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Your firm is meticulous with document management. You always allocate ample resources to prepare your case for trial. You’ve developed strong expertise about available technologies. Why outsource your trial presentation litigation support? The answer is simple: The ability to develop fluid visual presentations — and use presentation technology with confidence — are not skills that can be acquired at the last minute, or without intense experience. Ask yourself: How many trials has your in-house staff handled this year? Think about it: Trials are the life-blood of litigation consulting firms. Their staff live and breathe trials; the companies typically participate in hundreds — if not thousands — of trials annually. Even if your in-house staff is assigned to litigation presentations, it’s a safe bet that it’s not their only agenda. Typically, they also perform other functions within the firm. Let’s face it: Significant resources are required to keep up with presentation trends and new media. Investigating emerging technologies is a very time-consuming process, and modernizing your own presentation technology equipment is costly. Litigation consulting firms often are in a better position to stay current on technology and equipment than law firms. This is an arena where minutes count, where first impressions count, where experience shows. Can you take the risk? Can you depend on in-house resources to complete the necessary work, at the quality and quantity you need, within your time constraints? A litigation consulting firm can take away that burden — and free you to focus on the legal issues. OUTSOURCING TIPS Once you’ve decided to outsource, what should you look for in a litigation consulting firm? Comprehensive Services: Custom-prepared demonstrative exhibits, state-of-the art presentation technologies and trial consulting and jury research services. (While you may not require research services or an elaborate technology setup, it’s certainly nice to have them available, especially at the last minute.) Resources: Can they handle the project themselves, or will they hire third-party providers to handle any part of the case (e.g., graphic design, in-court consultants, audiovisual vendors, etc.)? Do they have adequate staff to properly service the expected, and unexpected, demands of your litigation? Experience: What’s the firm’s track record? How are their references? How many trials have they participated in? Where? When? Results? Expertise: Does the firm have experience in your practice area? On your type of case? Do your consultants understand your case? Can they help you simplify complex information and develop themes to guide or influence jurors’ decision-making process? National vs. Local: Would the case benefit from working with a firm that has a national presence? Will a local facility fit the bill? Will you be litigating away from your law firm’s headquarters or a satellite office? What are the ramifications of venue? Will you need an onsite or remote “War Room?” No “Yes Men”: Find consultants who challenge your ideas and concepts, and are more than just order-takers. Savvy consultants provide unique perspectives because they are visual communications experts, not legal experts. These consultants specialize in translating complex information into creative and effective visual presentations that can be easily understood by judge and jury. Flexibility: Find a firm that is willing to go the extra mile. Say you’re on a roll, creating exhibits at 9 p.m. days before your trial opens. Will your consultants stay up with you until 3 a.m. to flesh out your concepts? Will their production team be able to meet your deadlines? Do you have a contact at your consulting firm you can call 24/7/365? If the answers to these questions are “yes,” this is a good indication that the firm is dedicated to meeting your needs. PEACE OF MIND The bottom line: The success of your case largely depends on how well you present your information to the triers of fact. Translation: There’s little room for error. Steve Stolberg is CEO of TrialGraphix, a national litigation consulting firm. E-mail: [email protected]. Web site: www.trialgraphix.com.

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