McKool Smith and Benchmark Litigation Announce “Behind the Trial” Podcast Series

 NEW YORK (January 25, 2018) -- McKool Smith, one of the nation’s leading trial firms, and Benchmark Litigation, the definitive guide to America’s leading litigation firms and attorneys, have collaborated to produce “Behind the Trial,” a podcast series featuring thoughtful discussions with the nation’s most iconic trial lawyers. The series is hosted by trial lawyer Courtland Reichman, Managing Principal of McKool Smith’s Silicon Valley and Los Angeles offices.  


Behind the Trial captures the unique voice and style of the nation’s trial stars as they discuss what goes on behind the scenes – a rare look at the secrets of persuasion unique to trial lawyers. The podcast covers their best practices for presenting to a jury or judge, pitfalls to avoid, and the art of persuasion. The series also underscores the role that trial lawyers and juries play in shaping the legal landscape and society. 


The first episode features an in-depth discussion with celebrated trial lawyer Evan Chesler, Chairman of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. Evan shares his insight on the keys of persuasion, common traits of an effective trial lawyer, and the significance of the “people factor,” among other topics. Future episodes will feature interviews with David Boies (Boies Schiller); Elkan Abramowitz (Morvillo Abramowitz); Gary Naftalis (Kramer Levin); Diane Sullivan (Weil Gotshal); U.S. District Judge William Alsup (Northern District of California); and Mike McKool (McKool Smith), among others. 


This has been a labor of love for me,” said Behind the Trial host Courtland Reichman. “As a trial lawyer, I’ve always appreciated the oral tradition of passing down the art of persuasion through generations, and wished there was a way to gather these experiences in a more methodical way for teaching. This is all the more important today given the sharp decline in trials. The podcast explores the secrets not taught in classrooms, the ones learned through experience in the crucible of real courtroom dramas. We hope that the podcast will help explain what it takes to persuade 12 strangers – whether you are interested in what goes on behind the scenes, are an aspiring trial lawyer, or want to compare notes with the best. The series celebrates the most renowned trial lawyers and the role they play before juries. Our guests couldn’t have been more open and supportive of the project, which we all hope will be a timeless learning tool.”


“Behind the Trial is an exciting new project for Benchmark, and we couldn’t think of a better law firm to partner with for the series than McKool Smith given its focus on the trial practice,” said Tom St. Denis, Managing Director of LMG Research for Euromoney Institutional Investor, which publishes Benchmark along with other leading legal products, including Managing IP, International Financial Law Review, and IFLR1000. “Our researchers and editors work tirelessly to produce rankings and analysis that truly captures the standout litigation practices, litigators, and trial lawyers in the U.S. and beyond. Behind the Trial is an extension of that commitment and we’re grateful to all of the many lawyers and law firms that have helped to make this project a success.”


Behind the Trial is available on iTunes, SoundCloud, Libsyn, and most popular podcast apps. You can also find it by visiting or



Benchmark Litigation is the definitive guide to America’s leading litigation firms and attorneys, and the only research and rankings resource to focus exclusively on litigation. Benchmark provides in-house counsel and law firms with analysis, rankings, and individual lawyer assessments for the United States, Canada, Mexico, and – in 2018 – Latin America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. In addition to producing a number of distinct publications in the litigation area, Benchmark also hosts a series of conferences for general counsel and litigators, and holds awards dinners recognizing the top firms and lawyers each year. For more information, visit  


With more than 185 trial lawyers across offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Marshall, New York, Silicon Valley, and Washington, D.C., McKool Smith has established a reputation as one of America’s leading trial firms. Since 2006, the firm has secured ten nine-figure jury verdicts and twelve eight-figure jury verdicts. The firm has also won more VerdictSearch and The National Law Journal "Top 100 Verdicts" over the last ten years than any other law firm in the country. Courtroom successes like these have earned McKool Smith critical acclaim and helped the firm become what The Wall Street Journal describes as “one of the biggest law firm success stories of the past decade.” McKool Smith represents clients in complex commercial litigation, intellectual property, bankruptcy, and white collar defense matters. For more information, visit


For more information, please contact Brian Van Note at (415) 529-7812 or