There’s a little voice in your head telling you to keep looking. You’re missing something about your case. The voice tells you that you may not have the full picture. You talk to other attorneys and that little voice is still there. It still wants an answer but you don’t even know the question. What do you do?
Perhaps the most important role for the consultant is to help the attorney become prepared for trial.
You probably got into law because you liked a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. While you can appreciate a good conundrum or two, you client expects you to be right. For those tough to answer puzzles, you may want to step outside the legal arena and ask your questions to a different kind of professional.
If you talk with the professionals at Westlake Trial Consulting, we will use the scientist-practitioner approach and provide research based answers to your questions. In addition to knowing the trial consulting research, we also have had success using input from a variety of other sources:
- Rhetoric – The study of rhetoric began around Aristotle’s time and it has been in a state of constant refinement since that time. If you want to know how to make your complex legal case more understandable and more memorable, use rhetoric. Do you want to be a word hero? Check Jay Heinrichs’ book, Word Hero.
- Behavioral Economics– Daniel Kahneman is a psychologist who won a Nobel Prize in economics. That may not make sense to anyone other than a psychologist or an economist but if you know what Dr. Kahneman said about loss aversion and Prospect Theory you would approach mediation in a more productive manner. Check out Dr. Kahneman’s book, Thinking Fast and Slow.
- Neuroscience– Ten minutes. That is all you have – ten minutes. If you don’t give your audience something new every ten minutes, they begin to tune you out. Are there other neuroscience research findings that the litigator should be aware of? You bet. Check out Dr. Medina’s book Brain Rules.
- Visual Arts – Steve Jobs used PowerPoint presentations but he never used bullet points. In a two hour presentation, Jobs rarely used more than six or seven slides and less than fifty words for the entire presentation. He relied mostly on images and you should, too. Check out Nancy Duarte’s book Slidology.
The professionals at Westlake Trial Consulting are constantly reading, researching, and looking for new ideas and influences to improve the way attorneys approach mediation and trial. We don’t have all the answers, not even close. But the answers we do have are from some widespread and at times offbeat sources, which may be enough to quiet that little voice in your head!