“Winning Tips for Litigators for 2017 from Those Who Won in 2016”
Why not learn from winners? Texas Lawyer asked Texas litigators who won at trial in 2016 what they would each recommend as three litigation tips for 2017.
Nicole Williams, a partner in Dallas’ Thompson & Knight, in August won a free-speech case for her clients, pet owners. Williams persuaded a court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a pet-sitting company, which alleged that the pet owners had libeled and violated a non-disparagement contract clause by posting a negative Yelp review.
1. “Diversify your trial team. Having attorneys of different ages, genders, races, and backgrounds makes for a better trial team in many ways, including getting and considering multiple viewpoints and strategies, telling your story in the most effective way, and connecting with juries.”
2. “Embrace the flaws. Maybe everyone wants to be perfect, but no one is, and juries don’t connect with or believe people or stories that have no flaws. Whatever you believe the less-than-perfect parts are of your own trial style, your witnesses’ presentation, or the story you have to tell, face them head-on and make them a part of your story and strategy.”
3. “It’s not all about the technology. There are certainly great things about technology in the courtroom (no one wants to go back to shuffling thousands of pages of paper at counsel table). But, technology doesn’t always help you connect with a jury and can actually disconnect the jury from you and your client. Mix technology with old-fashioned oral advocacy and well-thought out, hard-copy, demonstrative exhibits and charts to present to the jury to ensure all eyes stay on you or your witness—not the computer screen.”