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Torrance, CA
We are a full-service litigation firm and experts in Los Angeles jury pools.
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Trial consultants recommend the use of supplemental juror questionnaires (SJQ's) for all types of cases, not just those with "sensitive" case issues because when executed properly, they offer deeper insight into juror bias than oral voir dire alone, and provide more time to carefully consider both cause challenges and peremptory strikes. But from the court's perspective there may be an equally important consideration: saving time and money. Given the fact that drastic cuts in state budgeting are causing mass delay and cancellation of jury trials, it is imperative to seek solutions to streamline the litigation process. Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2012 at Los Angeles Legal Strategy
Following is an explanation of common cognitive biases in contract disputes, but they also apply in many different types of trials. A trial consultant can help devise strategies to effectively maximize, or defend against, these types of biases and help increase the likelihood that the side that hired them will win. Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2012 at Los Angeles Legal Strategy
Downgrades in the economy and state budgets have resulted in mass delay and even cancellation of jury trials throughout the United States where the average time for a civil case to go to trial was already often up to 2 to 3 years. As with any crisis, this circumstance is both an extreme challenge and an opportunity because hopefully it will lead to positive changes throughout the justice system, and especially the process of civil litigation. But let’s avoid accepting the belief that nothing can be done to improve our civil legal system. It will take a strong vision and will to make changes that serve the courts, the litigants and the Constitution. But the gift of a crisis is that it forces us to look at ourselves in a new light and to come up with solutions we may have never before considered. Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2012 at Los Angeles Legal Strategy
The decision by the court of appeals to allow the case to move forward makes good sense. It sounds like there are issues of fact that need to be decided and that is what the courts are for. It also sounds reasonable to assume that someone willingly assumes some element of risk by sitting courtside at a basketball game, and it’s natural that adrenaline would be pumping at such a moment. But unnecessarily aggressive and hostile acts – especially those that have the potential to cause injury – should absolutely not be allowed! I don't believe any member of the public wants to feel like they are fair game as punching bags when spoiled basketball stars miss their play.
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Connected is a publication from The National Center for the State Courts that reports on the impact of the new media on the courts. The December 2011 issue describes the ongoing concern courts have about inappropriate juror behavior. Following is the article in whole. Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2011 at Los Angeles Legal Strategy
data can be backed up, and protected if the device if lost or stolen Just like everyone else these days, lawyers and judges are relying on mobile devices (like smartphones and tablets) to increase productivity. But according to a new survey by ALM Legal Intelligence, many are also putting themselves and their clients at risk by ignoring security risks. Given the substantial risks related to attorney-client privilege and attorney work product, ensuring adequate technical support for a mobile device is a prophylactic well worth the investment. Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2011 at Los Angeles Legal Strategy
Attorneys who want to decrease fears about going to trial or, even better, strike fear in the heart of their opponents, should present well-prepared witnesses for deposition testimony. Preparing witnesses for deposition testimony is an opportunity that should not be overlooked because as an integral part of the discovery process, depositions are likely to be digitally recorded and evaluated by the other side as part of their litigation strategy. Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2011 at Los Angeles Legal Strategy
While she was still blogging at Deliberations , the brilliant Anne Reed responded to a tweet by @ThatLawyerDude (New York “Crisis Trial Lawyer” Tony Colleluori) that asked how to get the best bang for your buck from a trial consultant. Her response, A Jury Consultant For $5,000? was spot-on and addresses a truly legitimate concern: How can a greater number of people, including small businesses, gain access to trial consultants? Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2011 at Los Angeles Legal Strategy
Due to the recent events at Penn State, there’s been a lot of discussion lately about the ethics of covering up allegations of child rape. While this post presents an interesting discussion of cognitive dissonance (especially for anyone unfamiliar with the term), the conclusion of how it might apply to the facts in the Penn State case – and beyond – is quite disturbing. I agree with the author on one point. It’s fairly obvious that the fans of Joe Paterno are demonstrating actions that are “misguided and clouded by sentiment” – an apt description of behavior stemming from cognitive dissonance. But why on earth conclude that “we must also respect their dedication?” What does it say about our society, that we would ever condone “rightly or wrongly” supporting the defense of someone accused of such a heinous act – especially when a cover up had the potential of leading to an untold number of subsequent new victims? It’s often (rightly) said that we should avoid rushing to judgment when someone is accused of a crime. But in a case like Penn State, is it not equally important to avoid rushing to someone’s defense? At the very least, Paterno’s fans should not be held as models of virtue and loyalty. And I’m confused as to why that is the conclusion drawn here. -Richelle Lyon, M.A.
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In a vein similar to my last post, this is a continuation of the discussion of myths about trial consultants. These myths are important to dispel because they not only perpetuate misinformation about trial consulting, they have the potential to harm our entire legal system by fanning public cynicism and mistrust. Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2011 at Los Angeles Legal Strategy
By far the most common question I’m asked as a trial/jury consultant is if my work is like the 2003 movie Runaway Jury based on the novel by John Grisham. I actually avoided watching this movie for several years because I instinctively knew that it would misrepresent trial consulting. Once... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2011 at Los Angeles Legal Strategy
According to Ross D. Baron, president and senior trial project manager at Centerline Solutions in Los Angeles, “Attorneys should allow team members to brainstorm and freely share ideas, because sometimes you do not get to a brilliant concept in a linear fashion.” Baron is reacting to an article in the current edition of The Jury Expert entitled Eureka! Moments on the Path to Successful Visual Presentations in the Courtroom, published by the American Society of Trial Consultants. Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2011 at Los Angeles Legal Strategy
This month’s issue of The Jury Expert (published by the American Society of Trial Consultants) features a succinct, practical and instructive “How to” article on prepping difficult witnesses entitled Using Self-Efficacy for Witness Preparation. To download the full article, click here. Below is a synopsis of the key points. Providing... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2011 at Los Angeles Legal Strategy
Today’s Jur-E-Bulletin referenced a September 21, 2011 report by McClatchy newspapers that “the District of Columbia Court of Appeals heard the argument from attorney Bruce Brown, representing the Washington Post, articulating why the juror questionnaires in the Chandra Levy murder trial should be released to the media.” It’s hard to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2011 at Los Angeles Legal Strategy
To date, most legal commentary on the nexus of social media and the courts has focused on two areas: Informing jury selection or jurors’ verboten social networking during trial. But just as social networking itself is constantly evolving, so are the applications of its use. Following the verdict in the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2011 at Los Angeles Legal Strategy
Once you decide to use an Supplemental Juror Questionnaire (SJQ) for your next jury selection, it's important to remember that not all SJQ's are created equal. The following are some tips for designing an effective SJQ: The SJQ should be written and analyzed by someone who is well-versed in both... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2011 at Los Angeles Legal Strategy
The past decade has seen a steep rise in the judicial acceptance of supplemental juror questionnaires (SJQ's), and the reasons are clear. When used properly, SJQ's: Are an efficient and economical means of gathering information on potential jurors' demographics, attitudes, life experiences and beliefs; Can expose potential jurors' acceptance of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2011 at Los Angeles Legal Strategy
According to the Arizona Daily Star, this past February a man on trial in an Arizona State Court was convicted of murder and sentenced to death by a jury that was allowed to ask a total of 36 questions. This case is unique because in 47 out of 50 U.S.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2011 at Los Angeles Legal Strategy
We have all felt beaten down at one point or another while preparing for trial. We’ve been lost in the woods and unable to keep our heads up as we slowly sank into a seemingly inescapable abyss. Then suddenly, an idea landed out of nowhere. We grasped it and utilized... Continue reading
Reblogged Mar 1, 2011 at Los Angeles Legal Strategy
LosAngelesLegalStrategy is now following Deliberations Blogger
Mar 1, 2011
On February 8, 2011, I attended a webinar held by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) entitled Social Media and Trial by Jury: Identifying Problems, Designing Solutions. Going into the webinar, I was well aware of the growing tension place between courts, attorneys and jurors over the use of the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2011 at Los Angeles Legal Strategy
As reported by Ginny LaRoe in The Recorder February 15, 2011, attorneys in the upcoming Barry Bonds steroid case know that jurors will be especially tempted to “Take the case outside the box [and therefore] both sides want a stronger-than-usual warning to jurors to avoid internet research and social media... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2011 at Los Angeles Legal Strategy
I came into the field of trial consulting from a background of working with a wide variety of children: developmentally disabled, typically developing, severely emotionally disturbed, and all different ethnicities and cultures. I’ve been peed on, puked on, hugged, kissed, bitten, and spent countless evenings combing dried Play-Doh out of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2011 at Los Angeles Legal Strategy
An on-going theme on this blog is the on-going and ever-increasing tension between individual privacy rights and a defendant's right to a fair trial. Last week (02/08/2011), the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) presented a webinar entitled, “Social Media and Trial by Jury: Identifying Problems, Designing Solutions.”Judges Gregory E. Mize... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2011 at Los Angeles Legal Strategy
Last week we wrote about the case involving Arturo Ramirez and his appeal to the California State Supreme Court that he not be compelled to release access to his Facebook records. A fellow juror had outed Ramirez for allegedly posting on the social network site about a trial on which... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2011 at Los Angeles Legal Strategy