Maximize Your Value When Working With Trial Consultants

Maximize Your Value When Working With Trial Consultants

The Focal Point understands the challenges trial attorneys and in-house counsel face when managing tight budgets and even tighter deadlines. Author Paul Roberts offers the following tips to help make working with consultants more efficient and easier.

Invest in brainpower up front

Whether you settle or go on to court, a brainstorming session helps your team come to consensus on what the case is about (the “story”) and how to proceed (the litigation plan), both of which are invaluable in the quest to keep costs down.

Involve your decision-maker early

By involving your lead attorney early, you can reduce the chance of sweeping changes on the eve of trial—or in the midst of trial—which can be very expensive and require extra personnel to get the job done quickly.

Manage trial materials efficiently

Having your trial tech collaborate with in-house paralegals is the best way to make sure your trial database is prepared in the optimal way for courtroom presentation. This also helps avoid unnecessary work that will have to be redone in the days (or hours) before trial starts—work that can involve an army of people, given the number of materials that might need to be re-organized.

Communicate clearly on scheduling

Schedule specific times you want your consultants to work with you so they can schedule the appropriate level of support—sparing you the cost of paying for folks who are “on hold” waiting for your feedback or direction.

Avoid shifting research  project dates

Last-minute changes to the date of focus groups and mock trials drive up your costs because they force your consultant to recruit more people, lose facility deposits, and add additional preparation and planning.

Prevent scope creep

If changes to the scope of work arise—such as an unexpected ruling or timeline change—be sure to discuss their impact on the budget with your consultants and ask them to provide you with a revised budget estimate. 

Avoid understaffing

Consultants have experience scheduling a right-sized team and quickly staffing down if need be. This is far preferable to the pricey process of scrambling for resources and support at the last minute.

The full article was originally featured in Corporate Counsel, From the Experts, on October 3, 2014. To read a copy of the full article, click here.

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Maximize Your Value When Working With Trial Consultants

Appeared in Corporate Counsel

October 03, 2014


Paul Roberts

Paul Roberts 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.