The Trial Lawyer Summer 2018 - Page 67

When Big Data supplements a community values and beliefs survey contained within a typical jury questionnaire , more information about a juror ’ s community is available to the lawyers . This increase in information , in turn , provides trial lawyers with more information about what juror traits are beneficial . Research shows that an individual ’ s online presence can predict that individual ’ s personality , and Big Data provides more data points on how to determine which individual jurors should or should not be selected . Once the parties determine a community ’ s attitudes and values , trial lawyers can determine what qualities and traits are desirable in jurors within that community . Trial lawyers can then combine these qualities and traits into “ bad juror ” or “ good juror ” profiles to create “ persona jurors .”
If we as trial lawyers can pool our data and keep a collective bank of case information and trial and settlement outcomes , the better and more accurate all outcomes become . Data is always predictive , and as the data we collect grows , we can put that into a predictive model to extract the “ golden egg ,” or prediction model that will be the key to making better decisions . The more data we collect and input , the higher the statistical significance the outcomes will be and the more we can apply this to building our trial stories , and forecasting trial outcomes with more accuracy .
Intuitive and experiential expertise is losing out to number crunching . In fact , that competition has already been lost . Quantitative analysis has been openly embraced in virtually every major business sector … except law . Shortly , there will be a seismic shift in the legal profession . The smartest , savviest lawyers are now supplementing their practice experience and intuition with insights obtained from big data to best inform their judgment . Predictive analytics and data-driven strategies will be paramount to the legal industry of the not-so-distant future . Technology that leverages legal data will move the practice of law forward in new directions . There are more tools than ever to facilitate this paradigm shift . Big data and predictive analytics can be used by trial lawyers to improve settlement evaluations , fine-tune trial stories , and make sound decisions of whether to settle or take a case to trial .
For any of you “ Trumpsters ” who haven ’ t read a book or current events journal in 30 years , and get all of your information from watching “ the shows ” and movies , I ’ m talking about “ Moneyballing ” trial practice .
THE BEGINNING ? dictated into hand-held mini cassette recorders and the tapes were transcribed by legal secretaries . I did all my legal research in an actual library with real books . We had to actually file hard copies of our pleadings at the courthouse and physically serve them on opposing counsel . Today , my firm uses no paper , except when the trial courts makes us present a set of exhibits on paper for their records . We have no legal secretaries , only paralegals . All of our lawyers do all their legal research from their computers and type their own letters ( or more often , emails ), legal briefs and pleadings . We take nearly all out-oftown depositions from the comfort of our officers or conference rooms using digital conferencing . Trials are prepared and presented with laptop computers , iPads and massive digital monitors , using trial presentation software and applications … many of which we have developed within our firm . Instead of legal secretaries , file clerks and runners , we employ trial presentation and animation designers , software programmers and e-discovery miners .
Trying to go back is like wearing a 30-year-old suit that looked good when you were 27 . It doesn ’ t fit , the fabric sucks , and you will never look 27 again , so go buy a new suit that fits the body you have today . We all need to adapt to the present and anticipate our future circumstances . We must re-think the way we prepare and try cases , as well as how we manage the business of law , if we want to stay relevant and survive the future of trial practice .
I believe in the jury trial . I define who I am as a “ trial lawyer .” But , I also understand that in order to resurrect “ The American Trial Lawyer ,” we must possess not only the will to try more cases , but the willingness to change the way we try them .
-------------------------------------- Robert Eglet has tried more than 120 civil jury trials to verdict , including some of the largest personal injury verdicts in the country in 2007 , 2010 , 2011 , and 2013 . Eglet was named National Trial Lawyer of the Year in 2013 by the National Trial Lawyers Association and National Lawyer of the Year in 2010 by Lawyers USA . He has been honored twice by the Nevada Justice Association as Trial Lawyer of the Year ( 2005 , 2012 ) and in 2013 , Eglet received the National Thurgood Marshall Fighting for Justice Award . The National Law Journal has named Eglet ’ s firm as one the “ 12 Best Plaintiff ’ s Law Firms in the Country ” and one of the “ 50 Best Trial Firms in America .” Eglet lectures regularly on trial practice and innovation in the courtroom .
Going back is not an option . Moving forward is always the only path . Professionals , just like people who live in the past and long for the so-called good old days , are already dead . They just don ’ t know it yet .
It has been nearly 30 years since I walked into a courtroom for the first time to try a case . Yesterday ’ s art and science of trial work is as extinct as the Yellow Pages . When I began trying cases , my entire trial presentation was hand written on yellow legal pads . My demonstrative exhibits were blow-ups glued to white cardboard . All letters , legal briefs and pleadings were
When Big Data supplements a community values and beliefs survey contained within a typical jury questionnaire, more information about a juror’s community is available to the lawyers. This increase in information, in turn, provides trial lawyers with more information about what juror traits are beneficial. Research shows that an individual’s online presence can predict that individual’s personality, and Big Data provides more data points on how to determine which individual jurors should or should not be selected. Once the parties determine a community’s attitudes and values, trial lawyers can determine what qualities and traits are desirable in jurors within that community. Trial lawyers can then combine these qualities and traits into “bad juror” or “good juror” profiles to create “persona jurors.” If we as trial lawyers can pool our data and keep a collective bank of case information and trial and settlement outcomes, the better and more accurate all outcomes become. Data is always predictive, and as the data we collect grows, we can put that into a predictive model to extract the “golden egg,” or prediction model that will be the key to making better decisions. The more data we collect and input, the higher the statistical significance the outcomes will be and the more we can apply this to building our trial stories, and forecasting trial outcomes with more accuracy. Intuitive and experiential expertise is losing out to number crunching. In fact, that competition has already been lost. Quantitative analysis has been openly embraced in virtually every major business sector… except law. Shortly, there will be a seismic shift in the legal profession. The smartest, savviest lawyers are now supplementing their practice experience and intuition with insights obtained from big data to best inform their judgment. Predictive analytics and data-driven strategies will be paramount to the legal industry of the not-so-distant future. Technology that leverages legal data will move the practice of law forward in new directions. There are more tools than ever to facilitate this paradigm shift. Big data and predictive analytics can be used by trial lawyers to improve settlement evaluations, fine-tune trial stories, and make sound decisions of whether to settle or take a case to trial. For any of you “Trumpsters” who haven’t read a book or current events journal in 30 years, and get all of your information from watching “the shows” and movies, I’m talking about “Moneyballing” trial practice. THE BEGINNING? Going back is not an option. Moving forward is always the only path. Professionals, just like people who live in the past and long for the so-called good old days, are already dead. They just don’t know it yet. It has been nearly 30 years since I walked into a courtroom for the first time to try a case. Yesterday’s art and science of trial work is as extinct as the Yellow Pages. When I began trying cases, my entire trial presentation was hand written on yellow legal pads. My demonstrative exhibits were blow-ups glued to white cardboard. All letters, legal briefs and pleadings were dictated into hand-held mini cassette recorders and the tapes were transcribed by legal secretaries. I did all my legal research in an actual library with real books. We had to actually file hard copies of our pleadings at the courthouse and physically serve them on opposing counsel. Today, my firm uses no paper, except when the trial courts makes us present a set of exhibits on paper for their records. We have no legal secretaries, only paralegals. All of our lawyers do all their legal research from their computers and type their own letters (or more often, emails), legal briefs and pleadings. We take nearly all out-of- town depositions from the comfort of our officers or conference rooms using digital conferencing. Trials are prepared and presented with laptop computers, iPads and massive digital monitors, using trial presentation software and applications … many of which we have developed within our firm. Instead of legal secretaries, file clerks and runners, we employ trial presentation and animation designers, software programmers and e-discovery miners. Trying to go back is like wearing a 30-year-old suit that looked good when you were 27. It doesn’t fit, the fabric sucks, and you will never look 27 again, so go buy a new suit that fits the body you have today. We all need to adapt to the present and anticipate our future circumstances. We must re-think the way we prepare and try cases, as well as how we manage the business of law, if we want to stay relevant and survive the future of trial practice. I believe in the jury trial. 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