Trial Consulting Posts

  • Strategically Approaching New COVID-19 Jury Selection Procedures

      The priority of social distancing in the age of COVID-19 has led to innovations in trial practices, including substantial changes to how jury selection is conducted. Jury selection is one of the most people and space-intensive elements of a …

  • How Federal Patent Tutorial Video Influences Jurors

    Originally published in Law360, August 4, 2020 The COVID-19 global pandemic has led to an unprecedented backlog of cases, and, as a result, courts are considering ways to alleviate the pressure on the system. Last month, the judge in the …

  • Trial Consultants as Key Assets in Multidistrict Litigation

    Managing the scope of multidistrict litigation (MDL) is a daunting task for attorneys and trial teams. The sheer number of cases, attorneys, and witnesses involved in the process creates significant challenges, especially when trying to keep everyone involved in the …

  • Sharing Covid-19 Efforts Unlikely to Change Verdicts

    Originally published in Law360, June 12, 2020 The COVID-19 pandemic has elicited a variety of responses by businesses trying to build or maintain good relationships with consumers. Anyone watching television has been bombarded with commercials from companies expressing that they …

  • Who Might Not Be on Your Jury in the “New Normal” Trial?

    As our country has started to reopen, we have heard a lot about the “new normal”. It appears inevitable that social distancing and mask wearing will be a part of our public events for a long time. Courts across the …

  • The American Jury Trial: The Way Forward

    The courts closing all around the country was jarring to many of us in litigation and litigation support. Since our jury consulting firm opened in 1978, it had never happened. As of this writing, courts around the country are weighing …

  • Don't Forget About Ethos

    Dr. Anthony Fauci has it all. From a standpoint of persuasion and credibility, he is the full package, whose presence at a podium jumps beyond his modest 5’ 8” frame. In a recent poll conducted by the University of Northern …

  • Preparing for a Remote Deposition

    By now you have heard of, or even participated in, a deposition taking place remotely via a webcam-based platform. In cases where depositions could not wait, the legal community was forced to adapt to the changing rules limiting in-person meetings. …

  • Preparing for Trial after Covid-19

    As most of the country quarantines to assist with the fight against Covid-19, or Coronavirus, it is realistic to expect some change in people’s attitudes and outlook on life once they are freed from staying at home. Research suggests, “The …

  • Trial Preparation in the Time of Covid-19: A Practical Approach

    The rapid emergence of COVID-19 has imposed stark exigencies on litigation and trial practice. Many law firm offices have been emptied as staff and employees have been quickly adapting to remote work environments. Many courts have closed down, halting civil …

  • Jury Selection in the #MeToo Era

    “Franken’s fall was stunningly swift … reflect[ing] the cultural moment: In an era when women’s accusations of sexual discrimination and harassment are finally being taken seriously, after years of belittlement and dismissal, some see it as offensive to subject accusers …

  • Maximus Your Witnesses

    The first minutes of Ridley Scott’s 2000 epic Gladiator was an outstanding example of character development. You knew who Russell Crowe’s Maximus was from the start, and it would set up the struggle between right and wrong as seen through …

  • Public Debate about the Trump Investigation, Juror Deliberation, and Closing Arguments

    This is peril. Not the kind of “mortal peril” the young Weasley children faced from time to time, but the kind of client relations peril that comes with wading, even ever so slightly, into one of the most polarizing issues, …

  • I “sort of” want you to stop saying that: A trial consultant’s rant about a vocal filler infiltrating our persuasive communication.

    I “sort of” want you to stop saying that. No! I do want you to stop. Not kind of. Not sort of. I do want you to stop saying “sort of.” “Sort of” appears to have become the vocal filler …

  • 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 …

  • How College Football Can Impact Your Trial

    Many of us at Tsongas are college football fans. Actually, that may be understating the passion some of us feel for our respective alma maters. And since none of us went to Alabama, the college football season usually brings us …

  • Two Communication Lessons from the First Presidential Debate 2016

    The 2016 election year is the most partisan in recent history. It seems that many voters are so entrenched that some have wondered if one of the most classic forums of democracy, the political debate, might be rendered moot. After …

  • From Good to Great: Communication Tips to Address Two Common Communication Barriers Women Face

    Originally published in Defense News, Summer 2016 We recently had the pleasure of meeting with a group of female professionals at a roundtable luncheon to discuss the communication issues they felt were keeping them “good” communicators, not “great” communicators. They …

  • Ahead of the Curve: Three Positive Choices Attorneys Can Make to Improve Outcomes

    I was listening to an episode of This American Life entitled “Choosing Wrong.” The theme of the show explored the repeated poor choices many of us make when a better choice is available. The podcast featured Alain de Botton describing …

  • Practical Tips for Courtroom Success

    I recently attended a CLE given by a veteran judge about what, in his experience, works and what doesn’t work at court. He spoke about what judges want from lawyers and what he thinks jurors want from lawyers, the latter …

  • Trial Consulting is back in the public’s eye

    Trial consultants have had a few minutes of fame in our profession’s relatively young history. The O.J. Simpson trial put trial consultants on the public’s radar. Among the media coverage of race, money, and fame, was the role of the …

  • 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 …

  • Published in The Jury Expert: Identifying Googling Jurors

    The Googling Juror is becoming increasingly important to identify. In the December 2015 issue of The Jury Expert, researchers Alexis Knutson of Tsongas Litigation Consulting with Edie Greene and Robert Durham of University of Colorado Colorado Springs published an article …

  • Finding the Flow in Every Case, Big or Small

    I was recently reminded of a conversation I had with two attorneys near the beginning of my career as a baby jury consultant. I was working with a senior partner and an associate on a witness preparation for trial for …

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