The following article is adapted from Carl Bettinger’s Twelve Heroes, One Voice: Guiding Jurors to Courageous Verdicts.
All too often, the question “What is your case about?” is met with responses filled with jargon, medical terms, and professional indifference:
“It’s a med-mal case for failure to diagnose breast cancer.”
“It’s a birth-injury case with CP.”
“My client is charged with being a felon in possession.”
We choose this language because it contains familiar shorthand that other attorneys will understand. But our courtroom audience is not a sophisticated legal audience; it’s a mishmash of teachers and tech writers, grandparents and grad students: people for whom common courtroom terms like plaintiff and defendant are often intimidating and ambiguous.
Today's jurors are bombarded with media images of handsome and sexy lawyers, heroically solving crimes and winning in the courtroom. In reality, the courtroom is nothing like TV's "win in a 60-minute episode" format, but your performance can be just as appealing, passionate, and valiant.
From David Ball's theatrical background comes Theater Tips and Strategies for Jury Trials, a practical guide to improve your performance in the courtroom.
Eric Oliver has consulted trial lawyers for 25 years. The verdict: he knows what wins. Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame member, and Past President of the Inner Circle of Advocates, Paul Luvera, notes "Eric Oliver is the Babe Ruth of legal communications field. I buy, read, and put into action every book he writes and every article he publishes."
Trial Guides is proud to release Eric Oliver's newest book, Persuasive Communication: Twenty-five Years of Teaching Lawyers. This book collects the best of Eric's wisdom, laying out usable techniques and strategies that can be utilized in intake, deposition, mediation, trial and anywhere in between. Each topic the book covers is filled with useful nuggets that can be immediately implemented.
Inner Circle of Advocates member Jim Perdue's second book for trial lawyers, I Remember Atticus: Inspiring Stories Every Trial Lawyer Should Know, reminds you of the qualities of faith, freedom, equality, courage, and perseverance that exemplify the American spirit and embody our justice system.
I Remember Atticus is more than a collection of inspiring stories. It is also an indispensable resource for the trial lawyer seeking more effective persuasion techniques. Perdue gives generously of his wealth of trial experience to show how novices and veterans alike may use our core values for practical advocacy. He does so in a way that entertains, informs, and inspires.
In Winning with Stories, trial lawyer Jim Perdue analyzes narrative elements in detail, showing how to craft a story with a strong beginning, memorable scenes, believable characters, a logical plot, vivid action, and a moving conclusion. Beyond this, Perdue demonstrates how to tell the story to maximum effect, with concepts as broad as giving soul to the story, and as specific as what the speaker should wear.