Trial Guides congratulates Indiana attorney Michael J. Stapleton for his recent success in obtaining a $10 million verdict for his client, who suffered a traumatic brain injury after being attacked in the parking lot of a local bar. Stapleton credited the lessons he learned from Keith Mitnik’s Don’t Eat the Bruises for the outcome:
“I have been a trial lawyer for over forty years. For the past fifteen, I’ve used an outline for jury selection I have developed, and enjoyed, that employs many principles from David Ball and Reptile. Earlier this year, a trusted trial consultant insisted I read Keith Mitnik’s book, Don’t Eat the Bruises, before my next trial. It forever changed my approach to jury selection.
I went all in with Mitnik’s system during my next trial. It was a challenging TBI case against a sports bar for lack of security, brought by a patron who was beaten by another patron. After first educating the jurors about the power of bias in a non-judicial situation, the jurors quickly engaged and made it much easier to identify biased panelists. Mitnik’s questioning technique makes it nearly impossible for defense counsel or the judge to rehabilitate the jurors after grounds for cause were established. Seven of the first thirteen jurors were dismissed for cause.
In opening statement, we confronted our bad facts, used them to our advantage, or ‘put them in context,’ as Mitnik advises. It completely deflated the bad facts the defense planned on using against the plaintiff.
The jury returned a verdict of $10 million, the exact amount we requested in both opening statement and closing argument. Don’t Eat The Bruises may be the best book on trial technique and strategy for plaintiff lawyers that I have ever read.”
—Michael J. Stapleton, rated AV Preeminent by Martindale Hubbel, fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers
to discover the lessons Stapleton learned and more with your own
copy of Don't Eat the Bruises and Mitnik's companion lecture, Winning at the
Winning at the Beginning
By Keith Mitnik
On disc one, Keith guides the listener through identifying and curtailing jury bias during voir dire. Using stories from his own cases, he gives a three-step process that involves educating jurors, identifying those with bias, and asking the right questions to establish grounds for cause challenges. On disc two, he confronts opening statement, providing three alternatives to eating the defense’s favored facts at the very beginning of the case: eliminating them, owning them, or putting them into your own positive context. He also lectures on the power of word choice, offers analogies that will help jurors put themselves in a client’s shoes, and demonstrates the importance of common sense versus coincidence.
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