TELL A SIMPLE STORY
The National Law Journal publishes articles about lawyers who have won substantial cases with their advice about trying the case. One case involved attorney Roman Silberfeld who represented a plaintiff involved in the TV show Who Wants to be a Millionare? His corporate client claimed it was due $250 Million under a profit sharing agreement. The suit claimed that Disney entities and others involved in the venture had pocketed profits and claimed, under the agreement, the arrangement with his client actually lost money. The main issue was the contract that had been signed.
The article says that out of the thousands of documents, Silberfeld reduced the number to what he saw as the ten most important documents in the case. He says:
“Everyone of those documents was blown up on storyboards and television screens around the courtroom. Each one was put in a binder that the jurors had in front of them.
Most of the witnesses were called from Disney. The verdict was $269 Million plus $50 million in prejudgment interest. The lawyer’s advice was:
- Tell a simple story
- Make sure you don’s lose credibility with the judge or jury
- Treat witnesss with respect
- Don’t overwhelm the jury. use no more then 10 – 15 key documents
This seems to me to be excellent advice for all of us.