There is a notion amongst many attorneys that the practice of law today should be no different than it was twenty years ago or even five years ago. Think about that for a minute. Twenty years ago you would have been hard pressed to find a law firm that had a fax machine. Ten years ago, most attorneys didn't know what the World Wide Web was let alone have a web site. Even just five years ago, most attorneys thought BlackBerries were just for making jam. To us, it is ignorant to think the way we practice law should stand still while the rest of civilization evolves.
Today's average juror has probably watched hundreds of hours of "Law and Order", "Dateline", "CSI", or any number of other shows which try to depict the justice system in a half hour sitcom. They will probably even remember watching OJ's glove not fitting, the trial over where to bury Anna Nichole, and Scott Peterson's death row conviction. Make no mistake, these T.V. shows constitute the average jurors education about the way the justice system works, no matter how unrealistic, dramatized, or sensationalized the T.V. producers make it out to be.
A juror expects to be captivated, entertained, and mesmerized by the evidence we present to them at trial. Even though jurors show up for duty with these expectations, real life just isn't that sexy, dramatic, or quick. If an attorney fails to meet these expectations, he will likely lose the both the juror's attention and his client's case. Today's jurors are too quick, too smart, and too busy to slow down for the country charm and style of Matlock.
When these issues are discussed amongst my colleagues I regularly hear them say, "Well, we still try cases the same way. It works ok for us. And you know, if it ain't broke, don't fix it."
I couldn't disagree more with that sentiment. Consider this: Have you ever heard anyone use the expression "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" who wasn't trying to justify mediocrity? The statement is the pure definition of mediocrity.
A lawyer who uses this expression is actually saying: "I am a bore in the courtroom. I know it. I bore the judge, and I bore the jury. I get very marginal results in court, but I refuse to change. In fact, I fear change and would much prefer simply staying mediocre." Does that sound like anyone you would want championing your case? Well we don't think so either.
Our expression is "If it ain't broken - Break it!"
Some of the many ways in which we differ from other attorneys include: we video tape all depositions, we use our own in-house media studio to record and analyze focus groups for every major case, we utilize state of the art computer animations on PowerPoint, our exhibits are lively and interactive, and we use experts who get out of their chair and teach and engage the jury. To say the least, our tactics frustrate defense attorneys to no end and we captivate jurors every time.
By way of example, I recently represented a client at trial and was questioning his surgeon about the cortisone injections my client had received in his spinal cord. On paper the procedure sounds routine and uneventful. In reality the procedure can be painful and frightening. To demonstrate what my client went through I had the surgeon pull out the 8 inch needle required to complete the procedure and use me as a model bending over the table in the correct position so he could show the jury exactly where in my clients back he inserted that 8 inch needle. Having the surgeon get off the stand, pull out that monstrous needle and demonstrate the procedure captivated the jury better than any testimony from stand could have ever done. Yes, the opposing counsel objected but even the Judge was so captivated that he allowed the demonstration.
We were one of the first, if not the very first, law firms in Colorado to produce videos for our settlement conferences detailing the differences in our clients before and after their injury. Our productions look like a "48 Hours" series and help insurance company lawyers and adjusters understand the impact of the injuries on our clients and their families. In fact, these productions have become so successful that we have helped create an entire industry of companies who now produce these types of videos for other law firms.
At ANDERSON, HEMMAT & McQUINN, we have never been afraid of change. We find excitement in the challenges of staying on the cutting edge. We understand and accept that we cannot try a case like we did even 5 years ago. Our audience (the jury) expects us to stay sharp in our presentations. We recognize how important it is to our clients that we continue thinking outside-the-box and continue to be innovative. We feel "if it ain't broken", then it is our duty to our clients to break it.
Give us a chance with a free consultation to show you how much of a difference our unique approach to practicing law can make in your case.