<img height="1" width="1" alt="" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1482979731924517&amp;ev=PixelInitialized">

If you’ve been following our blog for a while, you may have let some amazing posts slip under your radar. With over 12 years of blog posts and an impressive 850 entries, it’s easy to miss a few hidden gems. That’s why we’ve compiled this curated list of captivating blog posts that deserve recognition.

Read More

Share:

80% of jury trials are won or lost in the opening statement. 80%!!!!!! If you lose to your opponent in opening statements, your chances of winning the case become very slim. Over the past 25 years, I have participated in the drafting of hundreds of opening statements. Sometimes, it's 20% me (and others) and 80% first chair trial counsel; sometimes, it's the other way around. No matter what, it is always a collaborative process. And it's one of the things I enjoy most about my job. Reflecting on these 25 years, I offer twenty-one tips for writing and presenting a winning opening: Simplify, simplify, simplify. The opening statement can’t be too simple. Many people say ninth grade is your audience, but I would suggest sixth grade. Since those of us in the legal industry tend to hang around smart people all the time, writing or speaking at that level is hard. The only way to do it, unless you happen to have a very patient sixth grader on hand, is through practice in front of a trial consultant. See Litigator & Litigation Consultant Value Added: A "Simple" Final Product Tell a story. We have many storytelling resources, specifically Storytelling for Litigators and The Opening Statement Tool Kit. My colleagues and I have spent years putting these FREE guidebooks together, and there's nothing else like them. See also 5 Ways to Maximize Persuasion During Opening Statements - Part 2 I am often asked how long my opening statement should be. I think your opening statement should be less than 45 minutes. Nothing is magical about that number, but I feel it's about as long as people want to pay attention to something. It's no accident that many shows and college classes are offered in 50-minute segments. When was the last time you didn't fidget with your phone during a full-length movie? Sidebar: I feel like there should be a list of movies that are easy to watch while playing on your phone.

Read More

Share:

The Trump trial in New York has been discussed for months. With the jury selection process well underway, several things have gone wrong that could potentially impact the trial's outcome. In this blog post, I'll discuss seven of these issues. 1. Jury members with biases: Finding unbiased and fair jurors is one of the most significant challenges during jury selection. In the case of the Trump trial, potential jurors may have already formed an opinion about the defendant due to the extensive media coverage of the trial. The political climate surrounding the case could also lead to jurors having predetermined notions about the defendant, which could impact their ability to be impartial during the trial. As of this writing, two potential jurors who were already selected have been removed. 12 jurors have already been selected, with Friday dedicated to selecting alternate jurors in case any of the chosen jurors are dismissed. See Font Matters - A Trial Graphics Consultant's Trick to Overcome Bias. 2. Jurors who have already formed an opinion: During the pretrial phase, so much media coverage about the case could influence potential jurors. If potential jurors have already made up their minds about the case, it could impact their ability to remain impartial during the trial. This could lead to jurors not being open to hearing the evidence presented during the trial, which could impact the outcome. For those jurors, the trial would be one extensive exercise in confirmation bias. 3. Jurors have been doxxed: Doxxing, the act of revealing personal information about individuals online, has already proven to be a significant issue during the jury selection process for the Trump trial. This unethical practice can make potential jurors feel exposed and vulnerable, impacting their ability to participate in the trial impartially. With the constant threat of personal information being leaked, jurors may feel pressured or intimidated, affecting their decision-making process. It is crucial for the court to address and prevent any instances of doxxing to ensure a fair and unbiased trial for all parties involved.

Read More

Share:

Preparing for a mock trial can be daunting, especially if you're unsure how to proceed. That's where a jury consultant comes in. A good jury consultant can help you prepare for a mock trial in various ways. In this blog post, I'll discuss 12 things your jury consultant should do to help you prepare. 1. Developing a Theme One of the first things your jury consultant should do is help you develop a theme for your case. A theme is an overarching idea that ties together all the evidence and arguments in your case. Developing a theme early on can help you stay focused and create a more compelling narrative for the jury. See 14 Differences Between a Theme and a Story in Litigation. 2. Conducting Focus Groups Focus groups are a powerful tool for testing your case theory and identifying potential weaknesses. Your jury consultant should be skilled at conducting focus groups and be able to provide you with valuable insights into how jurors are likely to react to your case. See How Early-Stage Focus Groups Can Help Your Trial Preparation.

Read More

Share:

I often talk about what not to do, but sometimes, I must remember to mention what you should do to achieve success at trial. In honor of leap year 2024, I have written this article offering 29 tips for successful trial preparation and execution. You can use this list as a checklist to compare yourself to your peers. I did not develop these ideas alone. Instead, they come from my experience working with the best of you over the past 30 years. 1. Conduct a mock trial. The very best litigators always conduct a mock trial when at least $10 million is at stake. Mock trials are a critical part of the Persuadius service offerings. If you want to discuss one, I invite you to email me (ken@persuadius.com) or call me (1-800-847-9330) or, ideally, fill out a client conflict check form by clicking the purple button in the upper right corner of this page. Only three people, including me, see those. 2. Conduct more than one mock trial. The ideal number is three, and that's precisely what I have observed the best trial lawyers do. It's not always affordable, but more than one mock is mandatory for cases with $25 million or more at stake. The only thing that varies is the investment in each mock trial. If $100 million or more is at stake, every mock should have every investment possible (i.e., a proper mock facility, a two-day or three-day mock, live witnesses, opening and closing statements, etc.). 3. Collaborate with litigation consultants who bring experience and insights to trial preparation. With a track record of handling hundreds of trials, we have witnessed exceptional and lackluster attorney performances. We aim to share valuable knowledge and advice, not lecture or boast about expertise. Drawing on the collective wisdom of countless cases, we strive to support you in crafting a solid and effective trial strategy. Litigation consultants can be exceptionally helpful when developing your opening statement. 4. Build a solid opening statement. In 30 years, I haven't seen anything to convince me that the opening statement is not the most essential part of the case. Some studies say that 80% of jurors make a decision about who will win after hearing opening statements. When done correctly, it should take months to develop an opening. It should be tested many times in whatever way your client can afford. We've written extensively about this. This topic is wonderfully covered in our opening statement toolkit ebook. See The Opening Statement Toolkit.

Read More

Share:

Litigation can be a complex and risky process, and many lawyers have found it beneficial to conduct mock trials to gain insight into the strengths and weaknesses of their cases, especially in cases with millions or billions at stake. However, there are also some reasons why you may not want to have a mock trial. In this blog post, we will explore 10 reasons you should have a mock trial and 10 reasons you shouldn’t. 10 Reasons You Should Have a Mock Trial Gain Insight into Juror/Judge Perception: Mock trials provide an opportunity to test the waters and gauge how jurors & judges might perceive your case. Identify Weaknesses in Your Case: Mock trials allow you to identify weaknesses in your case that you may not have considered before. Test Your Arguments: Mock trials provide an opportunity to test your arguments and refine them to make them more effective.

Read More

Share:

As a trial attorney, you know that the opening statement is the most important part of any case. It sets the tone for the entire trial and can be the difference between winning and losing. Crafting a compelling opening statement takes skill and practice, and one way to develop that skill is through mock trials. Mock trials are simulations of real trials that allow legal professionals to practice their skills in a safe and controlled environment. They are a valuable tool for developing the opening statement because they allow you to test different approaches and see what works best. Here are some tips for using mock trials to develop your opening statement: 1. Practice different approaches One of the benefits of mock trials is that you can practice different approaches to see what works best. Try starting with a strong statement of the facts, or opening with a rhetorical question that grabs the jury's attention. Experiment with different styles and see which one resonates with your audience. For example, you could begin your opening statement with a powerful anecdote that relates to the case at hand. This can immediately engage the jury and make them emotionally invested in the trial.

Read More

Share:

In recent years, the field of jury consulting has witnessed a significant rise in popularity. Attorneys have come to recognize the importance of having a skilled professional by their side when it comes to selecting a jury. While some consultants rely on their gut instinct and years of experience, others are turning to data-driven techniques to enhance their decision-making process. This blog post explores the emergence of data-driven jury consulting and its implications for the legal profession.

Read More

Share:

Our blog has been thriving for nearly a decade, accumulating over a million visits during this remarkable period. As we approach the official 10-year blog anniversary next year, we also celebrate the impressive 28-year milestone of our entire company. To stay in tune with our readers' preferences, we meticulously monitor the traffic of each blog post, enabling us to identify the crème de la crème. Without further ado, here are the top 100 most engaging blog posts from the past ten extraordinary years. 5 Questions to Ask in Voir Dire The Top 14 Testimony Tips for Litigators and Expert Witnesses Ways to Identify the Jury Foreman: Insights on Leadership and Influence Lists of Analogies, Metaphors and Idioms for Lawyers 14 Tips for Delivering a Great Board Meeting Presentation 15 Tips for Great Customer Service from the Restaurant Industry

Read More

Share:

1. Utilize Body Language and Nonverbal Communication

Read More

Share:

Summary (TL;DR) Three years ago, A2L Consulting was #1 in all categories, but we were especially known for our trial graphics and jury consulting. We took a three-year break, and now the team is back under a new moniker, Persuadius. We are hard at work with clients as we speak. The backstory is long and eventful but compelling. Read it below, and I would love to hear from you at ken@persuadius.com, especially if you need persuasive litigation graphics or jury consulting. Persuadium is the new essential element of persuasion. So, what happened? March 5, 2020, 9 pm, pre-lockdown. I am alone at home. I was prepping for a morning meeting related to some enormous litigation. My personal life was, unfortunately, overflowing with drama. For me, however, it was just another typically stressful day. I was proud of an article I had published that morning, 5 Reasons to Be Terrified of the Coronavirus (and 5 Reasons Not to Be). In retrospect, it is quite prescient. I'm still proud of it, if you can't tell. To celebrate the end of my day, I poured myself a glass of red wine, which I had certainly earned. Then, out of nowhere, I couldn't understand the content of my phone screen. I assumed incorrectly that perhaps I just needed to lie down. Maybe I was overstressed. Wrong. I was having a cerebral hemorrhage.

Read More

Share:

Happy Super Tuesday in a presidential election year. Conventional wisdom tells us that America is more divided than ever. I think that is overstating things, but people certainly do seem dug into their belief systems these days. No amount of facts, data, or education will cause some people to change their minds about certain topics. And this is a great thing -- IF you're involved in jury selection. The entirety of human knowledge acquired over the last 100,000 years can be accessed in seconds using a device you always have with you. But if you believe something about carrying handguns, nuclear power, vaccines, or climate change, the chances are that no amount of data, study, or expert opinion will change your mind about that topic. If you're a potential juror and that bias happens to be in favor of the client we support, this is fantastic news. Such a juror will (subconsciously) selectively choose evidence that favors our client using confirmation bias or motivated reasoning. This is where being polarized into one camp or another gets interesting. When it comes to A2L's jury consulting work involving voir dire and jury selection, one of our primary goals is to discover a potential juror's bias. We also want to understand how a particular bias might affect our client. We want to, of course, deselect those jurors who would be biased against our client, and, just as importantly, not do anything to expose those jurors biased in our favor. In this era of polarization and in an election year, there is a useful shortcut -- one's political beliefs. So, ask about them, at least indirectly. For the most part, if I know you mostly watch MSNBC or Fox News or whether you love or loathe Rachel Maddow or Sean Hannity, I can make some reasonably reliable inferences about your biases. We have discussed these and other approaches to voir dire and handling bias in the free A2L Consulting articles and publications like those listed below. 5 Questions to Ask in Voir Dire . . . Always 5 Voir Dire Questions to Avoid Jury Research and Mock Trials During Presidential Elections Font Matters - A Trial Graphics Consultant's Trick to Overcome Bias 7 Tips to Take “Dire” out of Voir Dire 10 Things Every Mock Jury Ever Has Said A Surprising Lesson From Voir Dire 10 Ways to Lose Voir Dire 5 Ways That a Mock Trial Informs and Shapes Voir Dire Questions Like It or Not: Likability Counts for Credibility in the Courtroom 10 Things Every Mock Jury Ever Has Said A Jury Consultant Is Called for Jury Duty One Voir Dire Must Do and One Voir Dire Must Never Do The Voir Dire Handbook | Free Download | A2L Consulting Jury Selection and Voir Dire: Don't Ask, Don't Know 15 Things Everyone Should Know About Jury Selection Why Do I Need A Mock Trial If There Is No Real Voir Dire? Jury Questionnaire by the Numbers 10 Ways to Spot Your Jury Foreman 5 Things Every Jury Needs From You Jury Selection & Jury Consultants: Three Strikes, You're Out! 10 Signs of a Good Jury Questionnaire 13 Revolutionary Changes in Jury Consulting & Trial Consulting Is Hiring a Jury Consultant Really Worth It? 12 Insider Tips for Choosing a Jury Consultant Do I Need a Local Jury Consultant? Maybe. Here are 7 Considerations. I’m Right, Right? 5 Ways to Manage Juror Bias Jury Selection Experts . . . True or False? Who Are The Highest-Rated Jury Consultants? Webinar: 12 Things Every Mock Juror Ever Has Said

Read More

Share:

A very close friend just asked me what we do at A2L Consulting. Last week, a 30-year colleague and client remarked that he didn’t realize that half of our business involved jury consulting. Last night, a high-profile trial lawyer kindly complimented our firm while speaking to a group -- but called the company by its former name of 10 years ago. It’s my job to explain to people who we are and what we do, and some of the people closest to me don’t understand what we do as litigation consultants at A2L Consulting. Clearly, I am doing something wrong. The purpose of this article is to provide a detailed overview of the work we do as litigation consultants. Still, it will also educate anyone involved in trying cases about best practices in specific areas of trial preparation and trial practice. The Big Picture Our firm was one of the first (if not the very first) to call itself a Litigation Consulting firm back in the mid-1990s. At a 30,000 foot level, litigation consultants like A2L are hired by top trial lawyers and large corporate legal departments to help increase the odds of winning a particular case. We help increase the odds of winning a particular case by: testing and refining cases during a mock trial and jury consulting process by soliciting and measuring feedback from mock jurors and mock judges; helping to refine the narrative and key arguments to be delivered at trial through our peer-to-peer litigation consulting process. This litigation consulting process often includes multiple rounds of practice, particularly of the opening statement; designing litigation graphics presentations rooted in persuasion psychology that help judges and jurors both understand our cases and help to persuade those same fact-finders to take our side in the case; and using highly trained hot-seat operators (trial technicians) to display electronic evidence on the fly and leave the trial attorney in a position to connect with judge and jury; I call these four areas, jury consulting, litigation consulting, litigation graphics consulting, and trial technology consulting. Collectively, I call them all litigation consulting. Within each category, there are MANY sub-services. Below is an overview with linked articles that explain each of these four areas in more detail and offer best practices. If you are in the business of trying cases, there is a lot of value here for you in the materials below.

Read More

Share:

The Top 100 Litigation Articles

Today, we are celebrating you - our subscribers - because we have reached a new milestone - 10,000 subscribers to this blog! To celebrate, we are releasing the list below for the very first time - A2L Consulting's Top 100 Articles of All Time. We started this publication in 2011 against my best instincts, and I delight daily in how wrong I was. Now, almost 700 articles later, being named a top blog by the ABA, and after millions of visits to our site and The Litigation Consulting Report blog (free subscription here), I now understand that we filled a significant void. It turns out that those seeking to persuade, inside the courtroom or elsewhere, really did not have an excellent place to go and learn about persuasion science. They certainly don't teach storytelling for persuasion in law school, and the intricacies of demonstrative evidence/visual aids are too much for any one lawyer to master (while trying cases). So, I'm proud that so many have enjoyed these articles about storytelling, voir dire, jury consulting, litigation graphics, trial technology, persuasion, and much much more. These articles are ranked by the number of visits to the article. Some have been read hundreds of thousands of times. I hope you will keep reading our old and new articles, and feel free to share a free subscription with a friend. A2L Consulting's Top 100 Articles of All Time 5 Questions to Ask in Voir Dire . . . Always The Top 14 Testimony Tips for Litigators and Expert Witnesses 10 Ways to Spot Your Jury Foreman Lists of Analogies, Metaphors and Idioms for Lawyers 14 Tips for Delivering a Great Board Meeting Presentation 15 Tips for Great Customer Service from the Restaurant Industry The 50 Best Twitter Accounts to Follow for Lawyers and Litigators The Top 10 TED Talks for Lawyers, Litigators and Litigation Support The Top 5 Qualities of a Good Lawyer 10 Things Every Mock Jury Ever Has Said 12 Reasons Bullet Points Are Bad (in Trial Graphics or Anywhere) 15 Fascinating Legal and Litigation Infographics 4 Ways That Juries Award Damages in Civil Cases 16 PowerPoint Litigation Graphics You Won't Believe Are PowerPoint

Read More

Share: