Read the latest insights from the trenches.
The adversarial nature of a jury trial leads many of our clients to ask: “Will my expert come across better than theirs?” This is a justifiable concern, since jurors’ decisions about liability and damages often hinge almost entirely on the testimony and credibility of the expert witnesses.
You know your job as a lawyer is to present your client’s case. And, you know you have a duty to zealously represent that client. The challenge, of course, is how to effectively persuade the jury that your side holds the truth.
Effective witnesses know their case, are prepared, and are equipped with the right tools to help them be persuasive. These five steps will help you prepare even the most seasoned of witnesses for deposition or trial.
It is common practice for attorneys to conduct social media searches of prospective jurors during voir dire. They engage in this practice to uncover and weed out panel members who are likely to possess biases that will prevent a fair trial. Learn how and why the trial consultants at The Focal Point advise counsel to continue to conduct juror social media research throughout the trial.
The Focal Points’ jury consultants, Jim Stiff and Brittany Cross, discuss research standards that result in truly valuable pre-trial information. They describe how using proven scientific methods ensures valid venue and jury analysis, mock juror recruitment, and research conclusions.
Suddenly your clients day in court is looming, and you find yourself under pressure to assemble a support team to prepare the trial graphics and other visual displays. You round up an experienced graphics squad, but with the clock ticking, how do you quickly mobilize this team into action?
The Influence of Social Norms on Individual Decision Making
How do social norms affect the otherwise predictable attitude-behavior connection evidenced in human decision making?
In this article we will explore two types of information processing, heuristic and systematic. Knowledge of how these cognitive-processing strategies come to bear on jurors’ decision-making can be of great value to trial attorneys, particularly during their process of persuasive argument formulation.
Understanding Attitudes in the Courtroom
Lawyers are charged with the momentous task of inspiring, changing, and reinforcing the attitudes or beliefs of judges, arbitrators, mediators, and jurors. In this article we explore these concepts.
Dispelling Suppositions of Witness Bias
Jurors, arbitrators, and judges all harbor suppositions that courtroom testimony is, to some extent, a reflection of a witness’s own personal bias. In this article we will examine those theories.
Dimensions of Witness Credibility
The term “witness credibility” is bandied about regularly in American jurisprudence. What are the factors that render a witness credible in the courtroom?
Does Gender Impact Persuadability in the Courtroom?
This article examines whether the sex of message recipients is an indicator of the likelihood they will be swayed by persuasive messages.
Understanding Errors in Reasoning
This article describes some of the most common errors in reasoning, as well as ways that attorneys can guard against their occurrence.
Understanding the Norm of Reciprocity
In this article we explore the norm of reciprocity and how it has been a powerful force in human social interaction throughout the ages.
Having seen more trials than probably anyone in the courtroom, excepting the judge, I most definitely possess knowledge as to how a presentation could be made more persuasive. Here are five courtroom techniques that prove successful.
The Power of Two-Sided Refutational Messages
When preparing opening statements, lawyers often ask themselves, “How much should I say about the other side’s position in this case?” In this article we explore the power of the two-sided refutational message.
In order to reach the necessary level of subject matter proficiency a case requires, a judge often asks for, and relies on, the technical tutorial submitted by the parties. Learn how to create technical tutorials that can be likened to creating a Hollywood movie.
As devices become more sophisticated learn how digital technology advancements are making trial preparation and presentation easier and more effective.
Paul Roberts shares key challenges and insights for presenting an effective case at the International Trade Commission.
Valuable tips to make working with trial consultants easier and more efficient.
Carolyn Webster and Aaron Stienstra explain how Adobe Flash can be a powerful ally in the organization and presentation of your argument in the courtroom.
Guy Grogan shares insights into how to transform your expert’s testimony into the compelling story your jurors need to hear and see.
Expert witnesses can be crucial in trials involving highly technical topics, such as banking, technology, engineering, medicine or insurance.
The Focal Point reviews what it takes to get your trial support team ready for fighting in the trenches.
Guy Grogan discusses the cures for turning a common closing summary into a powerful and persuasive argument for your case.
Michael Skrzypek explains how visual presentations and technology can be very effective with judges, focus groups, and mocks.
Scott Hilton, veteran of many IP trials in the Eastern District of Texas, shares the dos and don’ts of successfully trying cases in Marshall and Tyler.
Paul Roberts reviews Mario Pandelaere’s theory on the relationship between how quantitative information is displayed and how it impacts the judgments and decisions people make.
Tips from our Trial Presentation consultants on how to impeach a witness on cross for maximum effect with the jury.
Design rules to elevate your trial graphics beyond clip art to effective visual persuasion.
Leading a trial team is like being the director of a feature film. Here are key tips for directing a successful trial.
In the wake of the Casey Anthony verdict, Chris Ritter explores how the justice system works and how juries do their job.
How to engage your jury and succeed at teaching and persuading in the courtroom.
Essential tips on organizing and running your war room to support your team’s success and sanity in trial.
Mike Rosen talks to lawyers around the state—including The Focal Point's Chris Ritter—about how to remain fulfilled at each stage of your career.
Jurors, more often than not, get it right. Here are four steps to help them down the right track.
How to succeed in Markman hearings and other social obligations.
Five simple rules for helping your jury reach a verdict.
Blame the messenger for muddled presentations, not the medium.
Five tips to help you avoid the most common mistakes we see lawyers make when designing graphics.
Attorney David C. Sarnacki reviews Chris Ritter’s new book Powerful Deliberations for the Michigan State Bar.
Invaluable tips on how to build the most effective trial database and use it in the courtroom.
Maximize your time and space in the courtroom and help your jurors stay focused on your case.
Learn how to use time limits, particularly in rocket docket districts, to your advantage.
Discover a proven process for developing compelling case themes, stories, and trial graphics.
Trial-tested tips for integrating graphics and trial technology effectively into your courtroom presentation.
A Simple and Strong Message
Use the principles of information architecture to create the most persuasive courtroom presentations.
Transform jurors from passive observers into active advocates for your client’s side!
Can Make It Work for Them
Learning to appreciate the jury system makes you better in front of one.
Keep your jurors organized and focused during trial.
From the Courtroom
When you need more than words—turning a tough concept into a tangible picture.
Learning to tell a good story is crucial to convincing the jurors you are right.
Tips from the experts on courtroom graphics and how they can powerfully influence your jurors.
How to conduct yourself in the courtroom and other powerful skills you need to be successful.
A Mantra for Transcendentalists and Litigators Alike
There are several ways you can simplify your case to make it potent, palatable, and persuasive.
Key ingredients to keep you on top of your game in the war room.
A step-by-step process to go beyond your analytical skills and give deeper material a chance to emerge.
Is No Last-Minute Endeavor
Trial graphics are not just an end in and of themselves—how to use your courtroom graphics to develop and organize your case.
Help jurors and get them to lobby for your side during deliberation.
The secret to making you a better teacher for your jurors and a better advocate for your client.
Courtroom developments you need to be aware of if you are going to continue to be effective and successful in trial.
After years in the courtroom, we know what makes jurors sit up, listen, and understand.
As Weapons Are to Soldiers
How analogies can be used as the key to winning over your jurors.
Thoughts from the expert—tips and trends in patent litigation and courtroom presentations.
A toolkit to get your jurors to understand your case and keep them engaged.
Two Years Later, a Progress Report
Real-world observations for those contemplating using Flash in the courtroom.
Using your presentation materials to enhance the effectiveness of teaching and storytelling.
From Lucille Ball to accounting fraud—trial strategy is key to presenting accurate and persuasive.
Having the facts on your side isn’t enough—you also have to present relevant information in a clear and concise manner.
The New York Times covers the partnership between The Focal Point and The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
Everything you need to know to keep your jurors’ interest and attention.
Flash technology is revolutionizing courtroom presentations.
The San Francisco Chronicle article about The Focal Point’s role in the verdict of the dog mauling trial.
Chris Ritter is recognized as being one of the top litigation strategists around.
Why it’s important you understand and use the right form of technology in the courtroom.
Thinking about your case–an ill-conceived message does not get better because of high-end technology.
In Product Liability Cases
Powerful tools to give your jurors with the confidence they need to make informed decisions.