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Trial Strategy

Trade Secrets: Tips for witness preparation

Stephen D. Susman, a leading trial lawyer and partner at Susman Godfrey in Houston, gives tips on how to prepare a witness to testify in depositions and in the courtroom. “Most people can be taught to be good witnesses, but lawyers have to take the time to do so,” he said during a recent audio seminar.

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Using graphics in ADR

As trial lawyers can attest, the use of visuals to complement a case can be a godsend. Whether it’s a simple chart or a complex animation, visuals help jurors understand a case. In alternative dispute resolution, visuals can have the same effect, but because the forum is different from a courtroom, they must be used in a different manner.

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Early visuals can boost your case

Every trial lawyer knows the importance of presenting visual images to a judge or a jury. But case visuals can play an important role much earlier in a case. Visuals can even be useful even before the complaint is filed, says Lawrence Collins, senior consultant and founder of CaseSight, Inc.

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Online mock trials: a trial consultant’s view

Over the last couple of years there has been a proliferation of online mock trial tools. While these websites legitimately promote themselves as quick, convenient and inexpensive alternatives to traditional mock juries, it is important for lawyers to understand the ...

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Beginning closing arguments on Day One

Michael A. Haggard, a plaintiffs’ lawyer in Coral Gables, Fla., has won three verdicts of $100 million or more. And for each trial, he started working on his closing argument the day he took the case.

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No more tears

As most defense attorneys in a personal injury trial can attest, taking the side of a corporation or individual accused of harming a person can easily put you on the wrong side of juror sympathy. J. Ric Gass, a partner at Gass Weber Mullins in Milwaukee, Wis., who has litigated many personal injury cases, spoke with Lawyers USA about his strategies for keeping juror emotion from turning the tide against the defense.

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Bloodless cross-examination

Mark Kosieradzki, a plaintiff’s lawyer who specializes in nursing home malpractice suits, said that many people – including young lawyers – think that cross-examination requires eviscerating a witness. “For some reason, everyone wants to go in and kill the witness. ...

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