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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 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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Win Jury Selection, Win at Trial - Juror Background Research by First Court

Mar 11, 2019 4:59:59 PM / by Joe Liffrig posted in Voir Dire, Jury Research, Focus Group, innovation, jury trial, voir dire rehearsal, jury selection, online jury research

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 Many trials are won or lost in voir dire, yet it's often cited as the least predictable part of litigation. We want to reduce that risk and help clients win at this critical stage, so we developed a powerful way for you to learn the characteristics of your good and bad jurors, practice your questions with real laypeople in advance, and enter public voir dire knowing every possible bit of information about the people in your jury pool.

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Evaluate Potential Experts... Before Hiring Them

Feb 6, 2019 4:55:00 PM / by Joe Liffrig posted in Jury Research, Witness, Experts, online jury research

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How often do you hire an expert knowing most of what they will say, but not how effective it will be in helping you win at trial? If you go into trial without knowing how effective your expert witness is at persuading jurors, you risk not only wasting the money spent on their fees, but also run the much greater risk of getting surprised by an adverse decision at trial.   

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How Jurors Value Less-Visible Injuries

Jan 24, 2019 1:41:40 PM / by Joe Liffrig posted in Jury Research, Focus Group, Witness, Testimony, Emotion, innovation, jury trial, jury selection

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We recently completed a private jury trial in a major motor vehicle collision, and learned some fascinating lessons about how jurors value less visible injuries such as cognitive impairment.

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Powerful, Cost-effective Jury Research - Introducing Three Hour Trial by First Court

Dec 14, 2018 9:54:22 AM / by Joe Liffrig posted in Jurors, Jury Research, Focus Group, innovation, jury trial, jury selection, three hour trial, online jury research

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We have helped thousands of clients win better outcomes in their lawsuits using our Private Jury Trial service over the last three decades. Woven into that success, we have heard two needs from our clients that we cannot meet with an all-day, in-person trial: 1) It's not cost effective for smaller cases, and 2) Because of the cost and time commitment, it's likely they can only do it once in a given case... even as the case evolves and new questions arise. 

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How to choose compelling experts

Nov 29, 2018 12:20:36 PM / by Joe Liffrig posted in Jurors, Jury Research, Witness, Testimony, Experts

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You pay a premium for expert testimony. Why? To persuade jurors. But do you have any way to know if you are investing in the right expert(s)? There is no single rule to pick the best experts for each case, but we have had the chance to measure the effectiveness of thousands of experts over the years, and have identified a handful of key traits we see in expert witnesses that achieve their desired effect – persuading jurors.

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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

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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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Who Benefits from Jury Research?

Jul 31, 2018 2:57:22 PM / by Kristen Liffrig posted in Jury Research

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If a trial team is not doing jury research, they are essentially relying on their intuition and experience to gain the best possible outcome in your case. This approach can get the job done, but does not guarantee the best possible outcome for clients. Jury research is becoming more and more popular, because it helps reduce risk, improve litigation strategy, and ultimately saves money for the person whose money is at stake in the litigation. Some law firms routinely use jury research for all of their cases. Because of its economical and practical benefits, jury research is valuable for all parties involved in litigation.

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