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Episode 79 — Sean Claggett — Fewer Cases, More Success: How Focused Work Leads to Bigger Wins

For Sean Claggett, unpredictability has no place in the courtroom. He and his team wholly dedicate themselves to a few key cases, utilizing big data and focus groups to inform every move they make.

It’s a formula with a proven record of success — allowing them to win multiple eight-figure and life-changing cases for Sean’s clients.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How to leverage big data to drive predictable trial verdicts and settlements
  • Why leading by example is critical to developing a world-class trial team
  • How the most successful trial attorneys approach preparation
Episode 79 — Sean Claggett — Fewer Cases, More Success: How Focused Work Leads to Bigger Wins
Show Notes:

12:53 – Understand every angle to become a better leader. “At my office, I’ve done every job in this firm out of necessity while I was building it. You lead by doing what needs to be done, and people look at your work ethic. If you’re the partner in your firm who’s packed it in and shows up 15 or 20 hours a week, do you think your staff is working hard?”

17:01 – Zero room for error. “When you go to trial, you’re all-in on the credibility chip. If you lie or misrepresent one time, you’re done. That jury is going to hold it against you, and it’s bad news. A lot of time it’s a lack of preparation that creates the appearance of dishonesty and lack of being trustworthy because you say something you don’t know for a fact to be true. So we spend a ton of time with my office making sure the attorneys know you have to know everything.”

20:05 – Are you a commodity? “95% of all lawyers get their license, take CLEs that aren’t meaningful, don’t improve themselves, and in 10 years they’re slightly better than they were 10 years ago, but not substantively better at any real skill set. That’s a problem. Invest in yourself as a commodity.”

21:44 – Creating opportunities for growth. “Every focus group you do is like a new panel walk. As you do more of them, you become more comfortable. You become authentic — and if you’re authentic, your charisma shows. If you have good charisma and you’re authentic, you are trustworthy. If people trust you, you do better.”

36:04 – Be in the know. “I’m obsessed with the concept that verdicts are predictable. I believe that to be true now. For years, I didn’t believe it. Everybody says, ‘You don’t know what a jury is going to do.’ That is not true anymore. We’ve done 13 jury trials that we’ve consulted on or done ourselves recently and have been within a range for 12 of the 13 based on our big data and live focus grouping.”

38:20 – Understanding a jury’s decision before trial. “If everything comes in the way that you test, human behavior is pretty predictable. It’s also why data is the most valuable commodity on earth — because we know that human behavior is predictable.”

48:15 – Motivation from injustice. “The way that defendants defend the case drives me crazy. They lie and cheat, and it drives me to the point where I can’t ever imagine not doing this. It’s wrong, and there’s right and wrong. I see that in what we do. I really do believe at the end of the day we make the community safer. There are industry changes that happen because of what we do. That’s why I do it.”

50:14 – What makes someone a game changer? “The biggest thing for me is to not monetize your knowledge to other plaintiff lawyers. The more information that we can give to other plaintiffs so that they can be successful — that’s when you start to effectuate change.”


The best move you can make for your motivation is to surround yourself with like-minded, successful people. We’re making it easy.  Join the waitlist to the Game Changers Summit 3! You never know when a spot might open up…

Rules of the Road by Rick Friedman
David Ball on Damages: A Plaintiff’s Attorney’s Guide to Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Cases
Reptile: The 2009 Manual of the Plaintiff’s Revolution
Challenged Athletes Foundation
Republic Services wrongful death trial
Claggett and Sykes Law Firm

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