Latest from A Winning Tip

Trials would be so much easier if you didn’t have to deal with jurors. Jurors wander off mentally during your most crucial testimony, they’re distracted by a lawyer’s mannerisms, they’re irritated by an expert’s vocal tone, they disapprove of a witness’ attitude. Jurors misunderstand the law, making it up as they go along.  Jurors impose their own version of what’s right or wrong, what’s negligence, what should be the standard – be it of care,…
 What frequently occurs as you prepare your witness (usually the client) for deposition or trial, is a resounding “That’s a lie!” to your best attempt to replicate what will be opposing counsel’s “Isn’t it true…” questions. For all that it may be highly satisfying for said witness to roar “Lie!” it is not good juror strategy. Jurors are best persuaded when they come to the “Lie” conclusion on their own. Encourage your witness to respond…
 If plaintiff’s counsel’s task is to make sure the client/witness doesn’t alienate jurors with a purely “they done me wrong” victim mentality, defense’s is different. “Don’t whine” might be better stated “Don’t defend,” which is mightily challenging for defendants on the stand, who generally believe they are unjustly accused. Yet the defendant who argues with opposing counsel, whose testimony is a litany of “Yes, buts” and who attempts to evade plaintiff’s counsel’s most basic questions,…
When your primary witness is the plaintiff, said witness is likely to complain on the stand, elaborating a litany of  “He/she/they done me wrong.” Perfectly understandable; why else would your client have brought suit? However, to juror ears, an unending stream of complaints sounds like whining, and jurors don’t like whiners. Jurors prefer people who, despite their misfortunes, are valiant, are giving their lives the best shot they can. No, your plaintiff client needn’t stiff-upper-lip…
Faced with a number of options as jurors are when deliberating a verdict, people will often make decisions by translating each option into how they would feel emotionally about the anticipated outcome. The option that yields the most preferred emotional outcome is more likely to be chosen. For example, improving safety is both a practical and moral action. Any verdict that encourages companies to improve safety feels good. The thinking goes roughly like this: “If…
Most lawyers, when they prepare witnesses to testify, are understandably focused on the key substantive issues. They want to make sure the witness remembers important points. Great! But in so doing, lawyers often rely on their prepared questions, leaving little or no room for information not elicited by the lawyer’s direct questions. As I prepare witnesses to testify, they disclose unexpected information that I then present to the lawyer–often to his/her surprise. Frequently this information…
GenXers are getting older. They are the generation bumping up against the Boomers who are slowly but surely on their way out. Which means you are seeing more of them in the jury box – individuals born between roughly 1961 and 1981, who are now in their late 30’s to mid 50’s. They are no longer entry-level hires, they’ve moved up into managerial or supervisor ranks, or commonly, headed off into entrepreneurial ventures of all…
In the political world, character has been a subject of considerable interest over the past year. In the trial world, this is nothing new. An attorney’s character is always a subject of interest to jurors. The more you exhibit sound moral character, the more favor you are likely to find with the jurors. Behaviors that are characteristically interpreted as evidence of sound moral character include the following:        1. Be professional toward opposing counsel. Don’t stoop…