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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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Record North Dakota Verdict Exceeds $1 Billion

Nov 4, 2019 11:24:07 AM / by Jim Mueller posted in Advocacy, Jury Research, Law, jury trial, North Dakota

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Bismarck, ND

A new chapter begins for the families of a June 27, 2015, drunk driving incident that took the lives of two young women and dramatically injured another.

Four years and four months later a jury has now awarded the families a combined $1,157,000,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.  The verdicts stem from a collision between a car driven by Shayna Monson and defendant Jordan Morsette. The trial included testimony that Morsette was driving his pickup at an extremely high rate of speed going the wrong way on the Bismarck Expressway in Mandan, ND. 

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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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How Good People Go Ugly When Testifying

Sep 17, 2018 12:04:27 PM / by Joe Liffrig posted in Advocacy, Prep4Dep, Witness, Deposition, Testimony

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I imagine you have been in this situation: Your key witness is a good man. You know he is honest. In all your discussions he is down-to-earth. Likeable. Not a whiff of arrogance.

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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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