Pre trial and trial check lists

Pre trial and trial check lists

If you have followed this blog, you know that I am a believer in check lists. The medical profession has discovered that when doctors follow established and valid check lists they make a lot fewer errors. Pilots religiously follow precise check lists before they take off and lawyers should create as well as use check lists too. Here’ a recent check list I created and which is a work in progress. My procedure is to create a check list and then as the work progresses I improve, revise or add to it. I don’t want it too detailed or complicated because that will discourage me from using it. I do want the key steps however. This one relates to a personal injury case. Don’t be hesitant in looking at other people’s checks lists for ideas and to modify your own to fit your practice. Perhaps this will give you some ideas on how to create your own.



1. Economist
2. Cost of care
3. Animation
4. Posters/illustrations
5. Medical illustrations


1. Focus – internet?
2. Time line/chronology
3. Review file contents
4. Pleadings & discovery
5. Prepare notebooks:
           (1) Cx
           (2) Resource
           (3) Witness
           (4) Jury
           (5) Trial

Discovery work

1. Depo summaries
2. Loaded into software

Medical – Damages

1. Day in life
2. Medical chronology



1. Theme
2. Fault list
3. Tech at trial
4. Trial schedule
5. Divide trial work
6. Shadow jurors?
7. David Ball


1. Jury Selection outline
2. One page summary
3. Written jury questions
4. Opening outline
5. Direct Outline
           (1) exhibits
           (2) depo excerpts


1. Lay witnesses
2. Liability
3. Damage
4. Witness schedule
5. Prepare
6. Notice of attendance
7. Subpoenas


1. Depo excerpts in trial software
2. Key documents same
3. Key photos
4. Posters
            (1) Facts/dates
            (2) Bills
5. Blow ups
6. PowerPoint
7. Time line
8. Medical chronology
9. Model
10. Animation
11. Day in life
12. Wage loss
13. Calendar for period
14. Medical bills
15. Photos
16. Injury list
17. Fault list
18. Xrays etc
19. Hospital & records

 Pre-trial Legal

1. Notebook for judge
2. Motions in limine
3. Jury instructions
4. Trial brief
5. Evidence briefs
6. Exhibits in opening
7. Witness disclosure
8. Alternate juror
9. Exclusion of witnesses
10. Judge question list
11. Written jury questions

Other Trial Preparation

1. Trial materials

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