Personal injury law firms have an extensive list of open cases, requiring as much personal attention as the last. In addition to their current caseload, administrative, accounting and marketing tasks must be completed to keep the firm running on a full time basis. Increasing your chances of success early on during trial will help reduce the amount of time spent on each case researching potential rebuttals and practicing defense strategies with your clients.
Success in the courtroom will depend on how well you present evidence, your organization skills, effective communication and the quality of responses you’ve prepared for cross examination. The following five things will help you be successful during every personal injury trial:
1. Obtain Transcripts of Every Hearing
While most lawyers take great notes, it’s extremely hard to keep up with the often fast pace of a personal injury trial.
After every hearing, request a copy of the transcript so you can go over every detail and begin preparation for the next hearing. Any small details that you might have missed when inside the courtroom could have a major impact on the outcome of the case.
2. Always Have an Interpreter Handy
You never know what to expect during a trial. If a witness that doesn’t speak English comes forward that will make the difference between winning and losing your personal injury case, be prepared to have an interpreter on standby to help with the testimony in court.
Legal interpreters are often hard to come by because the legal language involved is difficult for some to comprehend. Because of this, you should always have a backup plan that includes a list of multiple interpreters for one language.
3. A Stellar Presentation Is Essential
Juries get bored easily, especially when the subject is personal injury law. A stellar presentation with great graphics, video slides and easy-to-understand verbiage will help keep the jurors involved with the case itself. Juries often tune out defense or plaintiff teams when they can’t understand what is going on; a simple and attractive presentation that gets your point across easily and quickly can help mediate this issue.
4. Hire a Trial Consultant
Naegeli Deposition and Trial, a deposition and litigation consulting firm based out of Seattle, suggests that a trial consultant might be the difference between sitting in a courtroom for days on end and winning your case within a matter of hours.
With years of experience, a consultant can help you organize your presentation for every hearing, will go over trial strategy to ensure you or your legal team haven’t missed any key steps, and can help with pre-trial research if necessary.
5. An Exceptional Legal Assistant
As the head of a major personal injury law firm, you might not be able to find the time to complete essential yet mundane tasks. While copies need to be made, forms need to be filed and evidence needs to be gathered, you have to concentrate on preparing your questions for cross examination and helping your client prepare for any questions that might come from the other side.
A legal assistant will do all the basic research and paperwork for you. An exceptional one will need little to no supervision, and can even help with the trial and litigation consulting firm when they’re preparing videos or working on strategy.
Time is golden when you’re trying to prepare for a personal injury trial. Beyond hiring a legal assistant, a professional trial and litigation consulting firm will help with any preparation and strategy you need to be successful in court.
This article is from Lizzie Weakley, a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. She enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her three-year-old husky Snowball.