is Managing Partner at Delphi Litigation Strategies. His background in persuasive and legal communication provides an effective foundation for litigation and trial consulting services including witness training for deposition and trial; focus groups and mock trials; voir dire and jury selection; development of opening statements and closing arguments; and general trial strategy.
As outlined in Part I of this two-part article, Waco, Texas residents exude a more western mentality than Marshall’s residents. The small town that once served as a pit stop between Dallas and Austin has turned into its own charming cosmopolitan city, serving almost as a bedroom community for those with periodic work in Dallas and Austin…. Instead of attorneys comparing Marshall to Waco, they would be more accurate to compare the Sherman division’s Denton and Collin counties to the Waco division. Comprising about 80% of panelists in a Sherman division jury selection, jurors from both Denton and Collin counties exude a more western independent mentality than other Eastern District of Texas (EDTX) jurors. Denton and Collin counties have recently transitioned from ranching and farming into commuter suburbs a couple of decades ago, and now the counties have their own stand-alone cosmopolitan and sporting areas. Although lacking the diversity of the Sherman division, over time the Waco division’s growth will likely align it more closely to the Sherman division—a division much more friendly to defendants than Marshall.
As a jury consultant with a wide breadth of experience across the country, I am often asked about the favorability of certain venues, but I was surprised two years ago at the Eastern District of Texas (EDTX) Bench Bar conference when an attorney friend of mine quietly asked what I thought about Waco as a venue for patent cases. I nearly spit my coffee out: “Waco? That’s a terrible idea!” “Why?” he questioned, “Isn’t it a small town just like Marshall or Tyler?” I proceeded at length to explain why the Waco division and Western District of Texas (WDTX) is dramatically different than the Marshall division and EDTX. I simply chalked the question up to a one-off inquiry, until I was asked the same question again multiple times from other attorneys at the last EDTX Bench Bar. It was at the last EDTX conference that all the questions fell into place, when I heard about Judge Albright’s intent to prepare a new patent docket in Waco.