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A successful lawyer is one who knows how to persuade jurors, that much is obvious. What is less obvious is that jurors are persuaded on several different levels. One level that is often ignored is the difference levels in how we each perceive information, our unique perceptual modes. An individual’s perceptual mode determines the primary way that individual perceives events and situations: we see it, hear it or feel it. That is not to say…
Some of your clients will have considerable experience with attorneys, for others, you may be the first attorney they’ve ever contacted. Your corporate clients probably have a good idea of how and for what you charge, your first-timers and private individuals won’t. Since one of the most common client complaints is what the client considers un-necessary or excessive charges, it’s best to have an explanation of your fees and various expenses early on, otherwise you…
It is often tempting to rip into opposing counsel, or disparage his/her client in emotionally charged vitriolic words, yet such an approach rarely wins over jurors. Sure, you have the shock value of a momentary deer-in-the-headlights stunned witness or a knee-jerk angry riposte from opposing counsel, but in the long run, that’s not what convinces jurors. Jury studies systematically show that jurors tend to be highly critical and disapproving of such tactics. One time during…
Even though your new clients have sufficient faith in your abilities to put their matter in your hands, trust–the bedrock of a working relationship with any client–must still be earned. When a new client walks in your door, your inclination may be to see another problem to be solved, another fee to garner and to forget the human being behind the case. Your client, whether a Fortune 500 CEO or a grieving widow, is a…
Dictionary.com 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 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…
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. https://amzn.to/2J5sd87
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…
Generally speaking, judges and arbitrators are less susceptible to emotion and vagaries of human drama than they are to the facts of the case–the logic that must underpin and support your arguments. Although the following are useful tips in any courtroom setting, they are particularly important in giving you the edge in bench trials and arbitration.             1. Get to the point. Craft a beginning statement that summarizes your position. Then follow with the three…
Photo: Karen Neoh Trials are often minefields, with bombs (whether large or small) exploding in your case just when you thought all was going smoothly. Your witnesses blunder, get trapped by opposing counsel, judges make decisions unfavorable to your case, etc. But here’s the thing: no matter what is going on, you can’t let jurors know that things aren’t still going your way. And the most common way you let on, is by reacting with…