By Helping Attorneys Win in Trial, Rick Kraemer and His Company Executive Presentations Have Won the Loyalty of California’s Leading Attorneys.
Chances are that you know Rick Kraemer. Even if the name sounds only vaguely familiar, you’ll likely recall the affable gentleman outfitted in a bowtie taking your photo at events hosted by ABOTA, Consumer Attorneys of California, or the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel. You will even recall that after he took your photo, he actually ensured that you received a copy. That’s Rick’s style; he’s charismatic, attentive to detail, competitive and a stickler for delivering on promises, all traits which have helped earn him the respect and loyalty of attorneys throughout Southern California.
Kraemer credits his Midwestern upbringing, which included working on his family’s farm, with initially teaching him the personal rewards and value that result from hard work. His competitive nature revealed itself as he grew older and was a champion on his high school wrestling team. Today, Kraemer continues to rely on his work ethic and his competitive streak as the C.E.O. of Executive Presentations, a complete trial services company based in Los Angeles since 1986. Moreover, thanks in part to his team of trial technicians, video directors, graphics design consultants, photographers and production engineers at Executive Presentations, Kraemer is now affectionately known to those who’ve relied on his company’s trial presentations as “The Man with the Billion Dollar Boards.”
Kraemer is quick to declare that “I’m a business and marketing guy,” he says. “I’m a strategizer by nature, and I always look at the big picture,” he adds. These skills would serve him well as years progressed, and would eventually lead to terrific success in a field he never set out to conquer. All the same, Kraemer positioned himself to helm the trial presentation company that would help attorneys like Brian Panish and Michael Piuze to win trial verdicts of more than $1Billion, as in the cases of Anderson v. GM and Boeken v. Philip Morris. Panish says, “Executive Presentations, the Best in the West, always delivers. Whether in Bakersfield, San Diego, Long Beach, El Centro, Hayward or downtown LA—EP’s contribution is always a factor in our success.” His team’s multimedia presentations would also help Girardi & Keese to reach a settlement of $4.85 Billion on behalf of consumers injured by the drug Vioxx.
Yet his beginnings were much humbler. Kraemer, who holds a B.A in Business Administration and a Masters in Marketing/Management, began his career in sales. But things changed quickly when in 1981 Kraemer left Xerox to help form a company that developed computer graphics presentation systems. “Everything was being done manually. We did it electronically, even though the equipment was obviously rudimentary at the time,” he chuckles. However rudimentary it was, Kraemer sold a system to the US Senate which was used in the Oliver North Iran-Contra Hearings. “We were on the forefront in selling presentations to banks and corporations,” he explains. Unfortunately, a failed public offering led to the dissolution of the company.
However, this proverbial cloud turned out to have a silver lining, as Kraemer’s experience working with high level corporate executives allowed him to seamlessly “dovetail into the upper echelon of the legal community,” when it became clear that there was a “pressing need for ways to present information in the legal community.” As a result, in 1986, Kraemer saw the perfect opportunity to utilize his business, marketing and sales skills in the largest court system in the country and relocated to Los Angeles. Utilizing the computer graphics systems he had helped to develop, he formed Executive Presentations to provide trial services to Southern California Lawyers. He also formulated a subtle but powerful motto that remains to this day: EP Delivers.
Today, 27 years after Kraemer first opened the doors of Executive Presentations in Los Angeles, things are of course very different. However, one thing has remained consistent: Kraemer’s inherent understanding of how people absorb information and, more importantly, why they buy what they buy. To him, the value of subliminal messaging cannot and should not be underscored. “You find a way for people—juries—to buy, not to be sold,” he says. Of course, successful sales—even to juries—traditionally depend upon successful marketing strategies, which is precisely where Executive Presentations has placed their focus.
“It is very easy to make legal arguments and concepts complex; the trick is making them simple and understandable for the jury,” Kraemer explains. “That’s where Executive Presentations has been so successful.”
“We are unique in our collaborative approach to trials. We develop multimedia presentations all under one roof with our experienced and highly trained staff of 25 employees. When clients turn to us, they know that their needs will be met, as our services are all prepared in-house. The trial, video and graphic departments work interactively to determine the best method of presenting pertinent information and case material,” Kraemer says.
Clearly, “jurors have come to expect multimedia presentations that run without fail in the courtroom. To be effective, information has to be distilled so that it can be understood very quickly,” Kraemer continues. That’s exactly what Kraemer’s team does, and to date has created trial presentations used in more than 10,000 cases. Although technology has changed, the process by which Kraemer and his team receive the necessary information from attorneys has remained the same.
Executive Presentations’ work often begins with a personal phone call to Kraemer from an attorney, such as was the case on New Year’s Eve 2010, when he received a personal call from Isaac Larian, president of MGA. Larian had just hired Jennifer Keller to lead his trial team for the high stakes retrial of Mattel v. MGA (aka “Barbie v. Bratz”). Although the bet-the-company case required massive amounts of preparation, Executive Presentations responded with their characteristic innovation, helping Keller and MGA to ultimately be awarded a reversal of more than $300 Million. Not surprisingly, Keller would later remark “All of the EP people were consummate professionals.”
“We meet with the attorneys to determine their presentation needs. We formulate a plan and a budget which may include graphics, video, and a trial team,” says Kraemer. Then it’s up to EP’s staff to develop a presentation strategy that “engages and persuades the jury,” he says.
As far as the future of Executive Presentations is concerned, Kraemer intends to continue doing what has proven so valuable to his clients: provide persuasive trial presentations that enhance the client’s case.
Yet in looking back, it is plain to see that trying to determine whether it has been Kraemer’s subtle competitive streak, unwavering follow-through, or the delivery of the “billion dollar boards” his team creates, that has been responsible for the company’s reputation is, frankly, an exercise in futility. To Kraemer, they’re just parts of the greater whole. “We’re not practicing at this,” Kraemer says. “We aren’t a start up, we have the experience, and we are in this for the long haul.”
And that long haul extends far beyond the creation of graphics and videos. Kraemer’s friendly demeanor and natural abilities with a camera have allowed him to get to know the Southern California legal community on a personal level, an added perk he’s realized as the result of hard work. Attorneys, judges and organizations have come to look to Kraemer and his team for advice and guidance on matters beyond the legal services Executive Presentations provides. Many consider Rick a close personal friend, and he is often at family events and holiday parties.
With a track record such as Kraemer’s -which included his assistance to Stephen J. Estey, Esq., Michael Bomberger, Esq. and Donald J. Beck, Esq. in obtaining a $23 million dollar verdict last month for a sexual molestation victim from Los Angeles Unified School District- it’s no wonder that clients rave about the work of Executive Presentations.
And for those who have any doubt remaining, take it from Girardi & Keese Partner Tom Girardi who says, “It’s legal malpractice NOT to use Executive Presentations.”
Executive Presentations | www.epdelivers.com
email@example.com | 213.480.1644 | 800.350.9944
Filed Under: Featured Stories
About the Author: Jennifer Hadley is a Staff Writer for Attorney Journal