A Paralegal's Guide To Developing A Trial Notebook

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A Paralegal's Guide to Developing a Trial Notebook 2019 Edition

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A PARALEGAL’S GUIDE TO DEVELOPING A TRIAL NOTEBOOK PRESENTED BY MINDI L. SCHAEFER, M.S., RP, OSBA, AACP

COURSE DESCRIPTION Organization is the key to life especially the life of a paralegal. In the twenty years I’ve been a paralegal, the fundamental theme over and over again is organization. The same holds true to Trial preparation. Developing a strong Trial Notebook that is both organized and comprehensive will be a lifesaver to the Trial team. This CLE will discuss the purpose and reason why a Trial Notebook is helpful, review the format options available for Trial Notebooks, and discuss the endless content possibilities for your next Trial Notebook.

PRINCIPALS Purpose and reason why a Trial Notebook is helpful Format options including chronological and litigation Potential content contained within a successful Trial Notebook Technology’s involvement in Trial Notebook Creation

SYLLABUS Why have a Trial Notebook? Chronological Format Litigation Format The Whatever the Attorney Wants Format Basic Content to All Content Under the Sun Technology and Trial Notebooks

INSTRUCTOR Mindi L. Schaefer, M.S., RP, OSBA, AACP Collector of initials - 3 degrees / 3 certifications Administrative & Paralegal Support Director with Poling VP & Director of Profession Development with NFPA PR Representative and Committee Chair with PACO Marcus, Chip, and 10 mini Mindis

WHY HAVE A TRIAL NOTEBOOK? “Top Ten Reasons to Create a Trial Notebook” 10. The process itself is educational since you have to review your case while putting it together. 9. It helps you notice billable hours you might have misplaced had you not reviewed. 8. Nothing will sway a jury against you as quickly as looking disorganized and inept. 7. If you need to add attorneys for any reason, a good Trial Notebook brings them up to speed. 6. A good Trial Notebook can streamline your time in court which may win favor or good will. 5. If you’re support staff and create great Trial Notebooks, you might rule the firm one day! 4. It shows the Judge, Jury, and Opposition that you’re ready and you mean business! 3. Organization and readiness instill confidence in the presenting attorney(s). 2. It also instills confidence in the client (you know the one writing the checks). 1. You want to WIN!! Source: The Trial Notebook – Courtesy of InfoQuest and Blumberg Excelsior

T.R.I.A.L. Thoroughness – Have you included everything you’ll need and then checked it all again? Reliability – Accuracy aside, does your notebook format work? Is it softcopy or hardcopy? Inquisitiveness – Do your sections and forms prompt you to provide the right info? Appearance – Does your Trial Notebook package command respect or is it a mess? Logic – Is there a good intuitive flow to the layout of your material? Can you navigate it easily? Source: The Trial Notebook – Courtesy of InfoQuest and Blumberg Excelsior

CHRONOLOGICAL FORMAT Chronological format follows the course of the case and the way the case will move forward at Trial Pleadings Research & Case Law Discovery Jury Evidence Closing Argument Jury Instructions

CONTENTS FOR CHRON FORMAT Pleadings – Complaint, Answer, Notices, Motions, Memorandums, Replies, Briefs and/or Orders Research & Case Law – cases referenced in any Motions, Memorandums, and/or Replies Discovery – Requests and Responses to all parties Jury – Questionnaires, Voir Dire, Seating Chart, and/or Opening Statement / PPT Evidence – Trial Exhibits of all parties Closing Argument – Closing Argument (if prepared and typed in advance) Jury Instructions – instructions, verdict forms, and jury interrogatories

LITIGATION FORMAT Litigation format organized by particular key sections of the Trial Trial Contact Sheet Pleadings Research & Case Law Trial Exhibits Trial Witnesses Jury

CONTENTS FOR LIT FORMAT Trial Contact Sheet – names, addresses, phone numbers, cell numbers, fax numbers, all information possible for all individuals involved from the Judge to the parties to the experts Pleadings – similar to Chron Format Research & Case Law – similar to Chron Format Trial Exhibits – for all parties Trial Witnesses – for all parties; those who received Subpoenas Jury – similar to Chron Format

BASIC STRUCTURE EXAMPLE 1. Pre-Trial 2.Voir Dire & Jury Info 3. Opening Statements 4. Presentation Schedule 5. Witnesses 6. Exhibits 7. Law & Court 8. The Opposition 9. Closing Statements 10. Jury Charge 11.Verdict and Post-Trial 12. Daily Journal & Miscellaneous Source: The Trial Notebook – Courtesy of InfoQuest and Blumberg Excelsior

THE WHATEVER THE ATTORNEY WANTS FORMAT The Wild, Wild West starts right here!

BASIC CONTENT TO ALL CONTENT UNDER THE SUN Case Contact Sheet Trial Exhibits Complaint & Amended Complaint Trial Witnesses Answers Motions in Limine Discovery Requests & Responses Trial Briefs and/or Pretrial Statements Medical Records & Bills Demonstrative Exhibits Expert CVs / Fee Schedules Jury Instructions, Interrogatories, and Verdict Forms Expert Reports Direct-examinations / Cross- examinations write-ups Depositions of Parties, Witnesses, and Experts Voir dire & Jurors

DOCUMENT LOG Document Name/Descrip tion Date Received Received From Produced to Counsel? Y/N Name/Date of Who Produced to Location of Document in DMS

PLEADINGS INDEX Tab 1 Date of Filing 1/1/19 Name of Pleading Complaint Party Filing Plaintiff Response Needed? Yes Response Deadline Note: service perfected 1/2/19 on client Dr. Smith 1/30/19 2 1/30/19 Answer of Defendant Dr. Smith Defendant Smith No N/A 3 1/31/19 Answer of Defendant West Hospital Defendant West No N/A

DEPOSITION CHART DEPOSITION CHART Date of Deposition Lay Witnesses Expert Witnesses Location of Deposition Court Reporter JPO Atty Transcript Requested Transcript Received Transcript Filed Date Deposition Summary Prepared/Sent to Company Number of Volumes

WITNESS CHART WITNESS CHART Address Lay Witnesses Expert Witnesses Telephone Number Date of Discovery Deposition Trial Subpoena Needed Defense Witness Plaintiff witness disclosed to opposing counsel Written statements/rep orts

TRIAL CONTACT SHEET Case Affiliation Plaintiff’s attorney Attorney for Defendants Attorney for Defendants Attorney for Defendants Client (Insurance Company) Insured (Defendant we represent) Trial Tech Support Medical Illustrator Copy Service Judge & Judge’s Staff Expert 1 (ours) & their staff Expert 2 (ours) & their staff Expert 3 (ours) & their staff Hotel During Trial Name Numbers / Email

TRIAL EXHIBIT CHART Exhibit Document Bates Number ID ADM OBJ NOTES

JURY SELECTION SEATING CHART

TESTIMONY SCHEDULE Date Time Names Best Contact Case Affiliation 1/1/19 9:00 a.m. Bob Smith N/A Plaintiff 1/1/19 1:00 p.m. Joan London Cell: 614-777-8888 Defendant

JUROR POST TRIAL INTERVIEW Lots of questions one could ask based on the case. Create a standard form your office can use with space to modify case specific questions. Standard data to include: name of juror, juror number, and juror location in the box. Check link on Resource slide for an example list of questions.

MINDI’S IDEAL TRIAL NOTEBOOK INDEX – PART 1 OF 2 Trial Contact Sheet – attorneys, staff, Judge, staff, parties, experts, staff of experts, trial technician , etc. Trial Schedule of Witnesses including parties, lay witnesses, and expert witnesses for all parties; include CVs and reports of experts unless marked as a deposition exhibit Pre-Trial / Pleadings – Complaint, Answer, pending Motions/Responses/Memos/Replies, Trial Briefs or Final Pretrial Statements of all parties, and the Court’s Trial Order Important Case Law/Research associated with pending Motions/Responses/Memos/Replies Depositions including pageline summaries, condensed transcripts, errata sheets, signature pages, and exhibits for all parties and experts – organized by Plaintiff, Defendant, Plaintiff’s Expert, and Defendant’s Expert

MINDI’S IDEAL TRIAL NOTEBOOK INDEX – PART 2 OF 2 Evidence – Trial Exhibits for all parties including demonstrative exhibits such as medical illustrations Jurors – jury instructions, verdict forms, interrogatories, seating chart, and jury questionnaires Opening – this includes the opening statement and opening PPT Examinations – direct-examinations of witnesses and cross-examinations of witnesses Closing – this includes the closing statement and closing PPT

TECHNOLOGY AND TRIAL NOTEBOOKS “Top 10 Qualities of a Good Software-Based Case Management / Trial Notebook System” 10. The software’s system requirements match the capabilities of your firm’s computers. 9. The package’s features and functions are an exact match to your office’s needs. 8. Use is intuitive and does not require much training. And if it does, training is included. 7. There are no hidden fees such as “per station,” “per time period,” “number of cases,” etc. 6. The software company does not place a great deal of emphasis on useless features. 5. The package won’t be obsolete in just a few months, unless upgrades are very low cost. 4. You can recoup the cost of investing in the software in a very short period of time. 3. The package is customizable by the user and can change and grow with the firm’s needs. 2. Tech support is free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 1. Tech support is staffed with operators you can understand and who can understand you. Source: The Trial Notebook – Courtesy of InfoQuest and Blumberg Excelsior

ECOPY PDF PRO OFFICE 6.2

PRESENTATION RESOURCES Mindi’s Personal Library of Random Stuff from 20 Years in the Field df /chart/seating-chart.html ningfromExperience.pdf

CONTACT INFORMATION Mindi L. Schaefer, M.S., RP, OSBA, AACP Administrative & Paralegal Support Director Mschaefer@poling-law.com Columbus 614.737.2914 Mobile 937.417.9813 poling-law.com COLUMBUS, OH – DAYTON, OH – FAIRFAX, VA

fundamental theme over and over again is organization. The same holds true to Trial preparation. Developing a strong Trial Notebook that is both organized and comprehensive will be a lifesaver to the Trial team. This CLE will discuss the purpose and reason why a Trial Notebook is helpful, review the format options available for Trial

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