Our 14th Year – Trial and Error


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We recently sent out a version of this special USPS mailing to mark the close of another good year at Suann Ingle Associates. Arriving in mailboxes this week coincides with the best time to plant evergreens and pine trees in the northeast, so plant away and let us know where you planted yours. If you didn’t receive one and are interested, we’ll be happy to include you – just send us a mailing address. Our effort was driven by the thought of finding common ground as a way to demonstrate what we do best for trial attorneys. What could be argumentative about trees? Trees provide so many life-giving benefits and are often taken for granted in their complexity. …and just like that, on cue, my weekend reading included an article about the growth of trees not being such a good thing for the great plains .*

Good strategic visuals for trial are hardly ever meant to stand alone like advertising or other forms of visual communications. An understanding of the message as well as the style and effectiveness of the person delivering it make the art of trial presentation development unique. Context always adds a layer as well.

In pursuing a topic that breaks from legal dispute presentations and yet still shows and tells, we found ourselves challenged in unexpected ways as often happens in our work. As an example, one client commented “I saw your mailing and thought ‘wait, walking in the city is bad?’” That sort of feedback could be tested, among test subjects much the way we employ mock jurors and subsequently make adjustments based on analysis of their feedback. A lot of our work is trial and error (pun intended) or iterative as we often like to say. So typically, we would consider a different color than gray here, maybe a lesser saturation or patterned texture representation to distinguish it from the green elements and text box at the top, but still related them to one another. However, and this is one reason why he’s a great trial lawyer, his comment touches on the fact that we had actually left out a third study because we thought the mailing would get too complicated. Of course we think walking in the city is better than not walking at all. In fact, we are happy to note here the third study in that series showed that comparable time spent inside amidst air infused with enzymes and oils from the trees showed similar increase in natural killer cell activity as walking in the forest.

Regardless, our design and this reflection demonstrate our communications process and core values of curiosity and improvement, by using a subject that many people find fun and that most would agree, healthy as well. However, as the Green Glacier article suggests, there’s always another side or another viewpoint to consider. Exercising empathy is yet another way to arrive at a great communications strategy. Start with the end in mind, define success and go for it. But, perhaps we leave that particular squirrel until next year.

Happy Holidays from the team at Suann Ingle Associates.

*Allergies. Wildfires. Tick-borne disease. All of these problems climb while stream flow and groundwater recharge rates often decline. True, a juniper woodland sequesters more carbon. But the grassland it muscled out was a more reliable carbon sink, storing more than 90 percent of its capture underground, safe from wildfires that would send that carbon into the atmosphere. From virtually every angle — environmental or economic, livestock or literature, air quality or landscape aesthetics — the Green Glacier is a problem. – NY Times 12/7/23

#happytrails #happytrials #athomeinthecourtroom #podiumperfect #decisivetrialdesign #goteamgo