Developing a theory of the case is one of the most important tasks you perform in preparing for an arbitration hearing. The case theory is the strategic plan for achieving your goals in arbitration. Development of a case theory begins after you learn the initial facts through interviews and informal investigations.1 Throughout the preparation and presentation of the arbitration case, the theory of the case will be revised and updated as more information becomes available.
The theory of the case provides a tactical structure serving as your organizing principle for the arbitration hearing. A properly developed theory of the case will provide guidance for every action—from investigating, interviewing, selecting witnesses, preparing an opening statement, selecting exhibits, examining witnesses, and preparing closing arguments.