Leading the field for over four decades, the team at Bonora Rountree brings a wealth of experience in civil litigation and criminal defense. Our background in civil cases ranges from highly complex business suits involving billions of dollars to the tort claims of individuals, and is equally broad in the criminal area. No case is too big, or too small. We tailor our services to fit your strategic needs and financial considerations. We are consultants for many of the country’s most successful litigators, as well as for lawyers trying their first case. We understand the complications that large trial teams encounter in their trial preparation as well as the challenges that solo practitioners encounter with limited budgets or resources.
Jurors make their decisions at trial using their intellect and their hearts. The challenge for the trial lawyer is to frame the case so that jurors can reason their way to a verdict without contradicting their instincts about what is right and just. Our approach is to help lawyers develop trial strategies and case themes that will reach people—all kinds of people—in ways that appeal to their intellectual, emotional, and moral concerns.
Judges are people too. If you have a bench trial, or are going into arbitration or mediation, persuasive communication is just as important as in a jury trial. Our services help counsel communicate the essential themes, facts, and legal arguments to present the strongest case possible.
Settlement is the most common outcome in today’s legal arena. That all-important decision about whether to settle or not includes an evaluation of the chances of success and magnitude of risk. Research with mock jurors provides a fresh perspective on what might really happen at trial and helps you and your clients make these crucial decisions.
With over 35 years of experience and work on over 1,000 cases, Bonora Rountree consultants can broaden the perspectives of your trial team, advance strategic thinking, and enhance persuasive communication. Our understanding of juror behavior, psychology, sociology, communications, and law provides our clients with a rich source of ideas and strategies.
Will Rountree, J.D., Ph.D. is a Senior Trial Consultant and partner and has been with Bonora Rountree since 2005. He brings to the team a grounded understanding of legal principles and specialized social science methodologies to reveal jurors’ perceptions and biases.
Will has acquired in-depth consulting experience in over 1,000 cases, and developed specialties in antitrust/unfair business competition, employment discrimination, criminal defense, intellectual property, mass tort/personal injury, and breach of contract cases. He is often called upon to conduct publicity analysis and venue studies in high- profile cases, and has testified as an expert in a change of venue hearing where the motion was granted.
As the Associate Editor of JuryWork: Systematic Techniques, Will conducted extensive legal and social science research for the most comprehensive and up-to-date manual for the practice of jury consulting. Will has written extensively on jury composition challenges, post-trial interview techniques, the discriminatory use of peremptory challenges and voir dire questioning techniques in restricted time conditions. Combining consulting experience and research, he has developed specific voir dire questioning methods to assist attorneys in revealing jurors’ biases in high-stakes litigation.
Will has lectured at the University of California at Berkeley, San Francisco State University, Golden Gate University and the International Institute for the Sociology of Law in Oñati, Spain. He is a former member of the State Bar of Wisconsin and a current member of the Law and Society Association. He received his law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley.
Robert L. Kaufman, Ph.D., A.B.P.P is a licensed psychologist who has been affiliated with us since 2000. He is one of fewer than 300 Board Certified Forensic Psychologists in the country, and is a fellow of the American Board of Forensic Psychology and the Society for Personality Assessment. As a trial consultant, Bob has significant experience in civil actions, including personal injury, employment, complex business litigation and environmental coverage, as well as in criminal cases and in family law matters, making him an invaluable member of our team. Bob’s extensive work as an expert witness, combined with his trial consulting experience, puts him in a unique position to assist attorneys preparing witnesses for trial.
Bob has taught at several Bay Area graduate schools, including UC Berkeley, The Wright Institute and Alliant International University. He regularly addresses professional organizations on the interface between psychological issues and the legal system, having presented to local bar associations and groups such as the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) and the American Association of Justice (formerly ATLA). In addition, Bob is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Child Custody and serves as President of the Board of Directors of the Family and Children’s Law Center in Marin County, CA. Bob is also a founding member of the Interdisciplinary Settlement Conference Committee in Marin County for both civil and family law cases.
Janet Castagnetti has over 25 years of experience in data collection, management, and reporting. Janet specializes in managing and reporting data from numerous sources, including juror questionnaires, mock trials, and online and telephone surveys. In addition to her general experience with data management, Janet also provides close attention to detail, which insures that the data are accurately collected, entered, and reported. Janet excels at taking raw data and converting it into clear and compelling visuals. As an essential member of our team, Janet provides the type of rigorous, accurate, and efficient management of data for all of our firm’s services.
Founding Members Emeriti
Beth Bonora is one of the founders of the field of trial consulting. Since 1973, her creative use of mock trials, survey research, and community analysis has helped attorneys build their trial strategies through a better understanding of juror decision-making. She has a particular interest in tackling the challenges posed by jury trials in complex cases.
Beth has worked on more than 700 civil and criminal jury trials in 21 states and 16 federal districts. She has extensive experience with business litigation – intellectual property, contracts, fraud – in a wide variety of industries from high tech to construction. Her criminal defense work includes white collar cases, murder cases, and other serious felonies. In the last 10 years, Beth has also worked with prosecutors on groundbreaking civil rights cases stemming from murders committed by Klan members during the Civil Rights Era. She has handled may publicized cases with high profile clients and challenging venue and jury questions.
Beth has worked with organizations such as the National Center for State Courts and the American Bar Association to promote trial innovations that improve juror comprehension and decision making. A Past-President of the American Society of Trial Consultants, Beth also served on the ASTC Jury Reform Task Force and the ASTC Professional Standards Committee. From 1979 to 2000, Beth was a general editor of JuryWork: Systematic Techniques, the foremost authority on jury research, published by West. Beth has a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley.
Idgi D’Andrea, Ph.D. is a leading expert in witness preparation. She has lectured and published on the subjects of how to help witnesses communicate clearly and persuasively and how to overcome the stress and anxiety of testifying.
Since 1991, Idgi has worked on over 500 cases, attracting a loyal clientele of attorneys who value her creativity and insight. She combines her skill as a licensed clinical psychologist with more than 20 years of forensic experience to discover the human themes and moral issues that have meaning and significance for jurors. Idgi’s business litigation experience focuses on intellectual property, professional malpractice, lender liability, and antitrust cases and includes trial preparation with large trial teams and multiple parties. In addition, she enjoys a long and successful history of working with plaintiffs’ attorneys in class actions, personal injury, employment, and product liability cases. She has assisted criminal defense attorneys in developing trial strategy and in preparing clients for trial in highly publicized cases.
Idgi received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology in Berkeley, California. She is a member of the American Society of Trial Consultants (ASTC) and has served as Chairperson of the ASTC Professional Standards Committee. She is also an active member of the American Psychological Association.