Mock-trials (test or imitation trials)
Quite often, our grantors or colleague lawyers ask to give an independent and professional outside opinion on their position, a so-called "second opinion" on the case, to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their position and evidentiary base, to conduct a full "stress test" for the forthcoming trial prior to court hearings and to assess the oral presentation (speech) of a judicial representative. Additionally, it is sometimes necessary to form a psychological portrait of a judge and opponents in a potential dispute and to find an optimal balance of effective procedural and psychological tools for handling a case.
There are several reasons.
On the one hand, a grantor does not need a full-scale legal support for his interests in court, where either a nonpublic lawyer or an employee of another law firm acts. In this case, the KIAP experts are just a kind of "external helpers", looking at a situation with a fresh pair of eyes and at the same time enabling to save on legal costs for the project.
On the other hand, litigation lawyers want to overcome a possible bias (also called “confirmation bias”), when documents, witnesses and arguments are chosen solely for the position, and all complex, ambiguous and impairing circumstances are unconsciously ignored or not duly addressed, and it is this, at times, that can lead to catastrophic consequences in a dispute.
In complex cases, the parties' positions can be equal, and it is not always clear how the court will make its decision.
In such situations, it is extremely important to identify "blind" zones and the potential to strengthen a position. This can be solved in an imitation trial (mock trial), in which the judge, represented by an experienced court professional, hears the positions of both sides and then the improvised court makes its decision. It makes possible to obtain an independent expert advice at a relatively low cost, but with full confidentiality and in compliance with the policy of avoiding of the "conflict of interest" for any of the parties to the proceedings.
There are various possibilities of conducting a mock-trial. You can train with colleagues from your company. Let them read the documents of your case, discuss the position with them. This is useful, but colleagues are not always ready to criticize in full or to spend their time, being busy with their own projects. Our long-term judicial experience shows that it is more effective to carry out such proceedings with independent colleagues from other firms.
Depending on the purpose of the trial, the personality of the judge, your opponents and budget, you can choose a trial option: