Rising Talent Leslie O’Neill Uses her Creative Instincts and Social Sciences Background to Help Trial Teams Achieve Success

DOAR’s Leslie O’Neill is no stranger to hard work. Driven by her passion for the law and psychology, she thrives on working with seasoned trial attorneys and fellow DOAR consultants on complex, high-stakes litigation.

“I take pride in working with clients face-to-face to develop impactful, persuasive trial presentations,” O’Neill said. “There is no better feeling than seeing jurors react positively, in real-time, to a summary demonstrative you developed or to a line in a closing argument that you helped hone.”

O’Neill works on a wide range of cases, primarily in white-collar criminal defense, business litigation, and employment matters. With training in the social sciences, communications, and design, she has an innate ability to conceptualize and develop impactful demonstratives that simplify and personalize complex concepts and themes in cases.

O’Neill says, “I love having the opportunity to examine the civil and criminal court systems through the lens of jurors, arbitrators, and other triers-of-fact. As effective trial consultants, we assume roles as narrative architects, theme developers, graphics and technology specialists, and human behavior researchers. The work we do is multifaceted, exciting, and rewarding.”

When asked what she considered to be important rules to live by as a successful trial consultant, she offered the following:

  1. Be proactive. Take the lead in managing what needs to happen on your end to ensure you and the team have everything needed to support the case. Always show up prepared for calls and meetings and set expectations on how long it will take trial teams to gather information. Being proactive and straightforward with clients will garner you respect and help build trust within the trial team.
  2. Be responsive. Not all cases are created equal. Some matters may require a four-day mock trial, others may benefit from a higher-level roundtable focus group, and others may need an intensive pre-trial war room session with attorneys instead. It’s the consultant’s job to adapt to the needs of the case and to discuss with attorneys specific details, budgets, and timelines to determine the best approach for the case.
  3. Be diligent. Be on the lookout for issues that crop up during trial preparation that may not have been fully explored, even if it means reworking a complex graphic or exploring a new theme during a witness prep session. Being thoughtful about addressing every angle in the case could be the difference between winning and losing.

DOAR has a track record for helping clients achieve positive outcomes in their cases. On every matter, the DOAR team invests 100% of their energy and effort, immersing themselves in learning every detail of the case. For O’Neill, working on the two impeachment trials of Donald J. Trump was particularly poignant.

She explains, “Knowing that the demonstratives and videos we developed for the impeachment trials would be broadcast worldwide was stressful and exciting. Like for all cases, there was no room for error. Only this time, the impact from our work would affect not only our clients but also our nation as a whole.”

O’Neill further states, “I’m humbled to have had the opportunity to be part of history.”

While working with House Managers on the Trump impeachment trials will undoubtedly be a highlight in her career, the cases are not unique to the caliber of DOAR’s clients. For several decades, DOAR has worked on the highest-profile matters with the most prominent attorneys across the country.

Our clients are the best lawyers in the business. They are dedicated foremost to their clients,” said O’Neill. “At DOAR, we are dedicated foremost to our craft. That’s why our clients rely on us—because we deliver, time and time again.”

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