Archive for : January, 2015

Timelines (Part 1)

Timelines have proven to be an instrumental tool in conveying complex information formatted to be easily digestible and understandable. In this series, we look at how timelines are designed and developed for use in the courtroom, in mediation, and/or during the discovery process.

 

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One or More?

A timeline tells a story, whether it relates to liability, causation or damages. It captures the key evidence in this case, including documents, testimony, graphics, graphs, photos or embedded videos.

Timelines can be static or interactive graphics, blown up on large boards, or electronically displayed.

Liability, Causation and Damages

Timelines come to life when sequencing your stories. The liability timeline lays out the facts of an event, based on physical evidence, witness testimony or investigatory findings. Both plaintiffs and defendants are attempting to emphasize how the evidence leads to rational conclusions about the case. A causation timeline can be a visually compelling display of a critical chain of events, revealing what happened and when, who knew what, and what was done or not. And when summarizing damages, particularly relating to medical care, a timeline provides a detailed and comprehensive overview of what transpired from the time of injury through rehabilitation and a return home.

Finally, timelines can prove to be quite effective in capturing key evidence related to punitive damages. Often the evidence concentrates on what was known by the defendants, when they knew it, and how that critical knowledge or experience may have been either ignored or covered up.

Focus Groups: Treasure Trove of Insight and Intelligence

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Here we are conducing a 12-person focus group in our studio facility, located in the Westchase Business District in Houston, Texas – as technicians and interested parties observe from the control room.

This approach to gathering valuable research is utilized by a broad array of business enterprises. Much of our experience over the years is in the area of litigation where mock juries are formed to react to key evidence and express preferences for each side in the case.

Early on in substantial cases, trial lawyers often conduct focus groups when forming persuasive concepts and understandable terminology in arguing the merits of a case.

Prior to mediation, mock juries are exposed to both the plaintiff and defendant’s cases to gauge perception of the parties and the strongest evidence from both sides. At this stage the plaintiffs often prepare a news-style video documentary to provide to the defendants, who review it and sometimes use it to test in front of their focus group.

Just prior to trial, focus groups provide valuable questions and commentary that positively contributes to the selection of jury members if the case is actually tried. And, during those sessions, the trial attorneys can test the effectiveness of their demonstrative evidence.

We’ve supported and facilitated focus groups for both plaintiff and defense.

We can organize them by organizing focus members, mirroring the ethnic, cultural and socio-economic make-up of the venue. We have usually constructed and can manage the database of evidence in the case and are therefore, prepared to present it to focus groups, client meetings, or at trial. Over the years, we’ve produced hundreds of video settlement brochures for plaintiff’s counsel used in focus groups or mediation across the country.