SJC Practice Areas
Working in the litigation consulting field since 2003, SJC consultants have extensive experience in a wide variety of cases for both plaintiffs and defendants, and from individual to massive class actions and MDLs.
Areas of Practice
SJC has consulted on a variety of significant antitrust and Sherman Act matters across the United States, including some of the largest in the country’s history. We have assisted clients with oral argument at the summary judgment stage and in preparation for trial. We have conducted focus groups and mock trials, developed graphics, drafted opening statements, and provided jury selection strategies. These matters have included allegations of hard switches, market exclusions, monopolies, and price-fixing.
SJC has consulted on dozens of class actions and MDLs involving banking, consumer billing, construction defects, employment classifications, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and a wide variety of product defect cases (among others). Our involvement typically includes consulting on trial strategy and conducting research. For one particular set of class actions that were combined into an MDL, we participated in a two-day litigation strategy retreat being held by the corporate client for the trial teams around the country that were involved in the particular product class action. We shared results from research that had been conducted, laid out the overall themes and arguments that had been successful in the research, as well as the cases that had gone to trial, and we presented a section on successful voir dire strategies.
SJC has broad and extensive experience in a variety of commercial actions across the United States. Cases have included breach of contract and fiduciary duty, general partnership disputes, Qui Tam, and shareholder actions. We have consulted with clients in the banking, medical, computer, accounting, transportation, and retail fields. We have helped clients strategize and prepare their presentations at the class certification, summary judgment, and trial stages. In a recent case, we assisted clients in a complex matter involving initial and counter claims of breach of contract and fiduciary duty. The matter involved a dispute about royalty payments owed to our clients. With promising results in hand from the jury research, our clients were able to settle the counter-claims and received an award in the multi-hundreds of millions of dollars.
SJC’s experience in construction litigation includes breach of contract claims related to delays, water leakage, structural damage, insurance coverage issues, defective design, negligent site supervision, and electrical and mechanical defects. We have worked with contractors and subcontractors, builders, and developers across the country. Particular cases have covered apartment complexes, skyscrapers, and retail developments.
SJC has worked on both civil and criminal consumer protection cases. We have worked with both plaintiffs and defendants, assisting at every stage of the litigation process, including assisting with oral argument at the appeal level. We have conducted focus groups and mock trials on both coasts. These cases have included allegations of false advertising, fraudulent billing practices, hidden/undisclosed fees, TILA violations, and unfair pricing.
SJC’s consultants have worked on dozens of criminal cases ranging from complex white-collar cases to high profile murder cases. The cases we have assisted on have received national media attention, including coverage in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. Other cases have been covered by television specials and feature documentaries. We have been approved for CJA funding and have worked closely with other criminal defense organizations. These services include case strategy development, witness preparation, jury research, graphics, and opening/closing development. SJC’s community attitude survey experts have been admitted as experts in multiple venues across the country.
SJC has a long history of expertise and experience in employment litigation across the nation. We have consulted on employment cases that included claims of discrimination (sex, race, age, etc.), wage and hour, hostile work environment, whistle-blower, retaliation, donning and doffing, and employment classification. Our clients include Fortune 500 companies in the transportation, sportswear, automobile, retail, software, computer, and hospitality industries. In a case involving employee classification issues across the country, we conducted numerous research projects to not only assist with the selection of the bellwether trial, but to hone the trial strategy. We also provided assistance with witness preparation for deposition and trial, jury selection, opening and closing. In some of these actions, we conducted shadow jury research to assist the trial team with the day-to-day strategic decisions during the actual trial.
SJC has worked on insurance coverage cases involving asbestos-related and other mass-tort claims, environmental claims, product liability, food-handling, construction defect, and personal injury claims, to name a few. We have extensive experience working on bad faith claims and other extra-contractual exposure. We have worked for primary, excess, and umbrella insurers, as well as multiple plaintiff parties. Our knowledge of the special issues surrounding insurance coverage issues is not only based on watching hundreds of mock jurors grapple with the highly complex world of insurance policies, claims, and regulations, but also through prepping a significant number of claims managers employed by large, national insurance companies. In one particular case, we tested our initial strategic plan, made substantial changes based on that research, ultimately winning a complete defense verdict in what was considered a highly complex and difficult case.
For several years, Dr. Jill Schmid was a speaker at the FDCC’s Litigation Management College, leading seminars in witness preparation, jury research, and conducting practice deposition sessions for the claims manager attendees. Jill and Tom have also conducted in-house jury strategy and witness preparation sessions for large, national insurance companies. Finally, Tom and Jill were part of a preferred provider team that worked with one of the largest insurance companies in the world, regularly prepping employees from claims managers to Vice Presidents.
SJC has experience in a variety of Federal Courts, including what have traditionally been some of the busiest IP courts (rocket dockets) in the country: the Eastern District of Texas, Northern District of Illinois, and Delaware. Over the past few years, we have conducted several mock trials in Delaware alone, and recently conducted a community attitude survey of citizens in that area. Our IP work has included patent infringement and validity (product, design, process), copyright, trademark, trade dress, and trade secrets. Products and companies include: apparel, shoes, beverages, computer hardware and software, manufacturing processes, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, banking processes, agricultural products, games, logos/branding, and much more. Because many of these cases cover extremely complex matters, notwithstanding the intricacies of patent law itself, our focus is on how to break through the clutter and complexity to deliver a clear and straightforward case in order to both arm and motivate jurors to advocate for the client’s position.
SJC’s consultants have assisted hundreds of professionals (accountants, doctors, nurses, and attorneys) prepare for their depositions and trial. We enjoy working with these professionals in what is one of the most stressful and trying times in their careers. In the medical field, we have worked with nearly every specialist including OB/GYNs, Anesthesiologists, Internists, Cardiovascular surgeons, Orthopedists, Hospitalists, healthcare management, and nurses. In the legal field, we have worked with attorneys facing legal malpractice actions for a variety of reasons. In addition to our witness preparation work, we have conducted case strategy development sessions, assisted with openings, provided graphics to use during opening and with expert witnesses, and provided jury selections services.
SJC has worked on a variety of mass tort cases and MDLs including employment, fraud, land management, pharmaceutical, product liability, and toxic exposure claims. We have provided pre-litigation strategy assistance and corporate representative training. We have conducted a variety of focus groups and mock trials to help clients understand how issues will play in different regions.
Over the years, we have consulted on a number of mesothelioma/asbestos matters related to construction sites, manufacturing plants, power plants, shipyards, and various consumer products. We have provided general training for corporate representatives and experts in these cases. Our breadth and depth of knowledge is critical to assisting trial teams amend and hone their strategies as more is known about the subject both by potential jurors and by plaintiffs’ counsel. We have developed a variety of strategies to help defendants deal with the hindsight bias that is often central in these cases.
SJC has worked with municipal and government entities across the country. We have worked with cities, counties, and states on a wide range of matters such as employment, excessive force, property disputes, intersection/roadway design, zoning, and eminent domain/condemnation. Recently, on a condemnation case, we created graphics that took what was a very complex matter and simplified it while effectively showing the overall land in question, the disputed property, and associated damages. These kinds of graphics can be invaluable in cases where jurors (and mediators/judges) need to be able to visualize how landowners and/or the city/state are impacted by the action. On other cases, we have conducted jury research to help our clients understand how issues with municipalities are commonly perceived and used by jurors to argue for each side.
SJC has consulted on dozens of personal injury and wrongful death cases across the country. Our broad expertise comes from our experience with cases involving accidents (trucking, automobile, ATVs, aviation, boating, skiing, etc.), defective design (heaters, engines, tires, toys, furniture, etc.), inadequate warnings (pharmaceuticals, household appliances, heavy equipment, etc.), and a host of other issues. We have conducted several focus groups and mock trials across the country to examine a variety of issues such as how to effectively manage the sympathy that often comes with the significant injuries suffered by plaintiffs, how to shift fault to the plaintiff without suffering juror backlash, and how to manage cases where multiple defendants are pointing the finger at each other.
SJC has consulted on product liability actions across the country for both plaintiffs and defendants, including individual matters, class actions, and MDLs. Our cases have involved a wide variety of consumer products including various automobile, airplane, and helicopter parts, power tools, toys, heaters, and a host of other consumer products. In particular, we have been integrally involved in pharmaceutical and medical device actions involving thousands of plaintiffs across the nation. In these cases, we provided early strategy development advice, and then continued with multiple research projects, additional strategy discussions, graphics, witness preparations for deposition and trial, opening and closing assistance, jury selection, and post-trial debriefings.
Qui Tam cases present unique challenges to trial teams and their clients due to the involvement of the United States federal government in the action and the complexity of the issues often involved in these cases. We have worked with a variety of corporate entities including banks, pharmaceutical companies, and insurance companies on how to overcome this and other challenges. Our work has included pre-trial strategy sessions, mock trials, jury selection assistance, graphic production, and drafting opening statements.
SJC has worked on a variety of securities cases, litigation through both FINRA arbitrations and jury trials. Our cases have involved banks, hedge funds, private equities, and other investment vehicles. We have represented both plaintiffs and defendants and helped draft trial presentation strategies that simplify the issues and persuade the trier of fact. We have consulted on several high-profile securities actions. Our involvement has ranged from providing strategic advice for navigating discovery, including prepping key witnesses for depositions, to shadow jury services.
SJC has worked on a wide variety of toxic tort cases across the country, involving a number of different substances. We have experience working on a broad range of matters, including asbestos, benzene, mold, groundwater contamination, and hazardous waste disposal claims. We have conducted extensive research on how juries make sense of the issues in these cases in several different regions of the United States.