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Why Storytelling is Your Best Defense

The Problem As we know all too well, plaintiffs often have a ready-made underdog tale in civil trials:  David (their client) against Goliath (your client).  And nobody roots for Goliath. That’s strike one against you, before you even start.  Add in the fact that many jurors assume your client must have done something wrong if […]

How Do I Get Jurors to Remember My Themes?

We’ve explained the importance of creating memorable themes in previous blog posts, and we’ve provided tips for how to connect the evidence in the case to your trial themes, but how do you get jurors to actually remember your themes and recite them during deliberations to advocate for your client’s position?  While some tactics may […]

How to Best Connect Trial Evidence and Witness Testimony to Case Themes

It is not unusual to hear questions or comments similar to the following from a member of a trial team.  “I get all this about ‘themes’ and, of course, we have them, but what do they have to do with all the evidence we need to get in and the witness testimony we have?” Such […]

Communicating Your Themes: Do I Have to Say My Case Themes Out Loud?

When talking with trial teams, one question we sometimes hear is, “Do I really need to say those words – to really say my themes out loud?” And the answer is: Yes. You really do need to say the themes – the same words over and over again – if you want them to be […]

How Long Should Opening Statements in a Trial Last?

In a recent article, we explored how long closing arguments should be (hint: the shorter the better).  Yet almost just as often as we are asked how long a closing should be, we are asked how long an opening statement should last.  This answer is a little different.  First, though, let’s take a look at […]

How Long Should Closing Arguments Last in a Trial?

Toward the end of a grueling, contentious, four-month-long insurance coverage trial, I was summoned to the courtroom by the trial team. They were in the midst of a conference with the judge and the other side, addressing the logistics of closings. “The other side wants to close for an entire day. Should we give it […]

The Closing Argument: Telling the Future, Not the Past

 Tell ’em what you’re going to tell ’em; Tell ’em; Tell ’em what you told them; Sit Down.  — an old trial truism that isn’t very true Let me tell you a story: One fine day, The Three Bears sat down to eat breakfast.  But their porridge was too hot, so they decided to go […]

Using The Story: The Importance Of Developing Memorable Themes

Why Themes are Important In our last Insights, we discussed how the way humans think in narratives affects jurors’ acceptance or rejection of a case at trial, and how to structure your case story to better comport with natural, human thinking.  In this issue, we explore the importance of using themes to convey information, given […]