Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the best way to choose a Trial Consultant?
It is important to make sure that the Consultant have the right blend of experience, creativity, and effectiveness to make a real difference in your strategic trial preparation. Is this the person who you will be able to turn to for advice on decisions that could make or break your case? Make certain the skills and experience match well with your case. Then, determine if the Consultant’s personality and working methods will fit with your legal team. Finally, be sure your consultant has a solid background in research design
2. All things being equal, how can you tell if you’ve chosen the right Trial Consultant?
If your Consultant frequently tells you something you didn’t know – something that makes you stop and think critically and creatively about your case – then you have found someone who will provide value. If not, it’s time to make a change.
3. How important is it for a Trial Consultant to know the trial venue?
Specific details about a venue can be easily obtained from court records and local counsel. It is far more important to have an experienced, insightful Trial Consultant who can identify and address the issues that will drive decision-making and provide effective strategic advice.
4. How important is it for a Trial Consultant to be familiar with a specific area of law?
You are hiring a Jury Consultant, not a lawyer.But it can still be extremely helpful to you if the Consultant has experience in the type of case you are trying.* No time wasted explaining concepts and terms, which saves time and budget.* Recommendations will be practical and not theoretical.* Draw on extensive knowledge to develop case strategies.
5. How helpful is it for a Trial Consultancy to have a graphics capability?
Graphics can be an important part of any trial. A good Trial Consultant should work closely with an equally good graphics Consultant to conceptualize and develop exhibits that provide clarity and impact. But Consultants with graphics under the same roof can feel pressure to “sell” the capability to clients – even when there is no significant need.
6. Is it important that a Trial Consultant be highly trained in conducting applied research to inform trial strategy?
This is absolutely critical. Data is only as good as the people designing and conducting the research. Building trial strategy on a foundation of poorly devised research can cost you the win.
7. What is meant by research having “internal and external validity?”
Any study should answer the questions you have about your case, and does so in a manner that is applicable to your specific trial venue. If the Consultant designs the wrong study, or recruits the wrong kind of participants, you’ll get unreliable results.
8. Is it important that a Trial Consultant have legal training?
Not really. Trial consulting – jury research, witness preparation, developing the most persuasive arguments – is essentially a psychological discipline. The Consultant must be able to identify the issues that will be critical to jury decision-making and those may have little, if anything, to do with the law.
9. How reliable is jury research in predicting verdict outcome at trial?
While the actual trial outcome is a product of many factors, if the research is done properly, it can identify the issues that will drive decision-making at trial. Understanding the decision process that jurors are likely to engage in at trial gives you the best insight into effective strategy and probable outcomes.
10. Are group deliberation damage awards obtained in jury research predictive of trial outcomes?
Sometimes. Group deliberations are the most volatile and unpredictable part of any courtroom trial. There are many dynamics that can influence a jury’s damages calculations, including the characteristics of the individual jurors on the panel.
11. Doesn’t “traditional” witness preparation conducted by Attorneys work as well?
Unfortunately, witnesses have no idea how to implement a typical list of lawyer “do’s and don’ts” in practice – especially under the pressure of cross-examination. What “traditional” preparation lacks is the ability to prepare witnesses who will be able to address the key issues in decision-making in a convincing way while under fire. Our preparation methods teach witnesses the communication strategies and thinking skills necessary to be the kind of witness who can help you win your case.