Case Strategy Posts

  • Alternative Facts Don’t Fly in the Jury Room

    Alternative facts seem to be getting in the way a lot these days. Sean Spicer’s representation that President Trump’s January 20 inauguration audience “…was the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe,” …

  • Don't Be a Corporate Mouthpiece in Your Opening Statement

    One part of our case strategy sessions involves creating an outline of the case narrative. We call this the Case Story, and it typically entails outlining topics that serve as the segments of your overall case presentation. When working with …

  • Speaking to Your Jurors' Core: Core Trial Strategies for Success

    The Holy Grail of trial persuasion is to speak to jurors in a manner in which they can adopt an advocate’s or witness’s words, language and themes when they think about the case and deliberate to a verdict. Language shapes …

  • Advocacy and Attitude

    Recently I had the pleasure of being a guest lecturer at the University of Washington’s Trial Advocacy class, taught by Bill Bailey, Esq., practitioner turned law school educator. The students were bright and engaged. We discussed principles of human and …

  • Religious Discrimination Cases in the Secular Pacific Northwest

    The South has Evangelical Christians, the Midwest has Protestant Christians, the Northeast and Southwest have Catholics, and the Pacific Northwest has “nones.” In 2014 the Public Religion Research Institute’s American Values Atlas found that Seattle was tied at second place …

  • This Is Your Brain On Narrative...

    A stock bit of advice that is frequently used by trial consultants is that you have to “tell a story” to be successful in trial.  The mere “stacking of facts” is not enough to successfully persuade a jury to accept …

  • Mock Trials Reveal Jurors' Uncommon Wisdoms

    Mock trials have many benefits. Attorneys hire jury consultants to conduct mock trials to learn (or confirm), among other things, the strengths and weaknesses of a case, the story jurors will adopt when deciding the case, and what questions jurors …

  • How Defendants Can Combat the 'Reptile Strategy' (And Its Ilk)

    This article by Tsongas Consultant Theodore O. Prosise, Ph.D. and Peter Ehrlichman, Esq. originally appeared on the Inside Counsel website on October 9, 2015. You can access the original here. Additionally, if your firm is interested, Tsongas conducts seminars and CLEs on this and …

  • Overcoming Appeals to Nature and Distrust of Science

    I was having lunch on a beautiful spring day with a very smart attorney friend of mine recently. He had a big civil trial coming up that involved having to persuade a jury on some relatively complicated scientific evidence. The …

  • Political Campaigns: Informing Your Trial Strategy Do’s and Don’ts

    The presidential political season is upon us! Yay? While one part of me would like to take an extended vacation where there are no TV’s so I can skip the entire thing, another part of me is looking forward to …

  • A Trial Consultant Walks Into A Courtroom—And You Won’t BELIEVE What Happens Next!

    If you have spent any amount of time on social media sites like Facebook, you have inevitably seen headlines similar to that of this blog. Other favorites include: “Your Jaw Will Drop at What Happened Next!” and “Tears Will Roll …

  • Who's Your Marcus?

    Like every state, Oregon is divided in a number of ways: there are the urbanites vs. suburbanites, red counties vs. blue counties, vegans vs. vegetarians vs. carnivores, and finally there are Ducks and Beavers. Right now, as these disparate Oregonians …

  • The False Dichotomy in Complex Litigation

    Mike ran his fingers through his thinning grey hair. “I have to explain the patent and the claims in opening, or the jury won’t know what our case is about.” “That won’t work,” said Eileen, Mike’s co-counsel, as she shook …

  • What the Royals and the Giants tell us about persuasive statistics

    I love sports. But I never have time to watch as many games as I’d like. In fact, I rarely find time to watch any games live, so I have to get my sports fix in other ways. I watch …

  • #framemycase

    My son woke up this morning and said, “Yay! It’s Friday. Hashtag no homework for two days. Hashtag let the weekend begin.” (That’s a direct quote; he actually said the word “hashtag.”) Then my daughter chimed in, “Hashtag crush Lincoln.” …

  • The Challenge of Alternative Damage Figures

    I didn’t believe it until I saw it myself. It was the 1990s, and I was learning how to apply my graduate school knowledge to the field of trial consulting. I was doing this the way many do, facilitating focus …

  • Metaphors as a Teaching Tool

    There are times when I’m working with clients when I’ll suggest a colorful metaphor as a way of communicating an idea about the case.  Sometimes these suggestions are well-received, and other times an attorney might be reluctant to implement the …

  • To Bifurcate or Not to Bifurcate? — that is the question.

    In my experience as a trial consultant, I’ve found that many attorneys have strong opinions on bifurcation — separating liability from damages. The most opinionated litigators on this subject have had their thoughts colored by personal experience; which while valid, …

  • Teeing it Up For Your Opponent: Refutation should not be so easy

    “As the longest-tenured owners in the NBA, the Sterlings have employed five African-American coaches, scores of African-American players, an African-American general manager who held that job for 22 years and staff….”   I was watching the latest installment of the …

  • Beware of the Unknowns in Your Story

    At the time of this blog, it’s been nearly two weeks since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing, and the attention paid to this story has grown exponentially over this period of time. I, like most people, find the mystery …

  • Confronting the “Reptile” Strategy with a Classical Human Perspective

    In the 1960s, neuroscientist Paul MacLean posited a model of the human brain consisting of three parts: the reptilian, the paleo-mammalian, and the neo-mammalian.  The “r-complex,” or the reptilian element, which includes the brain stem and the cerebellum, is the oldest part …

  • No, They Don't Have to Understand

    It’s only natural to believe that a concept must first be understood before it can be persuasive. A common mistake in the field of litigation is thinking that the trier of fact has to understand “our technology” to find for …

  • How the University of Miami “Kept the Damages Low”

     The University of Miami, after a long and possibly bumbled investigation by the NCAA, was hit with penalties this week due to a variety of violations, including “lack of institutional control.” Speculation about the ramifications of Miami’s actions had many …

  • What the "Game of Thrones" Novels (not the show) Teach Us about Juries

    One of the things that makes George R. R. Martin’s series of books, A Song of Ice and Fire (which the HBO show is based on) such a success is that each chapter is written from a single character’s point …

  • Page 1 of 212
    DON'T MISS AN ARTICLE