1. Attorneys are notorious for failing to clue in the trial technician. After all, they are bred to be untrustworthy because source leaks of critical document information could ruin his case and an attorney is very protective of his interests by nature, especially before a trial. You have to establish a rapport This can not be done at trial – it has to be established weeks in advance.

2. You should have a cost schedule prior to trial. Do you have a sufficient budget for to present the “story”?

3. As is often said "you don't get a second chance to make a first impression." Make sure your keyboard shortcuts are memorized and that you have an uncluttered desk space at trial.

4. Make sure that your name was included on the Order from the Judge to allow you to bring in electronic equipment. Doubly ensure that all attorneys and necessary technicians are also on the order. This makes bringing in the equipment easier with multiple people allowed to enter carrying equipment and ensures there is no last minute delay.

5. Using PowerPoint: Almost anyone can prepare a slide in PowerPoint, but making the right choices to win over your jury is much more difficult. There is a difference between being only technically accurate and having the ability to layout a graphic that is persuasive, pleasant to view, and clearly presents the facts.

6. You should visit the courtroom before the trial begins. Often litigators learn too late that a courtroom is too small for a standard projector and they have no place to store boxes overnight. This will entail making frequent trips with all your equipment and material if you have not spoken to the court clerk about in-house storage. If you press hard enough, you will find a broom closet for that easel and projector. It may not be a locked room but if it is inside the court room the court may be locked over-night. If it does have a locked door, make sure you ask for those who have the key.

7. Failure to test graphics in advance: You don’t want to find out during the trial that your graphics or your equipment are incompatible with the courtroom setup or are ineffective. As any qualified jury expert will tell you juries rely on more on what they see than what they hear, roughly by a factor of 2:1.

8. Failure to understand your judge: There are many good ways to research a judge, some of which we have detailed in a popular article. You simply must understand how he or she decides things. In the court nearest me, there are judges who will not tolerate trial technology of any sort, and there are judges who get annoyed when you don't use it. In either case, showing the same graphic too many times diminishes its effectiveness. The Judge will want to know why, if the Jury saw the graphic previously, we are reviewing it again.

9. Going nuts during trial preparation: The single worst thing that can go wrong is when the leader loses his or her cool close to trial when anxiety is at its highest. Not getting enough sleep, high anxiety, millions of dollars at stake, and a bad temper do not make a good combination.

10. Failing to brainstorm what could go wrong: Plan for the worst and expect the best. Are there hand held exhibits? Make sure they are all in numerical order by Exhibit Number. The moment they are called you want to be able to grab the right exhibit without having to cross-reference a Bates Number to an Exhibit Number to locate the correct document.


The Lucas Mageno Journey Part I: From Southern California Rock Bands to Furniture Sales to Litigation Services = Follow the story in three parts about  Lucas Mageno.  Lucas has had a long term and visible impact on shaping the litigation technology and services industry in the United States.  However, you may be surprised to learn that his journey to reach the top of his industry rivals that of many unsuspecting heroes from famous literature.
Judges and juries often reach similar decisions, although there are times these decisions differ.

Eisenberg and colleagues (2006) analyzed thousands of trials from a substantial part of the nation's most populous counties.

Evidence across 10 years and three major data sets suggests that juries and judges differentially award punitive damages in financial injury and bodily injury cases.

Jury trials have a higher rate of punitive damage awards in financial injury cases, while bench trials have a higher rate of punitive damage awards in bodily injury cases.

Source:  Website 
Online Jury Research Update Eisenberg, T., Hannaford-Agor, P. L., Heise, M., LaFountain, N., Munsterman, G. T., Ostrom, B. & Wells, M. T. (2006). Juries, judges, and punitive damages: Empirical analyses using the civil justice survey of state courts 1992, 1996, and 2001 data. Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 3, pp. 263-295.

Jane Perez, a Fairfax, Virginia, resident and Air Force veteran wrote a Yelp review of work performed by a contractor (see YELP).  The criticisms in my posts are substantiated by 42 court exhibits (See Court ExhibitsA, and Court ExhibitsB, and Court ExhibitsC)  Exhibits 32-36 show Dietz’ work. Exhibits 37-42 show the work of other contractors hired to redo/complete/repair damage from Dietz’ work. The exhibits also include relevant estimates, invoices and canceled checks (not shown here).   

Information on the case (from both sides) can be found at (NEWS).  The lower curt denied most of plaintiff's injunction but ordered Ms. Perez to eliminate two parts of the post. She appealed.  The Supreme Court of Virginia reversed the preliminary injunction two days later.

She is requesting donations to assist her with costs. Her income is only $20,000 a year and costs are roughly estimated to be in excess of $38,000 to bring the case forward.  It is suspected that an association of home remodeling contractors is funding the plaintiff Dietz' legal fees.