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The American Society of Trial Consultants, Inc. is the only professional organization for trial and litigation consultants. Members agree to follow approved standards of practice that have been developed over the 30-plus year history of the organization.

Our Mission

Enriching our Members

Enhancing Advocacy

Promoting Excellence

Our legal system is based on the principle that each party putting forward the best case - making the most of facts, law and presentation skill - allows the truth to win out far more often than not. In that kind of a system, the goals of the ASTC lie at the very heart of the law's ability to deliver justice. We help litigators become better at persuading jurors and other fact-finders, and that makes the system work in a way that is more meaningful, more reliable, and ultimately more fair.

Our History

Early Years

A founders meeting of twenty-four practicing trial consultants met in Phoenix, Arizona on October 9, 1982 to create what has now become the American Society of Trial Consultants. That meeting included many now-familiar names - Dick Crawford, Stuart Kenter, Lin Lilley, Ron Matlon, Melissa McMath Hafield, Scott Nobles, Jack Parker, Mo Rouse, Joyce Tsongas, Vivian Dicks, Robert Hirsch, Elizabeth Loftus, Diana Prentice, Lucy Keele and others.

The Society was originally known as the Association of Trial Behavior Consultants. The interests of that founding group, evidenced in their first conference held one year later, were not much different than the interests that motivate current members. Even as they understood that they were competitors, they wanted to share their growing wisdom on a number of topics: practical small group research, effective witness protection, informed jury selection, as well as successful business skills and marketing.

ASTC Objectives

In 1985 the name was changed to the American Society of Trial Consultants. Also established were the primary purposes and objectives of ASTC which continue to this time:

  • Provide an opportunity for networking and dialogue among individuals who share professional interests in trial consulting, trial-related research and teaching.
  • Encourage and assist in the professional growth and training of Society members.
  • Provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, opinions, techniques, experiences and research results in the area of trial consulting.
  • Encourage the development and refinement of appropriate methods for the application of research techniques to trial practice.
  • Promote the effective and ethical use of trial consulting techniques by attorneys.
  • Encourage awareness of and provide accurate information about trial consulting.

Developing a Profession, as well as an Organization

As the ASTC grew over the years, it has addressed a number of issues crucial to all professions, while continually improving the skills, visibility, and standing of the profession of litigation consulting. To pick just a few examples, the ASTC has:

  • Developed a professional code.
  • Crafted professional standards and practice guidelines in the following areas (venue surveys, witness preparation, jury selection, small group research, online research, visual communication/trial technology and post-trial juror interviews).
  • Brought together an extensive depository of reference materials for members.
  • Created a grievance procedure.
  • Held over thirty national conferences providing training, continuing education, business development and networking opportunities for ASTC members and attorneys. Programs at the annual conference have been granted CLE status for attending lawyers.
  • Expanded membership to explicitly include trial consultants as well as students, attorneys, and academics.
  • Published Court Call, a publication for members only that provided up-to-date information on the organization, members, developments in the field and researcher train consultants. Each issue is provided at no charge to members.
  • Published The Jury Expert, a widely-read magazine that covers topics of interest to our members, lawyers, judges and the general public on various aspects of litigation advocacy.
  • Created a Members Only section of the ASTC website, which includes job postings, document templates, collaboration tools, and other resources to help members grow and expand their practice.
  • Created a Members Forum to encourage an exchange of ideas and resources among ASTC members.
  • Developed the Pro Bono Initiative to offer assistance in the support of justice to those in need.
  • Filed several amicus briefs to inform the courts about issues pertaining to the profession of trial consulting.
  • Provided dozens of webinars (free for members) to help members improve their skills and grow their business.
  • Adopted an Antitrust Policy to assist its members in complying with federal and state antitrust laws in connection with ASTC activities.

Internal and External Publications

The ASTC has recognized that both the members and the broader academic and legal community had a strong interest in what trial consultants know, the research we rely on, and the experience we have gathered from study, research, and experience. The ASTC has brought its publications to the membership and to an ever-widening audience. These communication outlets include:

  • ASTC Web - our general public and members-only website found at
  • ASTC Listserv - an outlet for communication between members. In addition, ASTCNet provides regular links to relevant research studies, notable trials and legal decisions. Access is free to all members.
  • ASTC Deliberations Blog - a venue for the ASTC to promote a trial consultant's perspective on pressing legal issues and current events. It has been an American Bar Association "Top 10" blog and cited as an excellent source for legal information. Deliberations averages almost 8000 hits per month.
  • The Red Well Blog - a resource to promote the visibility of the ASTC and the litigation consulting profession. It provides a one-stop opportunity to browse opinion and analysis on the subjects of litigation communication, persuasion, advocacy, and psychology relating to trial and pre-trial settings. The goal of this aggregator is to become the "start here" site for litigators, and to build a larger audience for ASTC bloggers by including a diverse selection of high quality content created by active litigation consultants and other members of the American Society of Trial Consultants. With the objective of creating a dynamic and diverse marketplace of ideas, The Red Well welcomes all content from ASTC bloggers that is targeted to litigators and offers substantive comments based on research and/or experience.
  • Court Call - is an ASTC monthly e-newsletter distributed to members.

Membership and Services

ASTC has a membership from across the country (currently 45 states). Membership has grown from 19 in 1983 to a diverse group today that is nearly 300 strong, and growing. Members bring the skills forged in a number of academic disciplines (including psychology, communication, theatre, sociology, law, and many others) to the same basic tasks that have not changed since the Society's founding in 1982.

Member consultants provide some of all of the following services: case theory and presentation, change of venue studies, community attitude surveys, continuing legal education seminars, deposition preparation, expert testimony, focus groups, graphics and demonstrative evidence, jury selection, language and the law, media relations, mediation and arbitration (ADR), mock jury trials, negotiations, opening statement and closing argument preparation and evaluation, post-trial juror interviews, presentation strategy, pro bono services, trial simulations, trial technology, voir dire strategy and witness preparation.


An elected Board of Directors governs ASTC, with an elected executive committee consisting of President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and Administrative Director. Board members serve four-year terms, while the positions of President and Vice-President are one-year commitments, and positions of Secretary and Treasurer are two-year commitments. Elections are held annually. There are nine ASTC standing committees and periodic task forces.


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