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Can a Trial Consultant Make a Difference in My Case?

Published on Feb 14, 2019 at 4:50 pm in Legal Information.

It can be challenging to stay on track and present a strong case without the proper litigation plan. This is why trial consulting services can make all the difference for the outcome of your case. Learning how to test your theories, witness discussions, and damage models can significantly improve every aspect of your case and lead to a desirable outcome.

The Benefit of Trial Consulting Services

Disputes often arise in business and life. Many legal disputes are resolved through settlements or other means before trial. When a trial is imminent, however, clients want their lawyers to determine the strengths and weakness of their case and make judgment calls regarding how best to resolve the case in their favor. In order to do this, lawyers can benefit from the services offered by trial consultants. The most common services include:

  • Focus Groups. Focus groups are often used to identify winning themes. The most effective groups are carefully chosen from the community. A selected cross-section that reflects the composition of the potential jury is best. Your trial consultant will collect responses from the participants through recorded discussions and written questionnaires. Their responses can be used to determine which crucial arguments will best support the case in trial.
  • Mock Trials. This is an actual presentation of the case to a jury. Actors are often hired to play the part of witnesses. Jurors are typically chosen from the community. They will assess the presentation of the argument, the evidence, and the scope of the damages. To test how the presentation goes, mock jurors can participate in taped deliberations and reach a verdict. Feedback is used by the consultant to determine strengths, weaknesses, and risks.
  • Witness Preparation. Your trial consultant can also prepare your witnesses for trial. In most cases, a witness is likely to have never testified in court. As a result, they may be nervous and unfamiliar with courtroom formalities. To prepare them for how rigorous cross-examinations can be, a skilled consultant can prepare the witness by helping them understand the importance of body language, appearance, attitude, eye contact, and articulation.
  • Jury Selection and Assessment. The composition of a jury is crucial to the outcome of a case. Trial consultants can advise their client on the ideal juror, assist with creating questionnaires to select and eliminate jurors, and provide insight into what the jury may be thinking about the client’s position.

When accessed, trial consulting services can be instrumental in developing a strong case that the court and jury will understand and agree with.

Hiring a Trial Consultant When Your Case Isn’t Going to Trial

Civil jury trials have been on the decline because of the alternative dispute resolution options. As a result, you may think trial consulting services are unnecessary; however, you may be surprised to learn you can benefit from a trial consultant even if your case isn’t going to trial.

  • You can determine if you should go to trial. In the early stages, litigation research, like the focus groups and mock trials discussed above, is a good way to determine the value of a case. If there is uncertainty regarding settling, knowing how the jurors might respond can help you weigh your options and manage your risks.
  • You can improve your settlement strategy. Once the value of your case has been determined, you can enter negotiations with more knowledge and leverage. You’ll be able to identify what a fair and favorable settlement looks like. You may also be able to identify the other side’s weak spots and come up with ways to counter your own vulnerabilities.
  • You will still need to convince arbitrators or judges. Even if you aren’t persuading a jury, you will need to convince some that your case has value and that your client is owed what they are seeking. Many of the same techniques can be used to maximize effectiveness when communicating with non-jurors. Testing and developing strategies and themes is just as crucial.

In the event the mediation or settlement reaches an impasse, you’ll likely find yourself headed to trial. If, prior to that point, you’ve hired a trial consultant, you’ll already have begun developing a strong foundation for a case that will work in your client’s favor.

At Wishart Brain & Spine Law, we have worked with a number of lawyers to help develop ways to manage complex cases. If you’re struggling, reach out to us for a free assessment. We are prepared to help you by offering our firm’s trial consulting services.

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