Presentation on theme: " Your side’s version of “what really happened” Logical Fit the legal requirements of the claims or defenses Be simple to understand Be consistent."— Presentation transcript:
Your side’s version of “what really happened” Logical Fit the legal requirements of the claims or defenses Be simple to understand Be consistent with the jurors’ common sense and their perception of how real life works
Memorable word or phrase that summarizes your theory Emotionally compelling Incorporate jurors sense of fairness and universal truths Simple Focus on people, not issues Should translate “legalese” into simple, compelling, human propositions that are consistent with the attitudes jurors already hold about people, events, and life in general.
Libel/Slander case: Defense: Lukas Reiter was caught red-handed, and now he wants someone else to pay for his affair. Plaintiff: Richard McKyton made a jealous jump to conclusions. Murder/Self Defense case: Defense 1: With her back up against the wall and her roommate threatening to kill her, Ms. Hughes had run out of options. Prosecution 1: Pat Hughes took the law into her own hands. Defense 2: Facing death, Sarah Baker did what all living things are instinctively programmed to do…she defended herself. Counterfeit case – missing “other suspect”: Defense: Reggie Jefferson had the perfect cover: A trusting roommate with the same initials. Negligence: Defense: It is every driver’s worst nightmare. A small child darts into the road.
Tell a story Focus on the people, not the problem. Who are the important players? Personalize your party Make the story vivid. Re-create the incident. Make it emotional and dramatic KEEP IT SIMPLE. Be Logical and concise. Walk the jurors through the events in chronological order. Anticipate the other side’s weaknesses
Don’t overstate the evidence Don’t include your personal opinions Don’t argue -at least not in an obvious way
1. Introduction 2. Parties – introduce essential people 3. Scene – paint a picture for the jury 4. Issue – what is the main issue? 5. What happened – get the jury to believe your side of the story 6. Basis of guilt/non-guilt – why your side should win 7. Anticipating and refuting the other side 8. Conclusion - Simply and directly tell jury that facts of the case will support his/her side, and ask for a verdict.
1. Grabber beginning – quick summary of theme/theory that draws jurors in 2. Introduction – who are you and who do you represent? (or do this first) 3. Facts/Witnesses – Tell the story 1. Paint the scenes and introduce the players as they come up 4. Short close – return to/restate your theme 5. Charge the jury – tell them what you’re going to ask them to find