Our Focus: practical tools to evaluate and settle lawsuits.

Because the opinions that ultimately count the most in our civil justice system belong to the jurors, First Court has retained its focus on helping to evaluate and settle lawsuits based on the reactions of disinterested citizens. Although we work with experts in communication theory, the heart of our research and settlements has never been theory.  Instead, our process centers on real lawyers, real witnesses and real jurors.

We use our Midwest location to conduct private trials and mediations throughout the United States. In the last 25, years we have had the pleasure of working with great attorneys in some of the most urban and some of the most rural venues in the countryfrom New York City all the way to Vidalia, Louisiana.

Our Team: experienced, insightful & honest.

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Mike is an attorney, a mediator, and an expert jury consultant. Mike graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1985. He started his career at a prominent North Dakota insurance defense firm, and eventually went on to start his own law firm specializing in plaintiff's personal injury work. As a mediator, Mike has settled over 1,200 cases. Mike organized First Court in 1989. Over the years, First Court has run hundreds of mock trials in over 40 states. Mike excels at crafting a jury research projects to provide realistic, high-quality feedback on the most important issues in a case.

On the personal side, Mike ran for the United States Senate in 2004. Mike and his wife Julie have nine children, and live on a 500-acre ranch in beautiful western North Dakota.

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WILL GARDNER, Chief Information Officer

Will graduated from North Dakota State University with a B.S. in Education and Spanish, and a minor in Computer Science. He also has an MBA from the University of Phoenix. Will joined First Court in 2004 as a Webmaster, programmer, and graphic artist. 

Will manages a team of software developers and testers, whose projects have included First Court's exclusive private trial application, Vulcan Interactive, and First Court's reporting, private trial preparation, and juror management applications.

Will is active in the community as a board member for the Mandan Soccer Club, and is an active member of his church. He enjoys playing piano and writes music.

Ryan liffrig, Director of Operations


Ryan is an attorney, mediator, and jury consultant. Ryan attended Notre Dame then graduated from law school from Vanderbilt Law School. He worked for 6 years as an attorney representing businesses, schools, and individuals in Indianapolis before joining First Court. As an attorney, Ryan's practice included litigation, business advising, and IP work.

Ryan's focus with First Court is on creating, organizing, and analyzing excellent JuryReactions online jury research projects for our clients across the country.

Ryan lives in the Denver, Colorado, area with his wife and two young boys. Ryan enjoys outdoor activities of all sorts-from skiing to biking to rock climbing, and—more recently—building towers and tunnels with his two-year-old.

Our Story: small mediations to nationwide consulting.

Our company began in 1989 as the first mediation organization in North Dakota. Our founder, Mike Liffrig, was convinced he could use his law degree and litigation knowledge to save time, money and stress for the people caught up in lawsuits.

We built a private courtroom in Houston in the 90s. Soon we were working with great lawyers from all over the nation. First Court has now evaluated and resolved lawsuits in over 40 states.

We aim to become America's most trustworthy, creative and efficient dispute resolution organization.

 First Court has worked in over 40 states

First Court has worked in over 40 states