DOAR Director Maria Obregon helps clients cut through the complexity in cases with clear messaging

For nearly a decade, Maria Obregon has played a lead role in consulting top attorneys on an effective communications strategy for notable white-collar, securities, international arbitration, employment, and patent cases. On every matter, Obregon immerses herself into the case—working to understand the issues to recommend solutions that address them. Using her background in forensic psychology and mass communications, she specializes in helping attorneys conceptualize graphics that simplify and communicate complex case themes.

Obregon advises attorneys on roughly 20-30 cases annually, ranging from months-long trials to single-day hearings. Her expertise in trial strategy consulting involves providing critical insight derived from conducting research events—namely, focus groups and mock trials—and creating visually-compelling graphics that convey a clear message to the triers-of-fact.

“I find the most satisfaction in working with my team and the attorneys on a case to ensure a seamless case presentation, from themes to graphics to technology,” said Obregon. “DOAR’s integrated approach to trial services enables us to help our clients put their best case forward.”

Obregon, a native Colombian, speaks three languages – English, Spanish, and French. Aside from her creative talents in graphics consulting and years of expertise conducting pre-trial research, Obregon can also use her language skills to read original case materials in Spanish or French, which are helpful in understanding foreign proceedings. She can also speak with clients, attorneys, and locals in foreign countries where a case may reside, and Spanish or French is the primary language.

“Maria’s ability to speak fluent Spanish and French is a tremendous asset, particularly for international arbitrations,” said Raymond McLeod, Vice President at DOAR. “What she brings to the table, and this space in particular, is not only her consulting expertise but also a level of relatability with our foreign clients who speak Spanish or French as their first language.”

When asked about the most challenging cases she has worked on in her career, Obregon cited the Impeachment Trials of Donald J. Trump. She and other members of the DOAR consulting team worked around the clock to develop demonstratives, edit video files from various social media platforms, and create full presentations—often within a tight timeframe. Due to the pandemic and the timing of the trials, the team almost exclusively worked remotely, with little opportunity to discuss each presentation at length with one another. Adding to the pressure was the idea that the quality of their work would be tested in the public eye, increasing the gravity of what was at stake.

“This was the first opportunity we had to see our work on national television,” said Obregon about working on the Impeachment trials. “While the weight and importance of the trials added pressure on us, it also allowed us to demonstrate on a grand scale our commitment to excellence and to helping our clients succeed in getting their points across to the American public. In the end, I believe we delivered a very effective presentation, and I am very proud of the work we did.”

One of Obregon’s distinct skill sets is breaking down complicated concepts to create graphics that are simple to understand and tell a story. She offered the following three tips for developing impactful graphics:

  1. Have a clear understanding of the problem you are attempting to solve with the graphic.
  2. Know your audience (e.g., jurors, arbitrators, or judge) and keep them in mind to create a graphic that will resonate with them.
  3. Ensure that the graphic is helping to simplify and persuade, as opposed to further complicating the point you are trying to make.

In summary, Maria Obregon represents the brand of highly-skilled DOAR consultants who assist trial teams in complex, high-stakes litigation.

“The people at DOAR are what truly stands out in the industry,” she said. “The quality of our work and our passion for doing ‘whatever it takes’ to ensure that we always provide a case-specific, tailored work product make our team unparalleled in the industry.”

Contact us to learn more about how DOAR can help you with your next trial.

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