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The Focal Point LLC Opens East Coast Office

Nation's Premier Trial Strategy Group Expands With Office in New York to Better Serve Its East Coast Clients

OAKLAND, CA and NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 02/12/13 -- The country's leading trial consulting firm, The Focal Point LLC, announced this week the opening of an office in New York City. Located in Manhattan at 415 Madison Avenue, the office is fully staffed to provide trial strategy, jury consulting, trial graphics and animation, and war room support services. Scott Hilton, the firm's managing partner, indicated that the day-to-day operations of the New York office will be overseen by a senior team of trial consultants and jury experts including John L Hicks, senior jury consultant, and Paul Roberts, senior case manager.

"We realized a few years ago that we were handling more and more east coast cases," said Chris Ritter, partner and chief of visual trial strategy. "While much of this work can be handled electronically from any location, there is no substitute for being able to have people immediately available to meet with clients, lawyers, and experts face to face in New York, or a short trip to Washington, D.C., Wilmington, or other east coast locations."

The firm also announced that Elizabeth A. Thompson, Ph.D., director of jury consulting, will be dividing her time between the firm's California and New York offices. Thompson, has extensive experience working throughout the country on all types of trials, including securities litigation, complex commercial disputes, intellectual property cases, environmental litigation, pharmaceutical litigation and corporate governance issues.

The Focal Point, established more than 20 years ago, provides full trial preparation services, including litigation strategy, jury consulting, trial graphics, animation, courtroom technology, and war room support. The firm has worked on some of the largest litigation in recent years, ranging from complex commercial disputes to white collar defense and intellectual property cases, and involving matters ranging from securities and criminal cases to environmental and employment issues, including Colorado v. Kobe Bean Bryant, the Deepwater Horizon litigation, Microsoft v. Google, California v. Scott Peterson, University of California v. Genentech, Securities and Exchange Commission v. Buntrock, and Rambus, Inc. v. Micron Technology, Inc.

The Focal Point's New York team includes:

G. Christopher Ritter, Partner and Chief of Visual Trial Strategy

Chris Ritter joined The Focal Point in 1998 after several years as a partner and trial lawyer at a major San Francisco law firm.

As a former faculty member at University of California Hastings College of the Law, where he taught trial practice, evidence, and legal writing, Chris is a master at clarifying the complex and making esoteric themes understandable and compelling. His courtroom experience is also instrumental in creating strategically sound, clearly delineated, and creatively convincing presentations and storylines designed to win. Landmark casework includes: Microsoft v. Google, Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Bayer Corp, and Perry v. Schwarzenegger.

A graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, Ritter has written three books all published by the American Bar Association, regularly publishes articles with major legal new outlets, including several of ALM's award-winning publications, and serves as The Focal Point's general counsel.

Chris is based in the firm's Oakland, California office, but will be splitting his time to join the New York team.

Elizabeth A. Thompson, Ph.D., Director of Jury Consulting

Elizabeth "Beth Anne" Thompson has consulted on a wide range of cases including securities litigation, complex commercial disputes, intellectual property cases, environmental litigation, pharmaceutical litigation and corporate governance issues. She has assisted both plaintiff and defense teams with thematic case development, pre-trial research, and graphics. Drawing on her academic expertise in how individuals and groups cope under stress, Beth Anne has focused particular attention on working with key witnesses in preparation for deposition and trial. She has been a trial consultant in New York and San Francisco, and she has extensive experience in the major courts of California, New York, and New Jersey.

Beth Anne earned a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with focus on individual and group coping strategies under extreme stress and qualitative research methods.

John L. Hicks, Senior Jury Consultant

John joined The Focal Point in 2012 brining his extensive experience providing strategic recommendations, preparing witnesses, conducting mock trials and focus groups, and creating comprehensive visual strategies for trial.

John specializes in making complex litigation more understandable and meaningful by distilling case evidence and issues into simple, clear, and easily understood trial themes. He has supported a wide array of matters with a concentration in employment and labor litigation, intellectual property, securities litigation, and white collar criminal matters. John is based in New York City, and has worked on numerous matters in the courts of New York, Delaware, and Washington, D.C.

John holds a MS(r) in Social Psychology and Research Methodology and is a doctoral candidate in social psychology.

Paul Roberts, New York General Manager and Senior Case Manager

Paul joined The Focal Point in 2006 seeking to marry his professional experience crafting persuasive messages as a public relations manager with his academic and personal interest in visual culture. Since then, Paul has worked with the country's top trial teams on a wide variety of cases ranging from complex intellectual property litigation to commercial disputes and class-action lawsuits. He has applied his unique, interdisciplinary approach to problem solving to high-profile cases for clients such as Intel, TSMC, Samsung, Univision, Zynga, Qualcomm, Nintendo, and WL Gore. Paul has helped his clients win verdicts in courtrooms all over the country, including California, Texas, Florida, and Delaware, and has significant experience in venues ranging from Federal Court in the Eastern District of Texas to hearings at the International Trade Commission in Washington, D.C.

Paul graduated from Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service where he studied the interaction between political authority and visual culture. He writes on a variety of topics, including persuasive trial messaging and juror insight, and regularly presents CLE courses on trial preparation and creative strategy.

The Focal Point LLC
415 Madison Avenue, 15th Floor
New York, New York 10017

501 14th Street, Suite 200
Oakland, California 94612

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