There are many things that can be done before a trial to prepare. From doing the appropriate research and conducting mock trials, often the work done before you reach the courtroom is as important as what you do during the trial. Whether the case is one dealing with complex civil litigation, commercial litigation or a criminal justice case, conducting mock trials is always a good way to prepare.
- Make sure you get a pro to play your opponent. When politicians practice their debates, they get the best person they can find to play their opponent. Your mock trials should be times when you test yourself. In business, often companies conduct what is called a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis. Think of your mock trial hearings as being like that. If you have someone who is not very experienced play your opponent in a mock trial setting, you will not get what you need to get out of the process.
- You need to work on your worst case scenarios. Mock trials are great times to work on the weakest part of your case. These are times to test your assumptions. You want to go through the paces of what happens if the other side brings out everything you do not want the judge or jury to hear. Deal with these things in your mock trials so if these scenarios play themselves out in real life, you have practiced how to deal with that. This is how mock trials help prepare you for the real thing. You should not need help practicing scenarios where it all goes your way.
- Both sides of all mock trials need to be well prepared. Experts in trial consulting agree that in order for mock trials to be effective, both sides of the case need to be done correctly. You need to prepare the side you and your client are on but the opposing side needs to be as strong. This is the only way you can get the mock trials process to work for you. You need to find the holes in your case so you can shore them up before you go into court for real.
- If your side has great images and graphics, you have do the same for the opposing side. You want to have a mock trial that helps you win your case but you need to save money. If you cannot put up the same quality images and graphics for both sides of a case during mocks trials, you do not have the resources to conduct mock trials. It is that simple. If you think you can scrimp on any part of the opposing case during your mock trials, you are wasting everyone’s time and your money. You need to engage in as rigorous an experience as you will face in the real courtroom during your mock trial if you want the process to help you win your case.
- Keep your witnesses away from your mock trial. There are a number of reasons why you cannot have your witnesses testify in person. First of all, you do not have access to your opponent’s witnesses so you could be pressing your finger on the scale, so to speak, for your side and that makes a mockery of the mock trial. Also, you have a limited amount of time. There is no way to guarantee how long it will take for your witnesses to testify live. You also do not want your real witnesses to see too much of your preparations. They can often get the wrong idea about some of your research and that can have an impact on the way they testify.
There are a lot of great things that you can learn about your case when you conduct mock trials. When you start your preparation, you may think that some points are really going to go over poorly or well and then when you try them out in front of real people, things go in ways you never expected. The important part to making your mock trials go well is to prepare both sides equally. This will give you the best result.