The popularity of The Jury Expert, a publication of the American Society of Trial Consultants, continues its meteoric rise since its on-line debut less than 18 months ago. In that time, readership at TJE has increased more than twenty-fold. The most recent edition includes an article I wrote on defense strategy in complex civil cases.
The point I try to make in the article is that case presentations are most effective when they tell juries (or arbitrators, mediators or judges as the case may be) a complete story, rather than focusing on what appear to be the one or two key aspects of a case. In the article, I use a product liability lawsuit as an example and describe the perils of relying solely on an “alternate cause” strategy, but the importance of telling a complete story applies to all types of cases.
It is very easy for attorneys working on a case for months or even years to become mired in the details and to lose the “big picture.” When that happens, it becomes very difficult to tell the “complete” story that jurors and other fact-finders are looking for.