A trial is always teamwork. Each member of the trial team should be given a role to best use their talents. You shouldn’t try cover every aspect of a trial because it minimize the areas of your specialty. By relying on testing trial organization and preparation, you increase your chances of a verdict.
Frequently Asked Questions
I’m a seasoned trial attorney – why should I hire a trial consultant?
What is trial consulting?
Trial consulting is the use of specialized expertise, experience and training (typically legal, psychological, or social science) to aid attorneys in the presentation of a criminal or civil trial. Trial consultants help prepare witnesses, improve case themes and clarify communication, select juries, and run focus groups.
How early on in the process should I contact you?
Most lawyers contact a trial consultant after filing a lawsuit. This allows maximum benefit of the expertise and thorough use of focus groups for case development and trial strategy.
How much does consulting cost?
Different lawyers want different levels of assistance therefore the cost varies. You can contact me for a free consultation to see if my services can add value clicking here.
Do I need trial consulting if my case is going to mediation?
Absolutely. A partner or a team can make all the difference in keeping up with everything that’s going on. As a litigation consultant, I offer services for every step of the process – from strategizing to taking depositions to general witness and document prep to mediation and trial.
How can trial consulting benefit my case?
Trial is a marathon – constant change and constant adaption – but a long journey. Consulting can help you prepare for all possible changes and challenges you will face – create plan A, plan B and plan C – so you can dedicate your attention what you do best.
How can a focus group help my case, even if I don't think it's worth the cost?
If your case is significant then it’s worth the time to probe and discover hidden assumptions and biases that jurors have, and find out what they are before trial so you can hopefully minimize problems.
How do I conduct a focus group? Is this something I can do myself?
You could do it yourself, and of course you’d save money. But you probably wouldn’t save time. More importantly, you’d probably not have confidence you did it the right way.
How is a focus group different from a traditional mock trial?
Our focus groups are developed from a different approach, instead of a 1-size fits all approach like a mock trial. Focus groups come in a variety of styles and approaches – just like cases. Not every case needs a mock trial, but every case needs to be put in front of a focus group.
Attaining unbiased feedback that can be difficult for you to obtain as a lawyer working on the case. I will organize all the logistics and the focus group will be conducted on-site in our office to facilitate video/audio recording.
When should I focus group my case?
There is never a bad time to use a focus group. From the start, a focus group can be used to issue-spot and provide guidance on discovery to conduct and investigations to perform. In the middle, the focus group can assist in checking your case theory, deposition testimony, and continue to provide guidance on discovery. At the end, a focus group is a fantastic practice round before trial – getting on your feet to run an opening statement, check your jury selection questions or take a swing at your closing argument.
How do I benefit from using an experienced moderator?
An experienced moderator will be able to present and question in a time-efficient manner, and keep the entire group engaged. As an un-invested person, it is easy to remain neutral and dive deeper on negative comments or opinions to find the hidden reason for the participant’s position.
By using an experienced moderator, you can observe anonymously and devote all your attention to the participant feedback. This extra attention will allow you to take in body language cues and observe the reactions of the other participants. You will be able to learn more during the focus group and have a deeper analysis of the new information.
Can you conduct virtual focus groups?
Yes. Virtual focus groups allow you to connect to folks in the comfort and safety of their own home, and keep pushing your case forward.
How do I know what focus group to run for my case?
Elizabeth has years of experience in focus group presentations and is happy to offer assistance in choosing the right focus group to yield your desired feedback.
What if I want to present but I want Elizabeth to ask the questions of the focus group?
This is a great set-up and highly recommended. Presenting to a group of 12 strangers is practice for public speaking and will improve a lawyers skill level. Elizabeth will jump in to ask the feedback questions of the focus group and keep the conversation neutral.
What feedback does a focus group give me?
Focus groups can provide feedback on … really anything! You want to learn about yourself and how you are perceived – a focus group can do it. You want to learn about the holes in your case and where you need to give attention – focus group it! You want to test your case theory, test your witness credibility, test the defense theory or defense witness credibility – focus group it! The hardest part about a focus group is learning how to present the information and ask the questions to receive unbiased feedback. (Biased feedback may make you feel fantastic, but it won’t help you learn and definitely won’t help your case!)
How does the process work?
Elizabeth works with the lawyer to understand the client and case, review case materials, and create an individualized plan for the client testimony preparation. Elizabeth meets directly with the client for several hours. During the client meetings, Elizabeth addresses concerns, educates the client on the deposition or trial process, and works with the client to empower them to tell their story.
How many days? Hours with client?
Typically 10-12 hours. Can be done in 2-4 days, dependent on client availability.
Can lawyer sit in?
How far in advance of trial or deposition should I contact you for help?
As soon as you believe your client will benefit from an individualized testimony preparation, contact us. We can format a timeframe around your client and the dates of the deposition or trial.
What if I am set for trial and the deposition has been taken?
That is not an issue.
What if the case involves a specialized type of law?
Elizabeth has experience assisting clients involved in family law, offshore injuries, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and other specialized areas of the law. Her focus is the client and is willing to learn what is necessary to assist the client in their testimony.
Will you travel / come to me?
Yes, as part of the Larrick Law Firm PC consulting services, I can travel to you.
What do I need to do to prepare?
Try to have all necessary documents from the case organized. That way, we can work together gathering any other information and reviewing it all in relation to the case.
What can you learn from focus groups?
What is a focus group?
How does a Witness benefit?
What is Witness Prep?
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