Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Use Analogies to Facilitate Juror Identification defines an analogy as “a comparison between two things, typically for the purpose of explanation or clarification,” which is the very thing that makes analogies so powerful in persuading jurors. Your jurors come from a variety of life experiences, and may not have a clear understanding or ability to relate emotionally to a given issue of key importance to your case. An analogy is an efficient and effective way to accomplish that. For example, the critical importance of cooperation on a surgical team may be compared to that on a baseball team. However, analogies only persuade under certain conditions.

1. Make sure your analogy suits your jury. If your jury is young, analogies from the Depression or WWII will not only fail to have the desired impact, they may bore your jurors. Not good. If your jury is primarily female, sports-oriented analogies should be used sparingly. Respect the life-experience of your jurors (most often revealed through juror occupations), and tailor your analogies accordingly.

2. Make sure your analogy is accurate. If it isn’t 100% accurate, opposing counsel will be quick to turn your analogy against you.

3. Avoid overstatement. An analogy is persuasive only if it is backed up by your facts. When you seek emotional connection with the jurors without paying sufficient attention to the logic underpinning your analogy, you lose credibility.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Your Interpreter Is A Plus at Trial; Use Accordingly!

The need for an interpreter at trial can often seem like just one more of those annoying administrative details of which you have already entirely too many. And yet, an interpreter can make all the difference between your witness being able to give persuasive testimony, and not-so-convincing testimony.

Effective interpreting is not about mere translation of the words! A good interpreter will convey the tone, emphasis, and nuances of your witness’ communication, all of which weigh heavily in how jurors will receive the message.

Therefore, prepare your witness with the interpreter present, whenever possible. Learn to work with the interpreter. You are no longer a solo flier; you are now working in tandem with your interpreter, as well as the witness. Best to prepare accordingly!

Be sensitive to cultural issues. Different cultures respond to being questioned in different ways. Your interpreter can help you frame your questions such that you elicit the best possible testimony from your witness.

Friday, June 1, 2018

How to Give a Good Deposition and Testify Well in Court – Now Available for Download

How to Give a Good Deposition and Testify Well in Court – now available for download through Amazon. This acclaimed video provides practical step-by-step techniques and role-play demonstrations to show clients how to prepare themselves for depositions and court testimony. It is most useful to clients when paired with "101 Winning Tips"—a quick-reference online companion booklet, also available at Amazon.

A Case Clincher Question: “Tell me more!”

Although time-consuming, and therefore considered onerous by many attorneys, open-ended questions asked during client interviews can often give you “case-clincher” nuggets.

For example, in the course of asking a client open-ended questions about how she claimed a poorly executed knee surgery had affected her life, resulting in one leg being an inch shorter than the other, the client made predictable statements such as; “I can’t walk for more than 10 minutes at a time. I limp. I have to have special shoes made.” The attorney asked, almost offhand, thinking the interview was over, “Anything else?” and his client blurted out “I can’t carry my baby.” Her “baby” statement became the clincher that won a far greater award than would otherwise have occurred, according to post-trial juror questioning.

A great reason to ask “Anything else?” or to inquire, “Tell me more,” and to listen carefully!