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The MSBA's Civil Litigation Section Annual Meeting, Advocate Award Presentation and CLE Program



Jury Communication Strategies:
Practical Lessons Learned from 20 Years of Focus Groups


Come learn from video clips compiled from over 20 years of focus group research on a huge variety of cases from all over the country. Nationally recognized jury consultants Mary Ryan & Brian Leroy from the Portia Group, Ltd. will lead this high-energy, interactive program designed to help advanced trial lawyers try cases more effectively.

Come listen, watch and learn the following:

  • What juries really think (thousands of people say amazingly similar things about all different types of cases!);

  • Top 10 Juror Beliefs (and what each one means for your Plaintiff or Defendant case at trial!);

  • How true focus group research is different from mock trials (and gets you different, perhaps better, information!);

  • How to use what true focus group research teaches to:
    • conduct more effective (and easier!) voir dire;
    • chose and present more effective case themes (designed by jurors not lawyers!);
    • organize effective opening statements that jurors love (it is much simpler than you think!);
    • understand what facts matter and what facts don’t matter (to jurors, not lawyers!);
  • How lawyers waste money on jury research (and how to be sure you’re not one of them!).


Mary Ryan, Portia Group, Ltd.
Ms. Ryan has a background in nonverbal communication and a Master’s degree in ancient rhetoric and persuasion theory along with over 20 years of experience as a trial consultant and jury researcher. She has conducted jury research all over the country on cases ranging from pharmaceuticals, medical negligence, auto crash, commercial disputes and toxic torts to patent infringement, contract claims, construction defect and person injury. She consults with counsel and experts in trial preparation and assists at trial with jury selection and case presentation.

Brian E. Leroy, Q.C., Portia Group, Ltd.
Mr. Leroy is a trial consultant and barrister who has been awarded a Queen’s Counsel for his professionalism and trial excellence in his native Canada. In addition to his over 25 year career as a trial lawyer he has worked for over 10 years in the US as a trial consultant conducting jury research on cases ranging from pharmaceuticals to commercial disputes and toxic torts to patent infringement. Along with Mary Ryan he has conducted research with 1000’s of focus group and mock trial participants as well as assisted counsel in trial preparation and assistance at trial.

1.5 hour of Standard CLE credit approved
(event code: 177601)

2013 Advocate Award

Richard L. Pemberton

Pemberton Sorlie Rufer Kershner, PLLP


Date:   Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Time:    5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.


5:00 p.m. - Social Hour
5:45 p.m. - Dinner and Award Presentation
6:30 p.m. - CLE Program

  The Town & Country Club
300 Mississippi River Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55104 [Directions/Map]


Section Members:  $25.00
Non-Section Members:  $50.00
Law Students:  Free

Teleconferencing is not available.

Cancellation Policy:

Refunds will be processed for cancellation requests received in writing on or before noon on the registration deadline. Requests should be directed to the event contact person listed at the bottom of this notice. Cancellation requests received after this time are not eligible for refunds. You may send a colleague in your place if you are unable to join us and the registration deadline has passed.

Requests for an exception to this policy should be directed to Nicole Battles, Section Services Director, by e-mail or at (612) 278-6336.