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16 tion for the design of the road. The defense has to be Months Organize pleadings/discovery able to articulate the basis for the selection of the par- before trial documents for use at trial. ticular design and explain why the selected design was Contact experts with dates of the best one for the traveling public. If the state has a trial. policy that includes the incorporation of the balancing Consider the use of a jury factors as part of the design process, that policy should consultant. be reviewed and a defense formulated based on the pol- Consider bench or jury trial if icy in effect at the time the road was designed or up- option is available. graded. 46 weeks Review the pleadings. Because the road may have been designed years or before trial If still permitted, file any decades previously, the attorney's best friend will be additional necessary pleadings. documentation of the decisions made at the time the Review discovery. road was improved. Counsel should be able to present If permitted, supplement evidence that factors such as safety, environmental im- discovery. pact, and cost were all reviewed and considered prior to Formulate motions in limine. choosing a particular design. Careful consideration of Begin preparing and serving alternative designs and mitigating strategies should be witness subpoenas. shown if possible. Affidavits by an expert or deposition Know the judge and courtroom testimony from an expert must be used to support the conditions. defense of the case in a motion for summary judgment. Confer with opposing counsel If a motion for summary judgment is unsuccessful, the regarding pre-trial issues; if needed, case will be defended to a jury or arbitration panel and obtain assistance of court. the experts will be asked to defend their conclusions 34 weeks Create a trial notebook. again. The best expert witness may be a staff engineer, before trial Prepare jury instructions. an outside expert, or a combination of both. If it is not Prepare exhibit folders. possible to show documentation of the engineering deci- Prepare witness folders. sion or provide testimony regarding what decisions Prepare exhibit binder for judge were made and why, a possible solution is to have a if required. safety study or accident analysis study of "before" and Consider courtroom exhibits. "after" the changes to the road to show that the safety 12 weeks Discuss and finalize potential was indeed increased after the road improvements. before trial stipulations with other parties. Create a trial preparation timeline. One of the best Prepare trial briefs. ways to make sure that an important aspect of the trial Prepare witnesses for testimony is not missed or overlooked is to use a timeline or check- and courtroom presence. list.81 Maintain contact with witnesses The following is an example that can be used for trial and prepare them for testimony. preparation.82 Contact court and confirm trial date. The week Finalize witness preparation. before trial Review the order of witnesses; continue preparation of witnesses. Revisit cross-examinations and opening and closing statements; rehearse. Confirm all logistical and transportation arrangements. Double-check supplies and equipment. IV. DESIGN DOCUMENTATION CURRENT PRACTICES 81 Reena M. Sandoval & Jane K. Manning, The Trial Law- This section includes a discussion of risk analysis, yer's Motto: Be Over-Prepared, AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION'S model design exception and deviation procedures, and TRIAL PRACTICE 9 (2005), documentation procedures and practices. Engineering Litigation/committees/trialpractice/docs/gratis_spr05_ staff should consider the following: triallawyer.pdf. 82 Id. The table is a modified version of the one that appears in the publication.