Augustus Brown Teaches Trial Lawyers Using Focus Groups
Brown, Brown & Young Principal Member Augustus F. (Gus) Brown has served as a faculty member for the American Association for Justice (AAJ) and at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, and as a Juror Consultant for the American Society of Trial Consultants (ASTC).
As such, he travels all around the country, helping experienced trial attorneys learn how to improve their research, preparation, jury selection and trial expertise in personal injury cases including medical malpractice cases, products liability cases and fatal vehicle and tractor-trailer collision cases.
Gus is also on the faculty of the Keenan Trial Institute (formerly the Keenan Ball Trial College), and he travels to Keenan Trial Institute (KTI) seminars on a regular basis, in Atlanta, Georgia, and in many other venues around the country, to teach and mentor personal injury attorneys.
His most recent KTI session was a two-day focus group facilitation course in January 2019. Gus lectured to sixteen "students" (all experienced trial lawyers from across the USA — even from as far away as Hawaii), and also mentored attorneys in individual workshop jury focus group facilitations.
The size of each focus group was between six to ten persons, chosen from lists of volunteers from the Atlanta metropolitan area who are representative of real jury members. Each one of Gus's lawyer students pleaded his or her case to these juries over a two-day period, guided by Gus.
Gus explains his role like this: "I helped my colleagues explore key issues and identify their own strategic strengths, then learn how to minimize any apparent or potential weaknesses in themselves or their cases — it's really a question of how to develop and present a story so that you have given a clear, compelling and memorable case to the jury."
"The goal is for lawyers to learn how to research important issues and arguments in each case, and present them clearly and strongly to the jury," Gus adds.