Recently I was asked to meet and discuss a case that was going to be tried in a few weeks by a plaintiff’s lawyer. I thought about the information I’d like from the plaintiff’s attorney to prepare for the discussion and created this outline. It won’t fit all cases and it is overly simplistic, but it is an outline that might stimulate your creating a better format for your cases. Here it is.


  • What venue, judge assigned & trial date – time limits?
  • Identify associate lawyer trying case with you
  • Identify the defense lawyers


  • General type of case
  • Fact summary – 100 words or less
  • Summary of settlement negotiations with last  positions


  • Focus study results
  • Significant pre trial orders or court policies including time limits


Case Theme 

  • If this were a movie or book, what would the title be?

Liability & Damages 

  1. Three most significant helpful liability issues
  2. Three most significant harmful liability issues
  3. Three most significant helpful damage issues
  4. Three most significant harmful damage issues

Reasons or Motives

  •  Three primary reasons for negligence  relating  to bad motive or wrongful intent.


  • What are the most significant causation issues?


  • Planned primary exhibits with discription


  • List of plaintiff liability experts with specialty you intend to call
  • List of plaintiff damage experts with specialty you intend to call
  • Experts with specialty you could, but do not intend to call
  • List of lay witnesses – impressions & purpose you intend to call
  • Impression client and spouse make overall


  • Voir dire:  Juror profile? (1) key issues –  good & bad you plan to discuss (2) plan for profile inquiry and (3) plan for values & past  experience inquiry
  • Opening: general outline & issues. Plan for damage discussion?
  • Direct: Planned  witness schedule & key direct points
  • Cross: What consistent theme & what key points to repeat
  • Argument: general outline & plan for damage argument
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