August 11, 2022

Volume XII, Number 223

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August 11, 2022

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August 10, 2022

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August 09, 2022

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On COVID Time: Why Timelines Are More Important Than Ever

Timelines and COVID-19

Three questions dominated our COVID focus groups:

  • What did the parties know?
  • When did they know it?
  • What else was going on at the time?

Timelines are important in many cases, pandemic or not. They help establish a narrative structure, organize the evidence, and provide a framework for jurors to consider the facts of the case. In COVID-related litigation, organizing information in the context of a timeline is vital, as the timeline of the development of the virus and knowledge about it is critical context that should be superimposed on your case narrative.

A well-constructed timeline can bring these elements together, allowing jurors to gain a sense of how plaintiffs or defendants behaved in a way that was consistent (or inconsistent) with their knowledge at the time. Respondents in our groups repeatedly asked for the specific timing of actions within given case narratives, as they expressed that the timing was incredibly important in this context. They readily recalled outside information from their own lives, and recognized the vast amounts of misinformation that plagued the early days of coverage related to the virus.

Conflicting public information, the source of public information, and ‘inside’ information a company knew or should have known regarding COVID-19 are all critical facts. Notably, our research showed that across the three different venues, people had different assessments of government at the local, state, and federal level. Timeline entries need to reflect who the jurors are likely to view as a reputable source of information on the virus.

This summer, IMS conducted a series of twelve day-long focus groups across three important venues. This research was designed to gather insights from eligible jurors to help our clients understand the crucial case elements to consider among COVID-related litigation. As part of this research, we posed various hypothetical cases to the participants and gathered their comments.  

Read more here.

This post was also written by Jason Barnes.

© Copyright 2002-2022 IMS Consulting & Expert Services, All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 241
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About this Author

IMS Consulting & Expert Services delivers award-winning consulting to support the most influential law firms through every stage of litigation, arbitration, and mediation. Combining the perspectives and proprietary methods developed over 30 years and more than 2,000 trials, IMS provides attorneys with the essential services they need to win: integrated strategy, expert witness placement, jury consulting, visual communication, and courtroom presentations. With strategic locations in major US and UK markets, the IMS team is primed to support in-person and remote...

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Clint Townson Litigation Consultant IMS Consulting & Expert Services
Associate Jury Consultant

The nation’s leading litigators rely on Clint Townson, Strategy Consultant, to meticulously design and execute mock trials, focus groups, and community attitude surveys that yield reliable data to guide the development of their high-stakes cases. His background in communication informs theoretically grounded strategic recommendations that have helped attorneys in Am Law 200 firms achieve winning case outcomes. Clint’s graduate education and experience utilizing a variety of the world’s most advanced research methods and statistical analysis techniques have equipped him to develop...

877-838-8464
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