Welcome to First Court's Blog

Mike Liffrig

Mike is an attorney, mediator, and expert jury consultant. He has mediated over 1,200 disputes and consulted on major jury trials throughout the country. When he is not resolving disputes he loves to ranch and spend time with his grandchildren.

Recent Posts

How to win (or defend) a billion dollar verdict

Nov 8, 2019 3:55:32 PM / by Mike Liffrig posted in Jurors, Voir Dire, Advocacy, Jury Research, Emotion, Law, jury trial, voir dire rehearsal, jury selection, North Dakota

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First Court has helped our clients to win some of the biggest cases in recent judicial history. 

Four years ago, our research assisted the defendants in the Aurora Theatre shooting civil case in winning a defense verdict. 

Recently, we helped the plaintiff victims of a drunk driver win a record verdict of more than $1 billion to compensate for the death of two young women and catastrophic injuries to a third. 

We have compiled and shared the key lessons from these landmark decisions for advocates on either side of a case with big verdict potential:

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How to win juries in the age of big verdicts

Sep 5, 2019 2:30:54 PM / by Mike Liffrig posted in Advocacy, Emotion, jury trial, voir dire rehearsal, jury selection, online jury research

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I have the pleasure of talking every day with litigators around the country, and working together to overcome their greatest case handling challenges. Recently, these conversations have revealed a slow, but monumental change in jury behavior in the last couple of years. Some questions I hear frequently that bring this sea change to light:

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How to define “Bad Faith” for Jurors

Jun 3, 2019 3:30:08 PM / by Mike Liffrig posted in Advocacy, Jury Research, Testimony, Emotion, Law, Experts, bad faith

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First Court recently completed jury research projects on a handful of bad faith cases, and developed some insight on how jurors understand and interpret the concept of bad faith. Since this can be a tricky topic for regular people to understand, we’ve shared a few insights on what we learned, and how to effectively communicate the important points to the laypeople in the jury box.bad faith insurance

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A Week in the Life of a Traditional Mediation Victim

May 20, 2019 3:36:27 PM / by Mike Liffrig posted in 1 Hour Mediation, ADR, Settlement, Online Dispute Resolution, Mediation

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As innovation has transformed the world and the legal industry, little has changed in the way most mediations are conducted. As professionals, we always need to consider how improvements in technology and processes can help us win better outcomes for our stakeholders. If you can relate to the following account, you owe it to your clients and to yourself to consider your alternatives to traditional mediation.   

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How Jurors Work: Emotions Lead the Law

Oct 17, 2018 10:49:27 AM / by Mike Liffrig posted in Jurors, Jury Research, Emotion, Law

1 Comment

Consider this fact pattern and outcome from a case we recently worked on: Plaintiff rear-ends trailer pulling a large load of logs. I repeat: Plaintiff rear-ends defendant. But the jurors assign most of the blame to the defendant… who was rear-ended.

Juror's Feedback:
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What Jurors Really Think of Lawyers

Jun 4, 2018 3:53:31 PM / by Mike Liffrig posted in Jurors

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Although jurors come from all walks of life, they hold some common beliefs about what they like and dislike from attorneys in the courtroom.

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Eight Tips for Better Voir Dire

May 30, 2018 3:14:16 PM / by Mike Liffrig posted in Jurors, Voir Dire, Advocacy

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Jurors are the single most important part of a trial. They decide who wins and who loses. While it is easy to focus on the arguments and the presentation of evidence - all of which are important - it is vital to remember who is actually deciding the case. Arguments do not decide cases. Evidence does not decide cases. Jurors decide cases.

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