2020 may thankfully be in the rear view, but be sure not to miss our most popular and talked-about blogs of this past year. Some are older entries that continue to prove invaluable to litigators; others reflect just how much 2020 has changed the legal landscape. Either way, we believe they offer crucial insights for your future courtroom – or virtual courtroom – endeavors.
Top 10 Blogs of 2020
Video conferencing isn’t perfect, but at least for now, it may be a mandatory element of your trial. And for testimony as important as a key witness’ deposition, both attorney and witness must be knowledgeable about the proper setup and preparations that ensure the testimony remains persuasive and engaging. Read our 20 steps – from creating a great-looking “set,” to unique presentation tips, to tech setup – for pulling off stellar video-conference depositions.
This blog frequently ranks in our top 10 – no surprise, given how common (and dangerous) this plaintiff tactic continues to be at trial. We tackle the ins and outs of the Reptile Strategy, providing an overview of its usage and goals and offering simple suggestions for how you can defend against it.
Using strict COVID-safety protocols, we’ve been able to perform in-person jury research in a number of jurisdictions; in many others, however, it still may be some time before such research is possible once again. If your litigation falls in one of these jurisdictions, or if you have other logistical or budgetary considerations, online jury research is a valid option that can provide counsel with critical information to help navigate mediation and/or trial strategy. Here’s what to consider when deciding to conduct research online.
It’s easy to make assumptions about who is likely to be a good or bad juror for your case. But while demographics can be one form of information to gather when thinking about jury selection, they are often one of the weaker predictors of which way a juror could lean. Here’s why a diverse jury actually may be exactly what you need to ensure your case is heard – and deliberated – thoroughly and fairly.
While discussing potential questions an attorney might consider asking prospective jurors during voir dire, our clients often inquire, “You don’t actually ask that question, do you?” But in fact, often there are interesting, even counterintuitive reasons to ask – or to avoid – certain questions. This blog dives into those reasons, discussing what you should and should not ask in voir dire.
Due to the pandemic, we weren’t able to get out much in person to share our latest insights and research findings at seminars. So instead, we developed a series of free webinars covering various topics in depth – and they were a roaring success! We’ve made them available for viewing on our website, so if you missed them before, we invite you to watch how you can improve your negotiations, maximize cause challenges, identify gender bias in the courtroom, and more.
Public speaking is already a high-stress situation; now, imagine you’re under oath in front of a judge and jury. Despite this reality, the same body language many people display when they’re nervous – fidgeting, poor eye contact, etc. – are unfortunately also behaviors that suggest to jurors that a witness is insincere or dishonest. This blog covers the major body language factors that can damage a witness’ testimony.
When it comes to your main workhorse software for exhibiting courtroom documents, the decision is usually between general presentation software like PowerPoint, and more specialized software like Trial Director and OnCue. Neither tool is inherently better or worse; they simply have different strengths and weaknesses, better suited to some situations or presenting styles than others. In this blog, we help you get to know your options, so you can pick the right software for your needs.
A common challenge our clients face is resolving problems created when moving slides from one PowerPoint presentation to another. Most of the time it works well enough – but occasionally, copying from one presentation and pasting into another can completely mess up your fonts, colors, and more. This post demonstrates how to undo any unwanted changes and use the PowerPoint Clipboard tool to re-paste your slides the way you intended.
Have jurors increased or decreased their trust in respiratory protection? How might the pandemic affect their leanings toward plaintiffs or defendants in litigation involving respirator use? In March 2020, just before (and during) states’ initial “stay-at-home” orders, we conducted a national survey on jurors’ use of and attitudes toward respiratory protective equipment. By comparing segments of this new data against pre-COVID data, we discovered some interesting shifts and trends.
We hope these blogs can guide you as hearings and trials resume. For any of your upcoming litigation needs, we also offer a full suite of research, jury selection, graphics, and technology services – including virtual services.