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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 […]

What Are the Benefits of Conducting Jury Research Early in the Case?

While sitting around the dinner table after a recent case resolved, the lead trial counsel said, “You know, the only regret I have is not doing the jury research earlier.”  To his credit, the firm was only brought in on the case seven weeks before jury selection, but he was definitely on to something.  In […]

How Do I Connect with Jurors? The Role of Juror Analysis in Persuasion

Everyone knows that it is good trial strategy to connect with jurors and avoid alienating them, right?  But sometimes, in our eagerness to advance aspects of our case, we don’t think of how some of our words and actions are perceived by jurors. In our over 20 years of talking with jurors in post-trial interviews […]

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 […]

Effective Witness Preparation, Miss America, and the Essence of Communication

When talking to witnesses at the start of our witness preparation sessions, we always tell them that the lessons learned in the process will help them communicate beyond the courtroom and into their everyday and business lives. That is, the themes and strategies necessary to be an effective witness translate directly into the workplace, in […]

How To Help a Jury Understand Complex Litigation

We hear this quite a bit from our clients. An attorney, when introducing us to his pending complex litigation matter, tells us upfront, “This is a complicated case.” It’s code for, “I don’t think jurors will understand this case.” We hear it again in opening statements: “This is a complicated case.” So now, the attorney […]

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