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Jury Consultants Continue to be in Hot Demand

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In the mid-1970s, Dr. Donald Vinson, a marketing professor from the University of Southern California, helped the IBM defense team defeat the Department of Justice's antitrust claims. At the same time, the National Jury Project, a consulting firm, was pioneering consulting techniques in high-profile political trials. By the close of that decade, a new era in jury and trial consulting had begun.

Jury Consultants Continue to be in Hot Demand

In 1982, a handful of social scientists formed the American Society of Trial Consultants. Evidencing the growth of the industry, the organization now has about 450 members, hailing from professions that range from psychology to linguistics to law.

Dr. Karen Lisko, a past President of ASTC, enjoys a rather unique position in the trial consulting industry. For the past eight years, she has worked as an in-house consultant at Holland & Hart, LLP, in Denver, CO. She holds a Ph.D. in legal communications and initially replaced a nearby university professor as the firm's lone consultant. Eventually, she helped grow the firm's consulting group into a separate, 13-person business called Persuasion Strategies. The business provides in-house service to the law firm, assists clients of the firm in cases involving attorneys from other firms, and markets its own separate client base.

"I'm amazed that more law firms have not done what Holland & Hart has done," stated Dr. Lisko, a senior litigation consultant. She described her services as a "one-stop shop," as well as a "revenue source" for the firm. Since the consulting group is in-house, the consultants may provide a role as simple—but important—as hearing an attorney talk through an argument for five minutes at an early stage of the case.

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Holland & Hart LLP

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