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Beyond the Bio: A Spotlight on David Metz & Brianna Smith


At IMS, we believe our people are our greatest asset. In honor of our incredible team, we are thrilled to go "beyond the bio" and share the personal stories of employees across our organization.

As members of the Litigation Consulting team, Associate Jury Consultants David Metz and Brianna Smith collaborate with colleagues and seamlessly integrate across departments to deliver optimal client outcomes. They contribute to the team's scientific approach in the courtroom and predict trends such as increased risk aversion among jurors. Read on to learn how David and Brianna found IMS, the value of our process, and predictions for industry trends.

David Metz, Associate Jury Consultant

Q: How/why did you get into this industry?

A: My mother was a lawyer, so naturally, I grew up telling myself I would never get into law. That was until I got a chance to observe a mock trial project. Listening to jurors discuss the arguments at hand, the way they could all hear the same words and reach vastly different conclusions, the stories they created around the evidence—I was in awe. Unbeknownst to me, this small field existed that had been covering an array of my passions and educational experiences all along.

Q: How did you find/why did you choose IMS?

A: I worked for a good while with Litigation Insights before the company was acquired by IMS. Our strong company values aligned perfectly, so it was a natural transition. Now we have even more team members whose brains I can pick.

Q: What do you like most about your specific department and/or role?

A: My colleagues. Our team is so supportive of each other, more than I have ever experienced. They are also intimidatingly smart—which is perfect because I am inquisitive to a fault. Since my current role straddles litigation consulting work and our thought leadership efforts, I am constantly working with team members across departments, so I never stop learning new things.

Q: What internal accomplishment are you most proud of?

A: Writing our jury research analyses is not easy. We have a squad of true experts, so perhaps as a point of pride, we refuse to put out a rehash of our research data. We owe it to clients to offer insights and recommendations they can actually do something with right away—even take into the courtroom if need be. As such, one of my proudest internal accomplishments involved figuring out an analysis training program that would give our newest consultants some hands-on experience taking the raw data and transforming it into what we expect from our end product.

Q: What do you think sets IMS apart from competitors or other companies?

A: Beyond our resources and insane level of combined experience, I think there is a sincere interest at IMS in getting to know each unique case on its own merits. We enjoy learning and problem-solving, and I think that shows in how we collaborate with trial teams, listen to and understand their precise goals, share our expertise, and develop solutions together. For however long we work on it, it is not just another case for us; we seek to be as passionate about it as our clients are.

Q: How do the IMS core values align with your own?

A: It seems to recognize that running a great firm that gets clients everything they need starts with cultivating a great team—specifically, one that respects and is eager to share knowledge with each other to "Operate as One." Everyone has horror stories of that one (or more) awful, “toxic” workplace; the values here do not focus only on demonstrating excellence and producing quality for external benefit but also on fostering the internal camaraderie that makes doing that hard work sustainable and rewarding.

Q: If you were an attorney-client, what would you find most valuable about the process at IMS?

A: It all comes down to pinpointing the right strategies for wherever a client is at in their litigation—in whatever form those take. And we are a one-stop shop for that. There is pollination across departments such that answering, "What does this case need to be its best?" can bring all sorts of solutions to mind. You might come for litigation consulting, but you are not stuck in a bubble; the best way to drive your narrative home might be with that perfect animated flowchart or that perfect, hard-to-find expert.

Q: Do you have any predictions or comments on industry trends?

A: Many jurors are trending toward hyperfocus on risk aversion, while others are trending toward conspiracism. As my colleagues have observed, both trends (for different reasons) are widening the pool of unfavorable jurors for corporate defendants. Defense attorneys will need adaptive voir dire strategies to uncover jurors like these, but also novel case themes that can build coalitions of support out of the kinds of jurors they may have written off in the past.

Q: What has been your favorite case to work on so far?

A: Litigation consultants often find themselves living in a case for only a short window of time. You might prep for a mock, facilitate it, write this thorough analysis, and then hear little else before it is on to the next. So that attachment you have built, all that interest and curiosity, does not always get concrete closure.

I worked on a major class-action employment suit a while ago, and I finally had a chance to see it all through. From the mock trial to the analysis to theme and narrative development, to an opening statement review session on the eve of the trial—where I could watch these themes form a unified story—and then to jury selection, where we could leverage all the data we had collected. It was such a collaborative effort throughout and with a remarkable trial team. And then, two weeks later, we got this celebratory email about a complete client win. That is a gratifying feeling.

Brianna Smith, Associate Jury Consultant

Q: How/why did you get into this industry?

A: I fell into this field by accident—by coincidence, maybe. I was searching for ways to get my foot into the doorway of the legal field, which led to applying to Litigation Insights. I was once interested in becoming an attorney. Still, I loved that there was an opportunity for me to be able to combine sociological, psychological, and legal perspectives into one career. Jury consulting was so niche and intriguing that I just knew there was potential for me to bloom.

Q: How did you find/why did you choose IMS?

A: I worked with Litigation Insights from 2018 to 2021, which was thereafter acquired by IMS Legal Strategies. I was excited to become a part of something bigger, with more opportunities looming on the horizon. However, I now continue to choose IMS for its atmosphere—the legal consulting department is made up of unique individuals who are passionate about their work, pride themselves on their scientific methodology and processes, and have created a culture of hard-working, "I would give you the shirt off my back" kind of people.

Q: What do you like most about your specific department and role?

A: I would say that what interested me in the field of litigation consulting was all the different experiences. Through the past six years, I have learned more than I have throughout my entire life. I have been to so many new places, met so many new people, and had many new experiences. We encounter so many different types of cases; it is something new nearly every day. But what I have come to like the most are the people that I have met along the way. I have been so consistently inspired throughout my career here at IMS. I am surrounded by some of the most passionate and dedicated people. It creates such a motivational force to continue furthering my own career.

Q: What internal accomplishment are you most proud of?

A: Since wandering into the world of litigation consulting, I have worked my way up the ladder to becoming an associate jury consultant. I graduated with my bachelor's degree in criminology and criminal justice and knew I wanted to be somewhere in the legal field. I never imagined that my first job right out of college would lead me to earning my master's degree and discovering my own career. I proudly worked full-time as a jury research coordinator while studying as a full-time postgraduate student. Six years, an additional degree, and three promotions later, I am excited to announce that I have earned my position as a consultant. I look forward to continuing to grow and evolve here at IMS.

Q: Are there any stories/memories you would like to share?

A: Our team had the opportunity to work pro bono on theme development for the State of Minnesota v. Chauvin (2021). This was my first insight into a high-profile and highly public trial. I witnessed our team work some emotionally charged, long hours. It was a long-awaited verdict, and when the headlines came out, it was rewarding to know that our themes resonated. That moment of realization was groundbreaking for me. I want to be a part of the monumental strides in the path that IMS is paving.

Q: What sets IMS apart from competitors or other companies?

A: IMS as a whole has become a massive resourceful organization that can provide services for clients throughout every phase of trial. We have structured our company to encapsulate the most comprehensive set of services to meet the many demands of trials. We value qualitative and quantitative research, and our data has proven to uncover juror bias, expectations, and other predictive implications for trial.

Q: How do the IMS core values align with your own?

A: Our core value, "Humble Confidence," has always spoken the most to me. "Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less." (C.S. Lewis). "Humble Confidence," to me, is about practicing gratitude, staying grounded, and putting into the universe what I would like to take out of it. In brief, I would not be where I am today if it were not for my team. We, as humans, are constantly learning and evolving and becoming better versions of ourselves.

Q: If you were an attorney-client (or an expert witness), what would you find most valuable about the process at IMS?

A: What is most valuable about our Litigation Consulting department is our scientific approach and methodology. Our results and recommendations are based on scientifically valid research and data collection of insights from mock jurors. More recently, our department has evolved our data-collecting ability by developing Advantage technology. We have created software that allows us to provide our clients with instantaneous results as we collect data from our mock jurors on-site. I appreciate how dedicated we are to evolving our processes to ensure we can deliver readily dependable results to our clients.

Q: Do you have any predictions or comments on industry trends?

A: From my experience, there are a tremendous number of resources and significant amounts of time dedicated to trials. Moreover, jury selection significantly influences the outcome of trial and damage awards. It is vital to mention the increasing trend in "nuclear verdicts." Jury consultants are invaluable experts when it comes to focusing on the factors involved in juror decision-making and strategizing tools for optimal outcomes. With our scientifically valid research and data collection of insights from mock jurors, it is my hope to be a part of the trailblazers who ensure jury consultants are an asset in and throughout every case.

Q: What has been your favorite case to work on so far?

A: One of the most important cases I have ever worked on was Bryant v. County of Los Angeles (2022). The County of Los Angeles had violated the 14th Amendment rights of the Bryant and Chester families. In the stages of pre-trial, throughout voir dire and jury selection, I worked along with Dr. Christina Marinakis, former IMS Strategy & Jury Consulting Advisor, to identify potential bias. Our team had put so much blood, sweat, and tears into our work. We sat throughout the trial to witness the work we had completed—our background research, juror distinguishers, case themes, and narrative arguments were monumental aspects of trial. It was emotional to witness. Once we heard the trial's outcome, it felt very life-changing to know I had a role in a verdict in which justice had been served. It is a driving force for me to know our job puts us in a position to be a part of something much larger than ourselves.

Learn More

Thank you to David and Brianna for their dedication to our team and the clients and experts we support. Together, we win. Visit the links below to meet the IMS team and learn about our culture and career opportunities.