Since 1977, ACT of COMMUNICATION®’s state-of-the-art trial communication skills have helped over 30,000 attorneys and their witnesses better convey their story in court.

Our ACT of COMMUNICATION® program uses insight, process and a range of capabilities to create solutions for our clients. Our case studies present some of the effects that the ACT of COMMUNICATION® program has directly had on trial lawyers, clients in depositions and witnesses nationwide.

Below you will find a collection of case studies, which will help you get a better feel for how ACT OF COMMUNICATION® has helped deliver creative solutions to our clients.

 
Direct Involvement Impacting Cases

Workshop Implementation

Out of the Courtroom Application


 
Direct Involvement Impacting Cases

The Ruthless Witness

This case involves witness preparation and interacting with the client in order to make her feel comfortable in the courtroom and during trial.

ACT of COMMUNICATION® was called in to work with this witness who the lawyer said was “impossible.”  He ranted and raved over how bad she was, how hard headed, how demanding.  When she walked into the room with ACT of COMMUNICATION®, she glared like the troll who lives under the bridge. She was not pleasant, to say the least.

ACT OF COMMUNICATION® helped set up a comfortable atmosphere, and within the first five minutes, she not only warmed up, but her emotions released, and she cried “for the first time in years.” She began to divulge information that would heftily support her case.

The result was a multi-million dollar win for this case.  The old adage “if the jury doesn’t love the plaintiff there are no damages” sure proved true here. Oh – and the attorney ended up forging a great relationship with her, too.

The Shy Witness

This case concerns a business litigation trial.

A painfully shy witness in a business litigation case was almost written off by the attorneys who were trying to figure out how to try the case without him. Of course, in order to win the case, he needed to be a “star.” They wanted him to be like Cary Grant.

ACT of COMMUNICATION® pointed out to them that Jimmy Stewart was a big star, too. It had never occurred to the attorneys that his willingness to testify from his heart to the jurors, without some kind of false “polish,” was what was needed to win the case.

As a result of the training from ACT of COMMUNICATION®, this witness had a “star” performance in the courtroom and won his case.

The Intellectual Property Witness

Katherine James’ mother has an expression, “Nothing is impossible but some things live right next door.” This case involves Intellectual Property witnesses and workshops to prepare them for the courtroom.

Witnesses in intellectual property cases can be next to impossible to understand. In able for intellectual property witnesses to communicate effectively, they need to be at ease with speaking in a natural tone in front of an audience.

There is nothing more satisfying for ACT of COMMUNICATION® than helping these witnesses learn how to speak English instead of cyber-talk; unless it is getting a natural warm and engaging personality from them.

This has become a specialty of Katherine’s and she has done it again and again. The bigger the geek, the bigger the transformation.


 
Workshop Implementation

Witness Preparation Workshop

This case contains information about a Witness Preparation Workshop and its utilization outside of the classroom.

ACT of COMMUNICATION® got a phone call from an attorney who had been trained in a Witness Preparation Workshop given by Katherine James.

ACT OF COMMUNICATION® taught him the skills he needed in order to properly prepare his witnesses for a successful trial. He told of his experiences with the tools he learned from this workshop.

He turned the first three clients he prepared in the first week after taking the workshop from “clunkers” to “stars.” The specific techniques this lawyer learned from the workshop include the NLP technique, where he determined if his jury was auditory, visual or kinesthetic learners. He then discovered that only one of them had his same processing mode, so he used “hear” and “feel” for the other two (he is visual). Next, he used the tried and true “What questions or concerns do you have…?” question to figure out what kind of learners he had. The attorney had one detail person, one “how does it work” person, and one rule-breaker. He was able to speak to them individually immediately in terms that he knew they would understand. ACT of COMMUNICATION® was especially impressed with this since he is a “why?” person – the fourth kind of learner. Within moments of the attorney having this common ground, he followed up with role playing instead of his usual lecture. He couldn’t stop effusing about what a great week he had – and he attributed it all to what he learned in the ACT of COMMUNCATION® workshop!

Using Workshop Tools Proactively

This case involves the usage of ACT OF COMMUNICATION®’s tools given during a trial workshop.

This attorney wore the “lawyer” persona all day long, and forgot how to interact using regular human behavior, as well as how to successfully relate to his clients. In order to loosen up and create a welcoming presence, the attorney attended our workshop.

He improved dramatically in many areas, but foremost in his ability to act like a person instead of the stiff “lawyer man” that ACT of COMMUNICATION® had met years before. He interacted with colleagues at this conference and it was like he was a whole new person! The lawyer noted that before doing workshops, he had trouble relating to his clients – he was very smart, but not empathetic. He now finds that the combination of brains and emotion is making him successful.

That same attorney that that ACT of COMMUNICATION® hadn’t seen in years told Katherine James, “I have taken your same trial workshop at least three times – every time I do, I learn something new and my cases and clients always benefit from it!”

Breaking the “Fake” Persona

This case involves breaking the “fake” lawyer persona through workshop techniques.

An attorney was unable to interact with the courtroom successfully. He couldn’t relax or communicate effectively with the judge, jury, or witnesses. He spoke in legal jargon that was hard for the jury to comprehend and couldn’t rid himself of his rigid lawyer attitude.

ACT OF COMMUNICATION®’s teachings during a workshop helped this lawyer act on the stage of the courtroom with fellow actors, the judge and jury. They taught this lawyer how to effectively communicate using understandable terminology, and how to integrate himself into the courtroom spotlight. ACT of COMMUNICATION® taught him human qualities that made him much more approachable and relatable.

This lawyer said that the technique of treating the jurors like the other actors on stage with you finally broke him of the last layer of his “fake” lawyer persona.

The Use of Inflection

This case involves the use of such tools as inflection learned from ACT of COMMUNICATION®’s workshop.

A lawyer needed to connect better with her vocal tones, ask questions and conduct discussions that were interesting, captivating, and demonstrated her interest in the answer. Overall, this lawyer wanted to create interest in her voice to show that she was concerned about the answer and outcome.

ACT of COMMUNICATION®’s workshop taught this client how to use her voice to her advantage during trial. The inflection of the tone of voice does much to solidify your voice and present a stronger argument.

This client said, in essence, “Inflection is the most useful tool. I never understood that what I did with my voice could make such a big difference in all my cases.” Using inflection made the biggest difference when this client addressed the jury: “A juror told me that he believed me from the beginning – voir dire. Why? Because I asked him a question like I really cared about the answer.”

Many talk about how because of ACT of COMMUNICATION® workshops, they have been able to banish “Lawyer Man” and "Lawyer Woman” from their practices forever.


 
Out of the Courtroom Application

Witness Preparation Workshop

This case involves the use of ACT of COMMUNICATION®’s workshop services in “real life.”

A young father had a little boy who refused to eat breakfast, ever.

This father attended one of ACT OF COMMUNICATION®’s workshops which focused on useful techniques such as using rising inflection to create interest in your tone.

When the father came home from the workshop and asked his son one breakfast, “Do you want me to make you some cheese toast?” with a rising inflection, the child said, “Yes, Daddy!” He’s been able to feed the kid every morning ever since.

To learn more about our clients, please view our partial client list or client testimonials.