SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR TRIAL

 I have found the website for The Jury Expert http://www.thejuryexpert.com/ to be a source of helpful information.  In an article critical of the “reptile” approach to trial there was a discussion about seven tips  for creating the motivating story I thought particularly helpful http://www.thejuryexpert.com/2010/05/atticus-finch-would-not-approvewhy-a-courtroom-full-of-reptiles-is-a-bad-idea/ Here is a summary of the suggestions:

  1. As you  prepare the case always ask yourself: “What is this story really about?”  it is more then simply your client’s case and injury. What is the underlying issue that will appeal to the jury?
  2. A story is always about conflict. You need the protagonist and antagonist with events that appeal to intellectually and emotional meaning
  3. The  story must be about change. The  jury must see the change you want to create.
  4. The story must have a good ending. The jury must abandon the negative, skeptical frame of mind for one that wants to do something positive
  5. The message must be about a change they can accomplish that is meaningful to the jury
  6. The jury must identify with the little guy, the underdog and the hero of the story who is your client
  7. Test your story with people and groups. Learn whether it works or not by testing and focus studies.

From  the same website I read advice for a witness I thought was very helpful.  The suggestion was the witness should pause and breathe before answering the question. It only takes a second or two but it:

  1. It gives  the witness a moment to think about the question being asked
  2. It allows the witness to think about  the answer before saying anything
  3. It provides time for the lawyer to object
  4. It controls  the pace of the questioning
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