Top Lawyers: G. Christopher Ritter
By Xenia P. Kobylarz
G. Christopher Ritter doesn’t practice law anymore but he is still winning cases for clients. Author of Creating Winning Trial Strategies and Graphics, published by the American Bar Association, Ritter has parlayed his years as a trial lawyer into creating graphics that simplify cases for juries. He stumbled into his new career six years ago when he hired a group called The Focal Point LLC to help him illustrate a case. He was hooked and joined the Oakland company.
Best-known clients: Our attorney clients tend to be nationally known trial lawyers working on very complicated cases throughout the United States. The list includes: John Keker, Cris Arguedas, Pamela Mackey and many, many more.
Biggest cases: A bad faith claim against a group of insurance companies. The lawsuit brought by Jim Penrod, David Halbreich and their trial team at Morgan Lewis & Bockius resulted in settlements after the trial started of more than $2.2 billion. We also worked with the defense team on the Kobe Bryant case; we worked with the prosecution in the (Scott) Peterson case; we worked with lawyers for Oracle Corp. regarding acquiring PeopleSoft Inc. and in cases against Microsoft Corp.
Best advice: The most effective trial lawyers are constantly thinking about how to make their cases more effective by making them easier for jurors to understand. This process takes time. It needs to be started early. If done correctly, the benefits will yield benefits throughout the trial.
Favorite cases: I am one of those lucky people who really enjoys almost all aspects of my work. There are virtually no cases that I have not enjoyed. Charles Mingus used to say, “Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple.” My favorite part of almost every case is that moment when you can see that everyone is saying to themselves, “Oh, now I get it!”
Appeared in East Bay Business Times
June 17, 2005