RCS Receives Wisconsin Law Journal Reader Rankings Awards

RCS received the 2018 award for “Best Courtroom Presentation Provider” and “Best Jury/Trial Consulting Services” by the Wisconsin Law Journal.

Click Here for the Original Article: https://wislawjournal.com/2018-reader-rankings/

Rosenberg helps lawyers get in touch with tech

Rob Rosenberg has seen his job become more important than ever, as evidenced by the technological upgrades that can be seen in courtrooms throughout the country.

Rosenberg, president of Hartland-based Rosenberg Consulting Services, said he helps law firms organize their messages, evidence and presentations in a way that can break down complex ideas and make them more understandable to members of a jury.

Throughout his roughly 20 years in the business, Rosenberg has seen technology become used much more widely to present information and make arguments in the courtroom.

Using Waukesha’s county courts as an example, Rosenberg said every courtroom there is wired for multimedia technology, including videos and animations.

“That has happened nationally that courtrooms are more wired,” he said, noting that he used to have to lug equipment with him when presenting information at trials.

Beyond that, juries and others have become much more used to working with technology, he said. Even so, the need for explaining often-complicated legal ideas and court cases is as important as ever.

Rosenberg said lawyers sometimes forget, when talking to jurors and others, that they take for granted knowledge of certain details that might not be immediately apparent to everyone. His services help them explain things in a way that others would understand.

“Essentially, you have lawyers that are working with complex issues and facts over the course of years,” he said. “Unfortunately, what happens is that they get into the mind frame of a lawyer and not a factfinder.”

Rosenberg’s connection with law firms reaches even further back than the 20 or so years he has been providing consulting services. He said that he was first introduced to the industry at the age of 12, when he was delivering deposition and trial transcripts during the summer months to law firms across Chicago.

From there, he started recording video of depositions for a family firm. He also worked with some of the leading providers of legal services throughout the country and has worked on several high profile/high stakes cases.

Technically speaking: Rosenberg helps attorneys craft their cases visually

Robert Rosenberg sees himself as a translator between attorneys and jury members.

The president of Rosenberg Consulting Services, he organizes information, electronic evidence and exhibits into easily accessible electronic files that can be accessed at any point during a trial.

“Attorneys have a lot of evidence and information they want to share with juries and that needs to be conveyed to juries in a way they can easily understand,” he said. “One way to do that is using a visual format.”

Rosenberg’s business covers a broad range of services, from putting together those easily accessible presentations for attorneys, surveying a courtroom in advance and installing the appropriate equipment to creating 2-D and 3-D illustrations or quickly producing the necessary documents for attorneys.

Rosenberg has been around the legal profession for most of his life. His family owned a court reporting business in Chicago that was later sold to Esquire Deposition Solutions. His first job with the firm was videotaping depositions.

“Honestly that was kind of boring, so I looked for other things to do, and as technology evolved I saw that as a way to help attorneys present evidence,” Rosenberg said. “Attorneys have the information and we just take that information and make it so anyone can understand it. By putting evidence in a visual format you can really connect with jurors.”

Nearly all of Rosenberg’s work involves civil lawsuits, particularly those involving intellectual property. Presenting evidence in a way that’s easy for jurors to understand is paramount in those cases.

“The presentations are put together in a non-linear format, so at any point in time an attorney can access what they are looking for,” Rosenberg said. “I really enjoy the trial phase of the law and how all that legwork comes together into a great evidence presentation.”

Rosenberg admitted that 95 percent of what he does is “self-taught. There’s not a lot of people who do what I do, but people hear about you and what you’ve done and the word spreads. Word of mouth is always the best form of advertising.”

Wisconsin Law Journal: What makes your work important to you?
Robert Rosenberg: Knowing that the work I do and service we provide help make a difference in the outcome of a case. I often get approached to help bridge the communication gap between the legal world and the average person using visuals. Being able to do that and help achieve great results in the courtroom makes it all worth it.

WLJ: Who is your hero in the legal field?
Rosenberg: I’ve had many people that have influenced my career. Two in particular have shaped who I am and helped me and many others get a jumpstart on our careers. Kim Taylor, whom I worked for early in my career, would never let me say that I had a problem — only challenges. That paved the way for a particular set of ‘challenge-solving skills’ that I use to this day. The second was attorney Robert (Bob) F. Coleman. His sense of humor, class and unwavering devotion to his family and the law made me believe that no matter what we were working on — that it had to be fun. Otherwise, what’s the point? These two individuals helped shape the philosophy of our organization: Work on good cases for good clients and have fun doing it.

WLJ: What do you do outside of work to deal with stress from the office?
Rosenberg: I like to volunteer at my children’s schools, play tennis and have unyielding passion for tinkering with electronic toys. My wife and I also like to travel quite a bit. We have learned over the years that it is important to detach ourselves periodically from our routines.

WLJ: What’s one thing many people get wrong about what you do?
Rosenberg: Most people don’t even realize that my type of job exists. When I tell people that I am a trial consultant, they often mistake me for a jury consultant. Our work, while having some overlaps, is very different from that of a jury consultant.

WLJ: Is there a certain case that stands out to you?
Rosenberg: The case that stands out to me the most would be the Gaylord Chemical matter related to the chemical release in Bogalusa, La. Our team spent the better part of six months down in Franklinton, La., for Daubert hearings and for a two-phase trial. I was consulting for one of the world’s largest law firms and had a trial team of over 30 people. It was an amazing collection of talented people. My favorite part was when the senior partner in charge of the case said to the team that he expected that everyone from partners to secretarial staff be treated with respect. That set a tempo for a positive attitude in our war room throughout the entire trial.

Click here for the original article: http://wislawjournal.com/2016/04/13/technically-speaking-rosenberg-helps-attorneys-craft-their-cases-visually/

How to win more trials in 2016

Reach the mountaintop more often with these tips

For lawyers who want to learn to make the most of those little opportunities that always come along to further a client’s case during trial, there is no replacement for time in a courtroom.

So says Patrick Dunphy, a Brookfield lawyer with more than 30 years of trial experience and various record-setting verdicts to his name. But that doesn’t mean there’s no hope for those with far less trial time.

Even the most green, Dunphy said, can take certain steps to make sure they present the best-possible arguments on behalf of their clients.

Perhaps the simplest is preparation. Know your facts, know the law and try to gain an understanding of whatever sort of complicated subject matters you are likely to encounter in the case — whether it be medicine, engineering or something more technical.

“That is the only way to get the jury’s confidence so that they can trust you because you know what you are talking about,” Dunphy said, “and it allows you to simplify things for the jury so it can better understand the more complex parts of the case.”

Also, lawyers should know their audience, said Rob Rosenberg, president of Rosenberg Consulting Services, which specializes in courtroom technology and trial graphics. He has been consulted in thousands of cases, including the infamous Slender Man trial and the Laurie Bebo fraud case.

“I think the biggest thing is probably knowing your audience in advance and starting to think visually earlier,” said Rosenberg.

If it’s a bench trial, he said, try to understand the way the judge likes to see information presented. With a jury, in contrast, things are not quite so easy.

“One of most important things for lawyers to do is to stop thinking like a lawyer and start thinking like a trier of fact,” Rosenberg said.

Chris Stombaugh, a trial attorney, agrees. The longer lawyers practice, he said, the less likely they are to understand how people outside the profession think. Yet it’s those everyday people, and not the professional colleagues whom lawyers often spend most of their working hours among, that are most important to be able to communicate with.

Stombaugh, a trial lawyer who started his career in Platteville and now runs a law firm partially dedicated to teaching trial attorneys, said there are primarily two things attorneys can do to understand how jurors think.

The first, he said, is to take arguments that you are considering using in a trial and try them out on focus groups. This procedure should help a lawyer gauge how a jury is likely to respond to a particular argument.

Stombaugh’s second piece of advice also stems from his belief that the most important thing lawyers can do is to know their audience. Legal professionals, he says, should do their best to get up to speed on developments in fields such as social psychology and behavioral economics.

Researchers, he said, are constantly finding that people make decisions for reasons other than those that were usually invoked in the past. Jurors tend, for instance, to pay less attention to the content of an argument than they do to the attorney presenting the argument.

Thinking like a juror also means that lawyers need to communicate like a juror — like a layperson, in other words.

Above all, Dunphy said, they should avoid legalese.

Also helpful is anything that will make arguments simpler, whether that be analogies or visual aids. Care should be taken to make sure whatever you choose fits well into the bigger picture of your argument.

“Bad analogies don’t work,” Rosenberg said. “As a matter of fact, they make your case harder to try. What does work is strong, concise meaningful and deliberate visuals. … Often times people don’t know why they want to have a visual other than to prove one little thing.”

View original article here: https://wislawjournal.com/2016/01/27/how-to-win-trials/

Panel rules south side districts must be redrawn, approves all others. But other maps met requirements of law, U.S. judges rule

Madison – New election maps that Republican state lawmakers drew last year for Milwaukee’s south side violated the voting rights of Latinos and must be redrawn, a panel of three federal judges unanimously ruled Thursday.

The court found other maps the Republicans drew met the requirements of federal law and the U.S. Constitution but blocked the state from using any of the maps for the Legislature until changes are made to two Assembly districts in Milwaukee’s Hispanic neighborhoods.

Nonetheless, the decision signals that – barring a counter-ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court – the GOP-friendly maps will largely be in place for the next decade, starting in November.

While upholding most of the maps, the court criticized lawmakers for the secretive process they used to draw them, saying it was not in keeping with Wisconsin’s history of open government.

“We find that although the drafting of Act 43 was needlessly secret, regrettably excluding input from the overwhelming majority of Wisconsin citizens, and although the final product needlessly moved more than a million Wisconsinites and disrupted their long-standing political relationships, the resulting population deviations are not large enough to permit judicial intervention under the (U.S.) Supreme Court’s precedents” for claims other than those involving the two Latino districts, the court wrote.

The three judges found the maps for Assembly Districts 8 and 9 violate the federal Voting Rights Act and said legislators should quickly redraw them. The judges said legislators must not change the maps for other districts as they redraw the two on Milwaukee’s south side, but Democrats noted the same court in an earlier ruling said the Legislature has free rein to alter any of the maps.

Who will draw new maps?

Regardless, lawmakers probably won’t take up the maps at all, leaving it to the court to set them. Senate Republican leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau said there was “not a chance” senators would return to the floor to take up the maps.

Republicans lost their majority in the Senate on Saturday, when. Sen. Pam Galloway (R-Wausau) resigned. Galloway, who was to face a recall election, said she left because of illnesses in her family. Her departure leaves the Senate evenly divided, and both parties would need to agree to come back in session.

The court did not set a timeline for lawmakers to make changes, but observers said maps must be put in place by April 15, when candidates can start circulating nomination papers. Democrats said they want the Legislature to take up the issue and were distressed that Fitzgerald would not agree to return to the floor.

“It is ridiculous that Republicans would ignore a court order to fix an unlawful map. Maybe they should sleep on it,” Senate Democratic leader Mark Miller of Monona said in a statement.

“We need to immediately begin to redraw the maps in a manner that is fully open and transparent and does not, in the words of the court, ‘needlessly move’ more than a million citizens of Wisconsin,” Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) said in a statement.

State says it’s vindicated

Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, who defended the state, hailed the court’s decision.

“The judgments made by the Wisconsin Legislature have largely been vindicated,” he said in a statement. “No constitutional defects were found and what began as a scattershot attack on every aspect of these laws has come down to a single finding that one line between two districts should be adjusted.”

The court’s order enjoined the state from implementing the law that created the new 99 Assembly districts and 33 Senate districts, the plaintiffs noted. But Steve Means, Van Hollen’s executive assistant, said he thought there was ambiguity in the order and only the two Latino Assembly districts were blocked.

The lawsuit also challenged the makeup of the newly drawn congressional districts, but the court found they were configured in an acceptable way and did not block the use of those maps.

Once every 10 years, states must draw new districts to account for changes in population identified by the U.S. Census Bureau, and how those lines are drawn can give one party tremendous advantage over the other.

In past decades, for the most part, Wisconsin’s Republicans and Democrats could not agree on maps and courts established the lines. But last year, Republicans controlled all of state government and approved maps that favored their party.

Even before they revealed their maps, a group of Democratic citizens filed suit over them in federal court in Milwaukee. The immigrant rights group Voces de la Frontera later filed a separate suit, and the two were consolidated.

The plaintiffs contended the Legislature violated the federal Voting Rights Act by diluting the voting power of Latinos by dividing them into two Assembly districts on Milwaukee’s south side instead of concentrating them into one, and the court agreed with them.

The group of Democrats argued the maps were also improper because they make too many people wait six years, instead of the usual four, between their chances to vote in a state Senate election.

State senators serve four-year terms, and this fall half of them are up for election, with the other half up in 2014. Nearly 300,000 people who had lived in a Senate district that is up in 2012 have been moved into ones with elections in 2014. That means they have to wait six years, instead of the usual four, between elections.

The plaintiffs contended that shift violated those voters’ constitutional rights and that lawmakers could have minimized the number of affected voters. The court said it was sympathetic to those voters, but the issue did not rise to the level of a constitutional violation.

Judges jab Republicans

The judges took digs at the Republicans throughout their decision, as they have in past rulings. They said they had trouble believing the sworn testimony of Tad Ottman and Adam Foltz, two Republican aides who drew the maps for lawmakers and insisted that partisanship played no role in where the lines were drawn.

“We find those statements to be almost laughable,” the court wrote.

The judges – two appointed by Republican presidents and one appointed by a Democratic president – said the maps were clearly motivated by partisanship and contrasted that with the almost even divide in the state between Republicans and Democrats.

“Regrettably, like many other states, Wisconsin chose a sharply partisan methodology that has cost the state in dollars, time and civility,” the court wrote. “Nevertheless, our task is to assess the legality of the outcome, not whether it lived up to any particular ideal.”

The critique of the Republicans’ practices – which included having nearly all GOP lawmakers sign secrecy agreements about the maps – comes after even more scathing rulings. Earlier this year, the panel ordered Republican attorneys to pay about $17,500 to the plaintiff’s attorneys for filing frivolous motions trying to prevent information from becoming public.

The three judges in the case repeatedly have said lawmakers, rather than judges, should be the ones to draw the lines. A trial over the maps was delayed for two days as the judges urged majority Republicans to revisit the maps taking into account the issues raised by Democrats and Latinos. The Republicans declined to reconsider them, and the trial was held in February.

The case appears headed back to court now that Fitzgerald said senators would not return to the floor. That would likely mean attorneys in the case would present maps to the court on how to reconfigure the two Assembly districts. Republicans could be at a disadvantage in that process because the Legislature is not a party to the case, and thus does not have attorneys advocating for it in the courtroom.

Which maps for recalls?

Thursday’s ruling could also play a role in looming recall elections of state senators.

The plaintiffs had also asked the court to rule that old maps must be used for those elections, expected this summer. The court said using the old maps for recall elections would be constitutional. The federal panel left the matter to state courts but said it could review any decision on which maps to use.

Two lawsuits have been filed by a group of Republican citizens asking that the new districts be used for recalls, and those cases have been tied up for months in the state Supreme Court.

Federal redistricting cases are unusual in that they are heard by a three-judge panel. Any appeals go directly to the U.S. Supreme Court, which must rule on them. Both sides said they were considering appealing.

The decision was written by J.P. Stadtmueller of the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Diane P. Wood of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and Robert M. Dow Jr. of the Northern District of Illinois. Stadtmueller was appointed by Republican President Ronald Reagan; Wood was appointed by Democratic President Bill Clinton; and Dow was appointed by Republican President George W. Bush.

Thursday’s ruling may mean taxpayers have to spend more on legal fees. Voces attorney Peter Earle said he would seek more than $100,000 in legal fees, and Doug Poland, who represents the Democrats who sued, said he would probably ask for attorneys’ fees as well.

Means, of the Department of Justice, said he did not believe they would prevail because the court ruled Thursday that other costs would not be shifted.

Already, Republican lawmakers have committed $400,000 in taxpayer money to pay for help they sought in drawing the maps from Michael Best & and the Troupis Law Office. Separately, Gov. Scott Walker hired Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren to assist the Department of Justice with the litigation. Its contract with the state caps its fees at $925,000; as of last month, it had billed the state $288,000.

Jason Stein of the Journal Sentinel staff contributed to this report.

Link to Original Article: Click Here

RCS provides technology and visual services to help lead to a victory in the Southern District of Florida.

RCS provides technology and visual services to help lead to a victory in the Southern District of Florida.

“Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. won a U.S. patent ruling that may help its efforts to sell generic versions of Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc’s Mucinex cough medicine.

Watson wouldn’t infringe a Reckitt patent on the medicine, U.S. District Judge William Dimitrouleas in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, said today according to an order posted on the court’s website. The judge’s reasoning was sealed by the court.”…

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