You’ve Got Questions. We’ve Got Answers.
What Differentiates Focus Litigation Consulting from other Trial & Jury Consulting Firms?
Decades of experience in trial consulting and advocacy. Our consultants are skilled not only in communication, psychology and visual presentation, but are also experienced attorneys who have practiced in the courtroom and understand the practical challenges you face as a litigator. We will never make a recommendation that you can’t use because of a Rules of Evidence or Procedure. And we will never speak to you in psycho-babble or boilerplates. Additionally, when you hire FLC, what you see is what you get. Unlike some national consulting firms that utilize outside, junior consultants on a contract basis, when you hire FLC, you’ll get the quality, experience, and transparency you deserve. FLC prides itself in giving our clients 110%.
I Don’t Have a “Big Firm” Budget – Can I Afford Focus Litigation Consulting?
Yes. FLC can devise a research project or work plan tailored to your specific needs and budget. Trial consulting is not as expensive as you might think, and FLC has many low-cost options. However, the real question you should be asking yourself is, “Can you afford not to hire us?” Can you afford the risk of losing your case? Can you afford to make the wrong decision regarding settlement?
At What Point in my Case Should I Hire Focus Litigation Consulting?
The optimal time to hire FLC is before all of your deadlines run (i.e. discovery, witness endorsements, etc.). Focus groups early on can disclose what jurors want to know about the case, so that you can direct and streamline your discovery accordingly, keeping your costs down. Jury research may also assist you in identifying the type and quality of experts you may or may not need for the case. We have often found that our mock jurors express an interest in information or expert testimony that our lawyer clients had not considered; so if you wait until after your deadlines run, it may be too late to get the information or the expert that jurors say they need to decide the case. While we work with many clients on the eve of trial, we do not recommend waiting until the last minute to hire a litigation consultant (i.e. within a few weeks or a month before your trial date) as you will lose the full benefit of what we can do for you. In the frenzy that occurs during the last weeks or month before trial, you will not have adequate time to digest our recommendations and work them into your trial presentation strategy.
Ideally, the best way to utilize our services (provided the case justifies the expense) is to start with a few focus groups to obtain the juror and case intelligence that you need for settlement discussion and strategy purposes, and then, in the event the case does not settle, do follow-up Mock Trial Jury Research to test out our earlier recommendations and your trial strategy and fine-tune your case presentation to minimize your risks and improve your chances of success.
Do I Need Focus Litigation Consulting if my Case is Going to Mediation or ADR?
Absolutely. Many lawyers rely on jury verdict reports (with very wide and divergent ranges) and their past experience to assess the value/risks of their case. Frankly, much of this amounts to guesswork, as every case is different (different facts, different parties, different problems, different venues, etc.) and the differences can materially affect the net result.
Why guess? Jury research can provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about settlement. You can determine whether or not a jury will find liability, how they will apportion fault, and what the real range of damage awards might be for your particular case. Many of our clients have told us that doing jury research before mediation armed them the confidence and empirical backing to get their client the settlement money they deserved.
Here’s a case study on point: Facing what appeared to be an $11 million personal injury claim, one of our insurance clients wanted to formulate a settlement offer that would reflect the true case value. Verdict reports gave broad award ranges, yielding no real guidance. Claims counsel recommended fast-tracking settlement because the injuries appeared significant and the life-care plan extended over 50 years. Using guesswork, defense counsel contemplated making an offer between $4.5 and $5.5 million. Our jury research revealed that more than 2/3 of jurors would find for the defendant on liability. The average award of the other 1/3 was $2.2 million; the 50th percentile awards totaled only $1.3 million. The defense offered and settled the case for $2 million, saving the carrier $2.5 million from the lowest settlement offer originally contemplated. The cost of the jury research was just 2.5% percent of the settlement value. The cost of guessing would have been $2.5 million – 50 times the cost of the jury research!
I’m a Seasoned Trial Attorney – Why Should I Hire a Litigation Consultant?
We have conducted mock trials and focus groups with approximately 10,000 real jurors across the country about every kind of case imaginable. Our experience has taught us that what you, as a trial attorney, may perceive your case problems to be are often quite different from what the jury perceives the problems to be. Jury research gives you insight into what a group of potential jurors in the venue where the case will be tried think about “this case.” The litigation consultant can then assist you to overcome or address those problems. You will have the opportunity to test your theories, themes, witnesses, and demonstratives to see if they are really working for you, and if not, to make the needed adjustments before you walk into the courtroom. Litigation consulting is a tool that minimizes your guesswork and maximizes your results in the courtroom, at the negotiating table, and during ADR. Why not use it?
I See That Focus Litigation Consulting Offers Online (in Addition to In-Person) Jury Research – What Are the Pros and Cons of Online Jury Research?
Online jury research, done correctly, is a highly useful tool. It can help you begin crafting your case story before doing formal jury research, develop juror profiles using large samples of jurors, and avoid a steep, out-of-pocket expenses involved In empaneling a mock jury (i.e., travel, location, and AV expenses). Instead of 12 or 24 people typically used in a mock jury, you can cost-effectively poll 50, 100, 200 or more online jurors in mere days.
The drawbacks to online jury research is that you have less control over the presentation and juror attention, and there is no group discussion on the outcome of your case. However, the pros certainly outweigh the cons.
Online jury research is effective to determine if you should take a case, ferret out potential damages, and test specific case issues. Through online jury research, you can poll many more people, get accurate, actionable results much faster, and get deep, rich analysis of both the responses and respondents that reveal where your best opportunities exist for a minimal cost.
Which Types of Cases Does Focus Litigation Consulting Specialize In?
FLC’s consultants have decades of experience in the fields of trial consulting and trial advocacy, have facilitated over 1000 focus groups and mock trials, and have expertise in a full range of civil, criminal, complex commercial, personal injury, intellectual property, civil rights, and employment litigation. For more detailed information, please click on Our Areas of Expertise.
Which Areas of the Country Does Focus Litigation Consulting Service?
FLC is a national trial consulting company. Wherever you have a case, we can help you. We have conducted jury research in the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Does Focus Litigation Consulting Conduct CLE Seminars or Lunch-and-Learns at Law Firms?
Yes. We regularly speak to various trial and business associations on trial consulting, witness preparation, persuasion and advocacy, and jury selection and have taught jury-related CLE courses in Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, West Virginia and Wyoming to organizations including, but not limited to, the ATLA, AAJ, CTLA, CDLA, ABA, DCBA, and California Brain Injury Association. We regularly conduct lunch-and-learns at law firms and can tailor a presentation to your firm’s needs or areas of interest.
What is Focus Litigation Consulting’s Continuing Consulting Relationship and How is it Structured?
FLC’s Continuing Consulting Relationship is designed for law firms with an active litigation practice. We will bring a group of jurors to focus your cases either monthly or quarterly. This not only enables you to identify the problem areas in your case from the start, but also to continuously test various elements and themes as you case develops. To accomplish this, we use our mock jurors to conduct issue analysis and theme mapping; to build arguments, find out what works, what doesn’t work, and determine if a case is worth settling or even taking in the first place. Our jurors can evaluate your demonstrative evidence and make suggestions as to what would be most persuasive. Jurors let you know what they understand and what they do not understand, and they can assist you in putting your demonstrative evidence together just by virtue of knowing what they need and/or want to know. In addition, you can use these jurors to effectively prepare your witnesses for trial and deposition.
This approach is based on a medical model. We start by triaging any of your cases for weaknesses; we subsequently assess, diagnose and treat that case’s problems on a regular, continuing basis. This approach gives you time sufficient to anticipate and remedy lingering problems in your case. The process we use is intended to develop a treatment plan and “think tank” the solutions. We continuously re-evaluate and strategically plan your case, making recommendations every step of the way.
You can also use your consulting day to conduct a mock trial. Many law firms have built courtroom facilities in their offices. This is an excellent opportunity to make use of those facilities. We will charge you a regular flat fee for our services.