Over the course of their careers, Nicholas Rowley, Courtney Rowley, and Dr. Wendy Saxon have worked on over a thousand jury trials and obtained over a billion dollars in settlements and verdicts. In Voir Dire & Opening Statement, they use annotated excerpts of successful voir dire transcripts and opening statements to teach you the tools they use to win just outcomes for their clients.
In part one of their book, Nicholas Rowley and Courtney Rowley provide insights and strategies for successfully selecting the best jury for your client’s case. They address how they deal with their own fears and trepidations, and challenge preconceived ideas about how to connect with and empower each juror to deliver a just verdict. You will learn how to put important case issues front and center in voir dire, and how to get potential jurors to excuse themselves for cause on an inability to be fair and impartial.
In part two, Dr. Wendy Saxon discusses practical strategies for understanding small group dynamics and juror body language, collecting and disseminating personal information, and identifying jurors who will be good for your case. Dr. Saxon examines juror questionnaires and courtroom worksheets and shows how you can use them to identify bias and ways to structure them to help avoid objections from the defense and judge. Dr. Saxon offers strategies for selecting jurors when you are not allowed voir dire at all, and for when you are severely limited on time. She also discusses perspectives and scenarios on juror rehabilitation and offers a fully annotated jury questionnaire that is included in the appendix.
In part three, Nicholas Rowley and Courtney Rowley teach the Trial by Human approach to creating and delivering a winning opening statement. They discuss identifying your theme, being brutally honest about the good-bad-ugly of your case, simplifying complex terminology, using visuals and the importance of telling a story that jurors can visualize, sequencing your opening to capture jurors’ attention, bringing noneconomic damages to life, using jury instructions to discuss damages, dealing with objections, addressing expert testimony, how to effectively follow your opening statement with your first witness, and building credibility to further develop the human connections you need to win. The authors also provide annotated excerpts from successful opening statements to demonstrate how you can start applying their lessons to your next case.
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1 Being Brutally Honest with Yourself
2 Making Your Cases Personal
Part 1 Voir Dire: Trial by Human
3 Connecting with Jurors
4 A Fair Fight
5 Talking about Money
6 Shifting Noneconomic Damages from Grief into Celebration
7 The Line between Preconditioning and Discovering Biases
Part 2 Voir Dire: Selecting Jurors Wisely
8 Setting the Stage
9 Understanding Small-Group Dynamics
10 Understanding Body Language
11 Using Jury Questionnaires
12 Maximizing the Courtroom Worksheet
13 Lessons from the Dark Side
14 Selecting Jurors with Brief or No Voir Dire
15 Dealing with Improperly Denied Cause Challenges
Part 3 Opening Statement: Trial by Human
16 Your Toolbox
17 Sequencing Your Story
18 Bringing the Story to Life
19 Destroying the Defense(s)
Appendix A: Jury Questionnaire
About the Authors
What Legal Leaders Are Saying
— Rick Friedman, past president of the Inner Circle of Advocates and coauthor of Rules of the Road: A Plaintiff’s Guide to Proving Liability
A far-ranging discussion of voir dire and opening statement by three of the most accomplished experts on modern trial practice. Stimulating ideas in every chapter.