Some more communication rules to consider

Some more communication rules to consider

Here are some more very basic concepts about good communication. There is nothing profound here, but thoughts that we need to remind ourselves about as it is easy to fall back into "lawyer" thinking and talking.


 Think like a juror. What is it the person in the jury box really wants to know? They want to know the answer to some of these questions they are asking themselves

  • What happened?

  • What does the plaintiff say

  • What’s the defense?

  • What does the plaintiff want?

  • Who is paying?

  • What’s the money for?

  • What will the money be for?

As the trial progresses, the jurors will have questions. While they will have questions for witnesses they can submit to the judge, they also have questions about issues in the case. Try to put yourself in their shoes and provide information they would probably want to know.


A theme as used in a lawsuit is not finding some catchy phrase about your case. Themes are not really words at all. Instead, a theme is the underlying and compelling issue that drives your case in the minds of the jury. The words you use should describe that issue, unifying image, idea or concept which the jurors will accept and use to remind themselves what the story is all about.

For example, here are some themes which capture the underlying compelling issue in the case:Tobacco: "legal product, illegally sold

  • Many warnings, long ignored

  • Too busy, too big

  • Not what she has, but what she lost

  • It’s all about what they revealed & what they concealed

The jurors began to identify the underlying issue in their minds as the information is presented. It will depend upon their value system and their significant personal experiences, but experts are almost unanimous that listeners will determine what the theme is very quickly and very little will change it once done.

A theme is each juror’s private compass pointing to the direction. Juror’s deliberate in themes. We need to fix the jury’s attention on the idea, image or concept of what the real issues are and what the case is really all about, while they listen to the story unfold, because your case will always have a theme in the mind of each person whether you offer one or not.

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