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Nation's Premier Trial Strategy Group Expands With Office in New York to Better Serve Its East Coast Clients

OAKLAND, CA and NEW YORK, NY—(Marketwire - Feb 12, 2013)—The country’s leading trial consulting firm, The Focal Point LLC, announced this week the opening of an office in New York City. Located in Downtown Manhattan at 44 Wall Street, the office is fully staffed to provide trial strategy, jury consulting, trial graphics and animation, and war room support services. Scott Hilton, the firm’s managing partner, indicated that the day-to-day operations of the New York office will be overseen by a senior team of trial consultants and jury experts including Jim Stiff, Senior Director of Jury Consulting, and Paul Roberts, Senior Trial Consultant. 

"We realized a few years ago that we were handling more and more East Coast cases," said Chris Ritter, partner and Chief of Visual Trial Strategy. "While much of this work can be handled electronically from any location, there is no substitute for being able to have people immediately available to meet with clients, lawyers, and experts face to face in New York, or a short trip to Washington, D.C., Wilmington, or other East Coast locations."

The Focal Point, established more than 20 years ago, provides full trial preparation services, including litigation strategy, jury consulting, trial graphics, animation, courtroom technology, and war room support. The firm has worked on some of the largest litigation in recent years, ranging from complex commercial disputes to white collar defense and intellectual property cases, and involving matters ranging from securities and criminal cases to environmental and employment issues, including Colorado v. Kobe Bean Bryant, the Deepwater Horizon litigation, Microsoft v. Google, California v. Scott Peterson, University of California v. Genentech, Securities and Exchange Commission v. Buntrock, and Rambus, Inc. v. Micron Technology, Inc.

The Focal Points New York team includes:

G. Christopher Ritter, Partner and Chief of Visual Trial Strategy

Chris Ritter joined The Focal Point in 1998 after several years as a partner and trial lawyer at a major San Francisco law firm.

As a former faculty member at University of California Hastings College of the Law, where he taught trial practice, evidence, and legal writing, Chris is a master at clarifying the complex and making esoteric themes understandable and compelling. His courtroom experience is also instrumental in creating strategically sound, clearly delineated, and creatively convincing presentations and storylines designed to win. Landmark casework includes: Microsoft v. Google, Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Bayer Corp, and Perry v. Schwarzenegger.

A graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, Ritter has written three books all published by the American Bar Association, regularly publishes articles with major legal new outlets, including several of ALM’s award-winning publications, and serves as The Focal Point’s general counsel.

Chris is based in the firm’s Oakland, California office, but will be splitting his time to join the New York team.

James B. Stiff, PhD, Senior Director, Jury Consulting

During the past two decades, Jim has maintained a national practice and worked on more than 450 cases in 45 states and the District of Columbia. He specializes in commercial contracts, securities, intellectual property, environmental, employment, and professional malpractice.

Jim worked for two consulting firms before he co-founded Trial Analysts in 2000. After working together on many cases over an eight year period, The Focal Point and Trial Analysts joined forces in 2013. Clients routinely engage Jim in a wide variety of consulting activities, including, case theme development, witness preparation, focus group and mock trial research, community attitude surveys, jury selection, trial monitoring, and shadow jury research.

Jim received his PhD in Communication from Michigan State University in 1985. His scholarly interests include persuasive communication, credibility assessment, and human information processing. Jim has authored more than 20 articles in academic journals and published two scholarly books, one on Persuasive Communication and another on the topic of Deceptive Communication. Jim was an award-winning professor at Michigan State University, Arizona State University, and the University of Kansas.

Paul Roberts, New York General Manager and Senior Trial Consultant

Paul joined The Focal Point in 2006, seeking to marry his professional experience crafting persuasive messages as a public relations manager with his academic and personal interest in visual culture. Since then, Paul has worked with the country’s top trial teams on a wide variety of cases ranging from complex intellectual property litigation to commercial disputes and class-action lawsuits. He has applied his unique, interdisciplinary approach to problem solving to high-profile cases for clients such as Intel, TSMC, Samsung, Univision, Zynga, Qualcomm, Nintendo, and WL Gore. Paul has helped his clients win verdicts in courtrooms all over the country, including California, Texas, Florida, and Delaware, and has significant experience in venues ranging from Federal Court in the Eastern District of Texas to hearings at the International Trade Commission in Washington, D.C.

Paul graduated from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service where he studied the interaction between political authority and visual culture. He writes on a variety of topics, including persuasive trial messaging and juror insight, and regularly presents CLE courses on trial preparation and creative strategy.

The Focal Point LLC

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