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Proving Economic Damages: Client, Expert or Both?

Modesett Williams - Friday, February 12, 2016

Jury trials in commercial litigation offer business owners the opportunity not only to tell their story, but also to describe their damages. Because owners know more about their business and market than anyone else, they are well-suited to make this calculation and support it with historic information and future projections based on their experience in the real world. With proper preparation, this can be compelling testimony.

But should you hire a damage expert as well? Probably so, for at least three reasons. First, jurors like to create their own damage models and reach their own conclusions on a plaintiff's damages. Multiple damage options give jurors the formulas and raw data they need to calculate their own number and still survive a JOV. Second, having a bit of tension between the expert's typically lower number and the owner's more optimistic figure makes both witnesses' calculation truly independent. Third, multiple calculations could give you additional support on appeal.

In one case, this strategy worked out well. The jury heard both the owner's number and the expert's. The numbers were about 30 percent different. The jury went with the expert, with a small twist in our client's favor. We were fine with that. In fact, I suspect the defendants used the expert's appraisal to get a loan to pay our judgment! Our takeaway: Empower the jury by giving them options on damages. They are going to make their own calculation anyway.

Reasons MuseGrid is my Favorite Thing Right Now

Patricia Small - Thursday, April 17, 2014

Building a website can be daunting, even for computer whizzes with extensive coding knowledge (which I am certainly not). After struggling with some online web designing tools and throwing my hands up in frustration trying to work in Adobe Dreamweaver, I discovered another Adobe product called Muse. Let me just say, thank you Adobe geniuses. Muse is a web building tool for designers. You can drag and drop content from a built in widget library, and design your website using an interface similar to Adobe Indesign. The best part? It generates the code for you, and if you do have some HTML background you can still tweak the code yourself. I've been plugging away on our new website, learning tons of cool things about the new features, getting super excited about the design, basically loving everything about Muse.

Now for the downside. Muse doesn't have a blogging capability. You can design a page to look like a blog, but it won't have any of the features like tags, archives, comments, etc. For marketers, the most important aspect of a blog is SEO. You want your content to show up on search engines. That is the point of regularly updated content. So while Muse does allow you to embed a blog from a third party site like wordpress or nabble, non of that content is recognized natively on your host server. That means it does nothing for you in terms of getting your website on the top of the search pages. 

After discovering this (and already having embedded a third party blog), I started following some threads on the Adobe Community Forum page. Most people were frustrated by the lack of blogging capacity offered by Muse, and the difficulty of getting Muse to integrate with another great Adobe product called Business Catalyst. BC does allow you to create a blog, and offers a whole smorgasbord of other useful features that you can check out here, but BC requires extensive coding knowledge, which as mentioned above, I don't have.

Enter musegrid. For $19.99 you can get a module package that includes the embedded BC blog, paragraph styles so you can change the look and feel of your blog directly in muse, and the widget to add a latest news feature directly to your homepage. It took a tiny bit of configuring to get things looking exactly the way I wanted, but I used this comprehensive tutorial, and there is also a great step by step guide included in the downloaded files from musegrid. You will have to host  your site with Business Catalyst, for the basic marketing package you get several features for $16.99 a month, but you get the SEO function third party blogging sites don't offer because all of your info is stored on one platform. Can I just say, musegrid, thank you for doing what Adobe is dragging their feet to get done and making this so much easier for design oriented muse users who need the blogging capabilities of Business Catalyst. Hats off to you my friends. 

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