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The Focal Point Helps Sullivan & Cromwell Win Groundbreaking Espirito Santo v. BDO Seidman Trial

Oakland, CA (August 30, 2007)—After working with lead attorney Steven Thomas of the Los Angeles office of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP for more than a year, The Focal Point LLC ( played a major role in the record-setting $521 million verdict against BDO Seidman, which included $170 million in compensation and $351,689,343 in punitive damages.

In 2004, Portuguese bank Espirito Santo sued accounting firm BDO Seidman, claiming that the firm's grossly negligent audits caused Espirito Santo's loss of over $170 million. The Focal Point team, led by partners Andy Spingler and Chris Ritter, worked side by side with Espirito Santo's team of lawyers throughout the 4½-month trial.

“The Sullivan Cromwell team was an incredibly talented group of lawyers, and this is reflected by the outstanding outcome,” said Ritter. The Focal Point's graphics helped Espirito Santo and its expert witnesses explain the compelling story of BDO's gross negligence, distilling the many levels of complexity and turning the technically difficult and abstract facts of the case into concrete examples that the jury could easily understand. These themes were then brought to life in highly effective courtroom presentations.

“The Focal Point develops trial strategies and courtroom presentations for trial lawyers throughout the United States," says Ritter. “Our expertise is in making complex cases like this multi-layered lawsuit more persuasive by making them easier for judges and jurors to understand.”

About The Focal Point

The Focal Point LLC is an Oakland-based company that works with lawyers to create winning presentation materials for use in the courtroom. The Focal Point offers a comprehensive suite of services from the development of strategic trial messaging to complete on-site trial technology support. Chris Ritter is the author of Creating Winning Trial Strategy and Graphics published by the American Bar Association.