that, advertising by some
attorneys further promotes the negative image of profession.
We have produced
advertising and placed stories on major news shows like 60 minutes
and 20/20 that serves the attorney as well as informing the general
public about how lawsuits bring about positive change. To see
samples of this Raising the Bar type advertising and public relations,
the media presents tremendous opportunities for you to get your
message across, but it also is fraught with pitfalls. Most trial
lawyers recognize that they benefit from the counsel of public
relations professionals who understand the media's rules of engagement,
mechanisms and timelines, and who enjoy a high degree of credibility
with key journalists. We can give you practical experience to
enhance your media skills and handle difficult questions; enhance
verbal and non-verbal communications skills; draft talking points
or press statements; ask the proper questions before meeting with
the media; and prepare effectively before you do so.