Science and Law
22nd May 2014

A Proven Five Step Method To Effectively Manage Scientific Information For Busy Litigators

Imagine your firm has just landed a new case involving piles and piles of complex scientific information. How do you get your team up-to-speed with the science, how do you make sure they are kept up-to-date with the latest science related to the case, and how do you make sure no critical piece information is missed?

A Proven Five Step Method To Effectively Manage Scientific Information For Busy Litigators

Imagine your firm has just landed a new case involving piles and piles of complex scientific information. How do you get your team up-to-speed with the science, how do you make sure they are kept up-to-date with the latest science related to the case, and how do you make sure no critical piece information is missed?

As every defense lawyer knows, having an understanding of the science is key to developing an effective cross-examination to confront opposing experts.

You need to maintain awareness of all the information that will allow you to attack the weaknesses in your opponent’s case as well as the information that will help you craft well-substantiated, bullet-proof defense.  Being able to effectively manage and utilize the science can be the difference between winning and losing your case.  

With all of the scientific information that’s available (research grants, books, book chapters in edited compilations, scientific symposia and meetings, blog postings, even PhD dissertations), if you don’t have a effective, efficient system in place to manage it, you can easily miss out on an opportunity to impeach an opposing expert or fail to make an important argument on direct.

You may be saying to yourself, we already have a way to manage the science. Maybe you use paralegals, junior associates, or even senior attorneys.  But let me ask you, are they the best the choice?  Are they trained to compile and understand the science?  Is managing the science the best use of their time?

In our experience, when you fail to implement a systematic process, the results are always the same – inefficient and ineffective.

You and your team likely spend hours trying to find the relevant scientific studies, and if you miss something , you may be unable to respond with the right piece of scientific information at crucial moments during your litigation.

In a series of upcoming blog posts, we will highlight the 5 keys to effective scientific information management and show you the steps you need to take to effectively stay on top of the science so you don’t miss a crucial piece of information that could make or break your case.

The five steps I ‘m going to reveal have been developed over more than 20 years of  working closely with attorneys on science-based cases. During that time, we have witnessed countless attorneys struggle to sift through all of the literature needed to prepare for trial and we’ve seen cumbersome, inefficient processes for managing this information.

We’ve developed a a highly targeted process for managing scientific information, specifically designed for litigation teams.

The five critical steps you’ll discover are:

1. Target and identify the right science so you can be sure the information you need is properly identified and nothing is missed.

2. Alert the team to relevant science so you can be sure everyone who needs it, is informed and fully up-to-speed.

3. Archive the science in an easily retrievable fashion so you have a centralized location to store and access the articles and information you need.


4. Compile and tabulate the science relevant to specific litigation topics so you can fully leverage it to create effective cross examination modules that allow you to confront opposing experts with the totality of scientific information on your topic.

5. Analyze and critique the science as it relates to the litigation so you can tear apart studies used by your opponent and highlight the studies that support your case.

And in order to be good at these five things, you need centralized systems that are accessible to all the key players in the litigation so that everyone can benefit from the information and everyone is on the same page.

In our next post in this series, we will expand upon the first step in this critical process: Targeting and Identifying the Right Science.

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