KAREN HURWITZ & ASSOCIATES Legal Consulting is a full service trial and jury consulting firm providing assistance for every phase of trial and conflict resolution, starting with whether to file suit or mediate all the way through appeal. Trial and jury consulting services are like preventative medicine. They are things that lawyers should do before, during and after trial to increase their effectiveness and the likelihood of achieving their desired results.
In my work as a trial and jury consultant I have witnessed first hand what a difference these services make and how valuable they are at providing attorneys and clients with the opportunity to anticipate and respond to what may happen at trial, mediation or arbitration. Why learn that a jury does not accept your arguments after trial when you can learn the same thing before trial and modify your case accordingly? In focus groups and mock trials lawyers and their clients learn the strengths and weaknesses of their case. This feedback provides the opportunity to revise the case presentation where necessary. Lawyers know all too well that while the law may be on their side, if the jury or other decision maker does not understand the facts, believe their witnesses or hear compelling arguments then their side will not prevail. In addition, the lawyers learn more about the value of their case. Whether negotiating a settlement or arguing damages, knowing that you have not picked a number out of thin air will give you more confidence in your position.
Witness preparation prior to deposition and trial helps reduce the anxiety level of all concerned. Perhaps a witness is nervous because he has never been deposed, or maybe a corporate representative is unaware that he presents in a defensive manner. Sometimes it is better for the attorney-client relationship if constructive feedback comes from someone other than the lawyer. An experienced psychotherapist who is comfortable working with all types of people can help the witness handle areas of concern and work through any impediments to effective presentation. Often she will learn things about the witness previously unknown to the lawyers that enhance the case.
Voir dire is the most important part of trial and the relationships the lawyers develop with the jurors are the most critical relationships in the trial. The information gathered from the jury panel during voir dire is key to deselecting those jurors biased against your side. Finding the avenues to access that necessary information is a creative challenge that we relish. We provide assistance with every aspect of jury selection, including developing an ideal juror profile, drafting voir dire questions and juror questionnaires and assisting with jury selection at trial. We also perform in-depth post-trial juror interviews.
The consultant’s feedback during trial is a major asset. Lawyers cannot focus on everything during trial. Having the consultant sit through trial, preferably at counsel table closely observing the jurors allows for continual feedback and recommendations to the trial team as trial proceeds. We focus on the jurors’ reactions to the witnesses and the lawyers. We recognize when more information is needed from the witness to convince one or more jurors and when it is time to stop because jurors have heard more than enough. Having the consultant at counsel table makes this process seamless. Shadow jurors in the courtroom is another method for getting same day reactions to your case - - this time from people unassociated with the case. In many ways a shadow jury is like an ongoing focus group throughout trial.
Finally, research shows that when jurors hear and see evidence they are more likely to retain the information. KAREN HURWITZ & ASSOCIATES works with trial teams in developing visually compelling aids for the jury, including graphs, charts, time lines and computer presentations. For mediation we assist in putting together psychologically powerful settlement brochures.
Lawyers and their clients gain confidence from all aspects of trial consulting. It is the knowledge that not only did you dot every “i” and cross every “t” in your pleadings and discovery, but the knowledge that you practiced, tested and revised and then went to court, to mediation or to arbitration. The extra steps make a huge difference. It is the difference between being prepared and feeling really comfortable. It is the difference between good and great.
We suggest you make KAREN HURWITZ & ASSOCIATES a part of your trial team.