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Paul J. ScopturBoardwalk 2009 Paul J. Scoptur Milwaukee, Wisconsin Effective Communication: Words That Work.

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Presentation on theme: "Paul J. ScopturBoardwalk 2009 Paul J. Scoptur Milwaukee, Wisconsin Effective Communication: Words That Work."— Presentation transcript:

1 Paul J. ScopturBoardwalk 2009 Paul J. Scoptur Milwaukee, Wisconsin Effective Communication: Words That Work

2 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009

3 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009

4 Paul J. ScopturBoardwalk 2009 It’s Not What You Say It’s What People Hear

5 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rules for Effective Communications

6 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #1: KISS  Simplicity is good  Use small words  John Kerry: “a bold progressive internationalism that stands in stark contrast to the too often belligerent and myopic unilateralism of the Bush Administration”

7 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #1: KISS  Simple and plain is more understandable  Don’t talk like lawyer

8 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #1: KISS  Mac vs Macintosh  Fed Ex vs Federal Express  IBM vs International Business Machines  ATLA vs Association of Trial Lawyers of America  KFC vs Kentucky Fried Chicken  DQ vs Dairy Queen

9 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #1: KISS  Preponderance of the evidence vs. more likely right than wrong  The greater weight of the credible evidence vs. more likely right than wrong  Deviation from the standard of care vs. not following the rules

10 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #2: Use Short Sentences  Brevity is good  “Just Do It”  “I Like Ike”  “JFK, All The Way”  Use images to convey words  When setting out Rules, simple is good, complex is bad  Cross exam: one fact, one question

11 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009

12 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #3: Establish Credibility  Credibility of both you and your client  Credibility is as important as your message  People have to believe you to buy your message  The words you use become you and you become the words you use

13 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #3: Establish Credibility

14 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #3: Establish Credibility

15 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #3: Establish Credibility  “I actually did vote for the $87 billion dollars for the war before I voted against it”  “I invented the Internet”  Say what you mean and mean what you say

16 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #3: Establish Credibility  Personality is important  Smile appropriately Studies show your message is 80% more receptive if you smile  Body language/open posture  Demeanor Avoid “lawyer man/lawyer woman” behavior  Dress Ditch the Rolex and Armani suit  Website Positive messages

17 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #3: Establish Credibility  Create positive messages The plaintiff is deserving The plaintiff has accepted responsibility The plaintiff has tried, has a job The plaintiff has already paid with her health  Exhibit a friendly demeanor/humanize yourself and your client Treat everyone in the deposition and courtroom with respect

18 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #3: Establish Credibility

19 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #4: Be Consistent  Repetition, Repetition, Repetition  Create a theme and stick with it

20 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #4: Be Consistent  Jurors develop a trial story based on what you give them  If you are not consistent with your story, they will adopt the defense trial story

21 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #5: Be Novel, Be Different  New definitions for old ideas  Reframe your case  Use terms that are plaintiff friendly

22 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #5: Be Novel, Be Different  Team approach  Second opinion  Complementary medicine  Collision  Payment for health  Excuses  Non-surgical back/neck injury  Choices  Harms & losses  Run up bills  Doctor shopping  Chiropractic and massage therapy  Accident  Compensation  Defenses  Soft tissue  Failures  Pain & Suffering

23 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #6: Sound and Texture Matter

24 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #6: Sound and Texture Matter

25 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #6: Sound and Texture Matter  Katherine & Alan  Rule of Threes  Yabba, Dabba, Doo  Snap, Crackle and Pop  Use words that convey texture and sound

26 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #7: Make the Case Bigger  Make the case bigger than just one client so the jury feels they are deciding something important  Focus on the industry, not the event  Tell the jury it’s about big medicine, big business, big nursing home chains  It’s about everyone’s safety  Framing the case around the industry makes jurors think it can happen to them  Use words to create that frame

27 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #8: Use Visuals

28 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #8: Use Visuals

29 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #8: Use Visuals  Words need to paint a picture  “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand”  Create visuals with your words  “Two Americas…”  55% of meaning comes from non-verbal sources, 38% tone & voice, 7% words  Visual beats tone and voice and tone and voice beats words  Source: Mehrabian, Albert Nonverbal Communication New York: Aldine, 1972

30 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #8: Use Visuals  Visuals need to be “compared to what”

31 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Case Study: Failure to Diagnose Cardiomegaly  X-ray of heart  Plaintiff expert says heart is enlarged  Defense expert says: Heart is not that big

32 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Normal Heart Compared to what

33 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Patient’s Heart Normal Heart Compared to what

34 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Case Study: Construction Accident  Trench collapse  Serious leg fracture  Goal: Plaintiff can’t be a construction worker – will lose money  Defense Goal: Leg will heal. Plaintiff will go back to construction work after lawsuit is over!

35 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Compared to what

36 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Compared to what

37 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Case Study: Failure to Diagnose Shoulder Dislocation  Fall, broken arm  Undiagnosed shoulder dislocation  2 1/2 month delay  Defense Goal: Dislocation hard to see, shoulder is fine

38 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Compared to what Normal JointDislocated ShoulderArtificial Joint

39 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #9: Ask Questions

40 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #9: Ask Questions

41 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #9: Ask Questions

42 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #9: Ask Questions

43 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #9: Ask Questions Ask rhetorical questions  The doctor made choices. What kind of choices were they?  The driver didn’t stop. Why not?  Don’t tell the jurors the answer: let them come to the right answer on their own

44 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #10: Explain  Give people the “why” before you tell them the “therefore”  Explain, but let the jury conclude on their own  Jurors resist being told what to think  Use common sense to sell your issues  Common sense = Rules  If you own common sense, you are unassailable

45 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #10: Explain

46 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #10: Explain

47 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #11: Sequence  The order in which the words are presented affects how the words are perceived  Sequence creates the meaning  Present the conduct and choices of the defendant first  Availability bias

48 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #11: Sequence  Carrie is intelligent, industrious, impulsive, critical, stubborn and envious  Carrie is envious, stubborn, critical, impulsive, industrious and intelligent  Carrie is rated more positively when described with the positive traits first

49 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #12: Use Words to Frame  42% feel we are spending too much on welfare  68% feel we are spending too little on assistance to the poor  55% believe that ER care should not be given to illegal aliens  38% believe that ER care should be denied to illegal aliens  Gambling vs gaming  Drilling for oil vs exploring for energy  Death tax vs Estate tax

50 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Rule #12: Use Themes to Frame  Use themes to frame the case  “A car is a weapon”  “Just because the daughter is there doesn’t mean she deserves lesser care”  “When Dr. Sutherland agreed to be her doctor, he agreed to do the job 100%”

51 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Words for the 21st Century  Imagine  Invites the jury to take ownership of the verdict  Hassle free  Eliminates complexity  Accountability  Even conservatives embrace this concept  Rules and Rights  Rights, Rules, Standards are essential

52 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Words for the 21st Century  Independence  A unique lifestyle  To do what you want, when you want  Peace of mind  Means security  Financial, family, job

53 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Words for the 21st Century  Future  Goals  Hope  Family  Enjoy  Life experiences

54 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Final Rule: Speak Inspirationally  Your message needs to say what people want to hear  Focus groups tell us that  People may forget what you say but they won’t forget how you make them feel  Tell me the facts and I’ll know the truth, tell me a story and I’ll remember it forever  Humanization: words apply to a human condition  Personalization: Jurors relate the language to their own life experiences

55 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Final Rule: Speak Inspirationally

56 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Final Rule: Speak Inspirationally

57 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Final Rule: Speak Inspirationally

58 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 Final Rule: Speak Inspirationally

59 Paul J. ScopturBoardwalk 2009 Thank you

60 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009

61 Paul J. Scoptur Boardwalk 2009 “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”


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