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Mitch Jackson
owner

General Discussion  - 
 
I'm sharing one of my favorite trial lawyer tips today on Periscope (live mobile video) at 5:30 pm ET today. Join me :-)

Download the app on your smartphone and look for link here http://twitter.com/mitchjackson

Here's the recorded video: https://streaminglawyer.wordpress.com/2015/07/28/trial-lawyer-tip-repeat-repeat-and-repeat/
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Mitch Jackson
owner

General Discussion  - 
 
“Are you ignoring your witness?” by Elliott Wilcox

One of the best ways you can quickly improve your trial advocacy skills is to watch yourself on video.  When you watch yourself presenting an opening statement or conducting a direct examination, you'll see yourself the same way the jury sees you.  (That may be wonderful, or it may be horrifying).  But even better than watching the video by yourself is to watch it with a more experienced attorney who can critique your performance and point out what you're doing well or identify areas for improvement.

A while ago, I had the opportunity to sit down with nearly two dozen different trial lawyers and evaluate their trial advocacy videos.  After watching several hours of video, I observed that many of them were making the same mistake in their examinations: They were ignoring their witnesses.

“Surely you can't be serious,” you say.  “These were experienced attorneys.  I can't believe they would purposely ignore their witnesses. ”

Yes, I'm serious... and don't call me Shirley.

Here's what I saw on most of the videos: The attorney would look directly at the witness and ask a question.  But as soon as the witness started to answer the question, the lawyer would break eye contact and start looking someplace else.

Why would they do that?  Why would they ignore their witness's answers?  The truth is, they really weren't ignoring their witnesses answers.  They'd invested a lot of time preparing their cases, so they already knew what the witness was going to say.  Rather than fully focusing on the witness, they just listened to the witness, breaking eye contact to look down at their legal pads and start forming their next question.  Yes, they were paying attention to the witness, but the problem was it didn't look like they were paying attention to the witness. 

Lawyer ignoring witness What type of message do you think that sends to the jury?  Some of the jurors probably think to themselves, “If the attorney doesn't think the witness's answers are important and isn't paying attention, why should I?”

You may think that's not fair, but just like “The customer is always right,” your jurors are always right, too.  If they don't like what you're doing, then they can discount or even ignore your evidence.  In the end, they'll make the final decision about your client's fate, so they're always right.  (Even when they're wrong, they're still right.)

You can't afford to let the jurors think you're ignoring your witnesses.  You must pay attention to your witness's answers, even though you already know what they're going to say.  The easiest way to do that is follow this guideline: Whenever the witness is speaking, your eyes should be focused on 1) your witness 2) your jury, or 3) the exhibit your witness is talking about.  If you look anywhere else, the jurors may think you're ignoring the witness. 

The next time you participate in a mock trial or do a dry-run of your direct examination, make sure you videotape yourself.  Don't just focus the camera on the witness -- make sure that you're in the frame, too.  Pay particular attention to where your eyes are focused.  Where are you looking when your witness is talking?  Is your gaze focused on the witness, or are you buried in your notes?  Force yourself to avoid looking at your notes until the witness has finished answering your questions, and your direct examinations will dramatically improve.

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Elliott Wilcox publishes Trial Tips Newsletter. Sign up today for your free subscription and a copy of his special reports: “How to Successfully Make & Meet Objections” and “The Ten Critical Mistakes Trial Lawyers Make (and how to avoid them)” at www.TrialTheater.com

 
Trial lawyers, discover how to persuade jurors and win your next jury trial. You will learn valuable tips for improving your jury selection, opening statement, direct examination, cross-examination, and closing arguments.
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Brendan Kenny

General Discussion  - 
 
"Lawyers Who Aren't Sure How Modern English Works" by @KennyBrendan via https://lawyerist.com/?p=85003   Some reasons why trial lawyers should use plain English when talking to juries.
You don’t have to look far to find legalese in legal writing. Just take the standard closings in affidavits and declarations. Here are three variations  used in just one jurisdiction. We can do better. Start by reading Bryan Garner. As Mark Hermann aptly notes, the jury needs to know that you sound like a human …
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Mitch Jackson
owner

General Discussion  - 
By Steve Young. A friend asked me, “What is your stock in trade?” I answered, “Persuasion. Trial lawyers are merchants of persuasion.”  My answer caused me to ponder a great deal on trial...
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Mitch Jackson
owner

Evidence Related  - 
 
New Electronic and Social Media Evidence Resource

I recently had the opportunity to consult with +Julie Brook, a brilliant California lawyer and writer (and frequent contributor to this community), on her chapter “Electronic and Social Media Evidence” for CEB's updated book and resource: “Effective Introduction of Evidence"

Julie's put together a great resource for all trial lawyers and I highly recommend you get this update when it comes out. Great job Julie!

Get more info and updates via http://ceb.com
CEB is a self-supporting program of the University of California that is cosponsored by the State Bar of California. CEB is the go-to source for lawyers on information about the law, and the practice of law, in California.
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The adages about the importance of first impressions and last words are worth heeding.
Both the opening statement and the closing argument should be used to persuade. (No, it's not all about direct and cross.) The adages about the importance of first impressions and last words are wo...
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Samuel Partida, Jr.

General Discussion  - 
 
Reasonable Doubt Question Put To Bed

The Illinois Supreme Court has answered, once and for all, the question of what to tell the jury about the definition of reasonable doubt.

We have seen reversals for “wrong” answers when the jury asks for a definition.

No more. 

We still won’t give them a definition, but we don’t have to risk reversal with a twisted response. To see the best way to answer the question listen to my 10 minute podcast or read about it below:

http://illinoiscaselaw.com/reasonable-doubt-question-answered/
The reasonable doubt question is answered once and for all by the Illinois Supreme Court. No more reversals for giving the jury a wrong answer when they ask
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Mitch Jackson
owner

General Discussion  - 
 
How MMA Fighters and Good Trial Lawyers Really Communicate!

The two mixed martial arts fighters stand toe to toe at the center of the octagon. They are fighting for the title. People around the world are watching on TV and the Internet.

Neither fighter says a word. Neither blinks as they stare each other down. The horn hasn’t sounded, but the fight has already started...

[click the link to read the rest of the post]  http://mitchjackson.com/communicating-before-the-bell/
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Mitch Jackson
owner

Opening Statement  - 
 
“Are You Promising Too Much in Opening Statement?”
by Elliott Wilcox

“Your closest exit may not be the one in front of you.”

“Your seat is a flotation device.”

“If we start hurtling to our deaths, oxygen masks will descend from the ceiling...”

If you've flown more than once, you've probably ignored this exact same message, haven't you?  It's the standard safety video they play before your plane taxies down the runway.  All of these videos sound pretty much the same, and I'd heard the instructions hundreds of times.  But, much to my surprise, this time I was actually paying attention to the video.

I wasn't paying attention because I needed a refresher in safety instruction.  With as many miles as I've flown, I can probably recite those safety instructions word-for-word.  No, I was watching it for a different reason.  But before I tell you why I was paying attention to the video, let me give you a little background history...

This was my fourth flight in less than three days.  Out of my four flights, every single plane had been late.  The couple sitting in front of me hadn't had a single plane depart or arrive on time, either.  The guy sitting next to me?  He'd been on four planes in two days, every one of his flights had been late, and his last flight had been completely cancelled.  They'd given him two options: wait until the next day to fly home, or fly to an airport 140 miles away from home and drive back.  Collectively, our flying experiences had been miserable.

This final flight was no exception.

We'd boarded the plane like cattle, squeezing ourselves into seats designed to comfortably accommodate underfed children.  Our flight was booked solid, so the overhead bins were jammed to overflowing.  Although I was seated in row 11, my bag was halfway to the back of the plane.  We'd been scheduled to leave at 9:35 PM, but here we were, over an hour later, still sitting on the tarmac and waiting to depart. 

Which brings me to the reason why I was paying attention to their safety video.

In addition to telling us the safety instructions, the video was basically serving as a promotional piece to tell us how wonderful the airline was.  The video was filled with smiling faces, and every passenger depicted in the video seemed to have plenty of legroom.  They showed a plane with enough space in the overhead bins to place all of your carryon luggage and a spare briefcase or two.  Finally, they showed a quick view of their departure board, where every plane seemed scheduled to leave on time.

I turned to a woman seated to my left and commented, “What airline are they flying on?  Lots of legroom, plenty of overhead space, and the planes leave on time...  Can I switch to that airline?!?”  (In all fairness, I won't mention the name of the airline that I was traveling with, but if you've flown anywhere in the past decade, regardless of the airline, you've probably had a similar experience).

The problem wasn't that my experience was bad - I could deal with that.  The problem was that I felt like they were lying to me, because my experience was so far removed from the experience they were advertising.  (Which isn't uncommon...  When was the last time you had a fast food burger that looked like the one in the advertisement?)

Don't make the same mistake with your jury.

In your opening statement, you're presenting them an image of what they should expect to experience during your trial.  But many lawyers seem tempted to oversell their cases during opening statements.  They talk about evidence that will “probably” get admitted, about statements they're “pretty sure” will be be admissible, and develop theories of their cases that will “likely” come to fruition.

Don't fall into the trap of overselling your case during opening statement.  What happens when your case doesn't live up to the image you created?  Even though you present a legally sufficient and persuasive case, when you hold yourself up to a higher standard, that's what the jury will expect.  If you don't attain that standard, they won't come back with a verdict in your favor, even if that standard is higher than what the law requires.

For example, imagine a criminal trial where the defense attorney promises to prove his client is “innocent.”  Why do that?  He doesn't need to prove the guy's innocent, he just needs to show why the government is unable to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.  When he assumes the extra burden of proving that his client is innocent, the jury will hold him and his case to that higher standard.  If he can't prove the defendant is innocent (even if he proves that there's a reasonable doubt in the case) his jury may vote “guilty” because they think he's failed to prove his case.

Don't make it harder to prove your case than it needs to be.  You're better off underselling your opening statement and letting the jury discover your case is actually stronger than they thought it would be during opening statement.  Unlike the airline message, where the actual experience didn't live up to the hype, you can't afford to present an image you can't live up to or make promises that you can't keep during trial.  Present a strong opening statement, but then overdeliver on your promises during your case in chief.  When your jurors discover that your case has exceeded their expectations, they'll return with the only possible verdict -- the verdict that favors your client.
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Elliott Wilcox publishes Trial Tips Newsletter. Sign up today for your free subscription and a copy of his special reports: “How to Successfully Make & Meet Objections” and “The Ten Critical Mistakes Trial Lawyers Make (and how to avoid them)” at www.TrialTheater.com

 
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Not only must you get to court on time, but everything you need to try the case also has to be there, at your fingertips.
Any trial strategy should incorporate the mundane. Not only must you get to court on time, but everything you need to try the case also has to be there, at your fingertips. Here are four things you...
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Great tips. Thanks CEB!
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About this community

Welcome to our Trial Lawyer Tips Google Plus Community! _______________ This community is for all lawyers interested in trial advocacy. It's also for everyone else who is interested in litigation, trials and preserving the right to jury trial. _______________ Below is the link to our community. Please bookmark and share it with other trial lawyers who are interested in sharing good trial tips and raising the bar when it comes to the art of trial. http://TrialLawyerTips.com _______________ Important! Please, NO SOLICITATION, SELF PROMOTION OR ADVERTISING. If your post isn't regarding a trial tip (article, video, podcast, link...) then it will be removed :-) Questions or comments? Contact Mitch Jackson at mitch@jacksonwilson.com | 800.661.7044

Mitch Jackson
owner

General Discussion  - 
 
[New & Free E-Book] The Litigation Support Trial Toolkit 3rd Edition from +A2L Consulting and +Ken Lopez 
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I highly recommend you download and read this excellent free resource!
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Mitch Jackson
owner

General Discussion  - 
 
Evidence in your next trial? Google Maps now lets you retrace all of your past steps (or those of a witness, defendant...)  http://mashable.com/2015/07/22/google-maps-your-timeline/
You can now check all the places you visited via a new feature in Google Maps called "Your Timeline."
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Mitch Jackson
owner

Closing Arguments  - 
 
“Where to Get Closing Argument ideas”
by Elliott Wilcox

During closing argument, you want to drive your arguments home to the jury.  It's not persuasive to merely say, "The witness is wrong because she's biased."  You need to be able to help the jurors understand how that bias affected her testimony and why they shouldn't believe her.  Before you start preparing your next closing argument, start collecting the stories and analogies that will help you persuade the jurors.  Here are nine resources to help you develop persuasive closing argument material:

1. Aesop's Fables.  Aesop's Fables contains dozens of valuable themes for use in your next trial.   By weaving these fables into your closing argument, you'll help jurors immediately understand the underlying values of your arguments and see why your client deserves to win.  The Tale of the Sour Grapes, the Tale of the Lioness and the Vixen, the Tale of the Wolf in Sheep's Clothing -- these stories will not only educate your jurors, they'll also entertain them.

2. The Bible.  I don't know about you, but whenever I think of a persuasive "southern lawyer," I envision an older, white haired gentleman wearing a seersucker suit, preaching to the jury in a southern drawl while pounding a well-worn leather bible on the rail of the jury box.  Quoting from the Bible in closing argument has been an effective persuasive tactic since...  well, since Biblical times, I guess.  Be aware of the caselaw in your local jurisdiction before quoting from the Bible (some courts explicitly frown upon the practice), but if you're allowed, consider adding Biblical references to your closing argument.  You might employ entire stories, direct quotations of Biblical passages, or perhaps you'll only allude to a "bite from the apple" or ask them not to "split the baby."  If nothing else, at least read the entire book of Proverbs: It's probably the best source of common sense arguments you'll ever find.

3. Comic books.  If you haven't read Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, Marvel's Civil War series, or Alan Moore's The Watchmen, you're not only missing some great stories, you're also missing out on some powerful themes and storylines that you can employ in your closing arguments.  In addition to these graphic novels, familiarize yourself with Superman and Lex Luthor, Prof. Xavier and Magneto, the Hulk and Bruce Banner, Spiderman and J. Jonah Jameson, and the rest of the comic book multiverse.  Life isn't always "Good vs. Evil," and neither are jury trials.  Comics can help you explain what jurors should do in those "gray" situations.

4. Things that happened to you in childhood. Take a few hours and write down the interesting stories of things that happened to you as a kid.  Did you ever take a candy bar without paying?  Get pushed around on the playground?  Look in the back of the algebra book for answers?  These type of stories resonate with jurors, because they usually have similar life experiences.  (It also helps to remind them that you weren't always a lawyer!)  When you turn that candy bar story into an argument about why a witness is reluctant to tell the truth, or turn the algebra story into a compelling reason why your opponent's expert fudged his work, jurors will have a better understanding of why your client should win.

5. Stories about your kids.  Jurors want to listen to lawyers who they trust, so how can you show them that you're trustworthy?  If you've got kids, you've got a shortcut for establishing your credibility with the jurors, because being a parent means that not only were you able to convince someone to tolerate you, you were able to convince them you were trustworthy enough to raise children.  All parents have similar stories of children saying "the darndest things," blaming their siblings for broken items, and demonstrating (in the cutest way) dramatic life lessons.  Keep a written list of fun things your kids did and the lessons they taught you, and you'll have an arsenal of compelling stories at your disposal.

6. Classic literature.  As a trial lawyer, you should be well-versed in great literary works.  (Confession time: I never really read A Tale of Two Cities in 8th grade -- I read the Illustrated Classics version.  It's actually a captivating story in comic book form!)  Your familiarity with classic literature will provide you with an endless array of stories and analogies.  For example, you could illustrate the effect of circumstantial evidence by telling the story about how Robinson Crusoe fainted after discovering the footprint in the sand, because he knew he wasn't alone on the island.  You might compare the plaintiff to Captain Ahab (Moby Dick), equivalate the defendant's comments to "the black spot" (Treasure Island), or even describe the situation as a "Catch-22."

7. Mythology.  Did the Sword of Damacles dangle above the witness's head during cross-examination?  Did your examination of their star witness open a Pandora's Box?  Are you asking the jurors to untie a Gordian knot with their verdict?  Is your opponent asking your client to perform a Herculean task?  Don't assume that your jurors know their mythology.  Instead, tell them a short, punchy version of the myth, and then show how it applies to your case.

8. Idiomatic expressions.  Is it time for the defendant to "face the music?"  Was the company "flying by the seat of its pants?"  Is your opponent trying to "sweep something under the rug?"  Idiomatic phrases are an excellent tool for illustrating your point.  Here are two lists of English idioms to search:

http://www.learn-english-today.com/idioms/idioms_alphalistsA-Z.htm 
(Alphabetic listing of idiomatic phrases)

http://www.learn-english-today.com/idioms/idioms_proverbs.html (Idiomatic phrases listed by theme)

Before using the phrase, make sure that your jurors understand what you're talking about.  For example, don't just say it was a "red herring" argument, tell them the story behind the phrase, describing how convicts used red herrings to divert bloodhounds from their scent. 

9. Movies.  Is the informant selling out his friends to appease the government and protect his own interests like Lando Calrissian did in The Empire Strikes Back?  Has your client been reliving every day since the crash like it's Groundhog Day?  Did the defendant force your client to make a Sophie's Choice?  Even terrible movies can serve as inspiration.  If you describe how the defendant's actions ruined the company the same way Joel Schumacher's Batman & Robin killed the Batman franchise, jurors will immediately understand what you're talking about.

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 Elliott Wilcox publishes Trial Tips Newsletter. Sign up today for your free subscription and a copy of his special reports: “How to Successfully Make & Meet Objections” and “The Ten Critical Mistakes Trial Lawyers Make (and how to avoid them)” at www.TrialTheater.com
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Mitch Jackson
owner

Closing Arguments  - 
 
“Your Closing is Great, But...”
by Elliott Wilcox

How do you structure your closing arguments? If you're like many attorneys, you probably take advantage of primacy to start strong and tell the jurors how strong your case is and show them why you deserve to win. Normally, that's exactly how I coach law students and trial lawyers to structure their closings. “Start strong,” I'll say, “disclose your weaknesses in the middle, and then finish strong.”

But... That's not necessarily the “best” way to outline your closing.

Trial advocacy is art. Unlike mathematics or science, where only one correct answer exists, art doesn't necessarily have a “best” way of doing something. Working from the same palette, Cézanne, Picasso and Dali each created radically different depictions of the human form, but none of their masterpieces can objectively be called “the best.”

The same is true of closing arguments. There are many different approaches, but we can't objectively say one of them is the “best” way of structuring an argument.

So, with that in mind, let me offer another approach for structuring your closing argument.

Rather than starting with your strongest argument, then saying “But, here's the weakness with our case,” you might want to consider starting with your case weakness before discussing the strongest part of your case. That's because the word “but” indicates, “Put aside what I just said, and pay attention to what I'm about to say.”

For example, let's pretend that during your semi-annual review, your boss tells you, “Overall, your job performance is excellent, but... your communication skills need improvement.”

If you're like most people, you probably fixated on the negative portion of the evaluation, even though the overall evaluation said you were doing an excellent job. It's just human nature - when we hear the word “but,” we tune out the previous statement and focus on what follows. Don't believe me? Just imagine the person you love most in the world telling you, “I love you more than anything else in the world. You're the most wonderful person I've ever met. I can't imagine life without you. But...”

All it takes is one word and you've completely forgotten about how wonderful you are, haven't you?

With that in mind, you may want to reconsider the structure of your closing argument. Many cases have been won with arguments that basically said, “We have a strong case that deserves to win... BUT, there are a few weakness in this case that you should know about.” If you're afraid this structure may increase the risk of jurors placing greater focus on your case weaknesses, you may want to re-write your argument like this: “There are a few weaknesses in this case that you should know about... BUT, we have a strong case that deserves to win.”

You probably won't want to try this format during opening statements, because at that point the jurors don't know anything about your case yet, and you'll want to fully maximize the power of Primacy by establishing a strong, positive image in your jurors' minds. However, by the time you reach closing arguments, the jurors have heard all of the testimony and seen all of the exhibits in your case, so Primacy doesn't play as big a role.

By the time you reach closings, the only thing left is argument. By discussing your weaknesses first before talking about the strength of your case, you may enhance your credibility with the jury and help them become more receptive to your arguments.

The important lesson is that there's no “best” way to craft your closing argument. Don't get locked into thinking there's only one way to structure your arguments or that there's a “magic bullet” that will work in every trial. Each trial is different, each client is different, and each jury is different. As the trial lawyer, it's your job to discover which structure you should use and which arguments you should make to create your “masterpiece” closing. Good luck!

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Elliott Wilcox publishes Trial Tips Newsletter. Sign up today for your free subscription and a copy of his special reports: “How to Successfully Make & Meet Objections” and “The Ten Critical Mistakes Trial Lawyers Make (and how to avoid them)” at www.TrialTheater.com
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Brendan Kenny

Cross Examination  - 
Sometimes the best way to figure out how to do something is to first figure out how not to do it. If you want to learn how to cross-examine, why not start with listening (ending at 30:30) to how Cristina Gutierrez cross-examined Jay Wilds in the Adnan Syed case (the topic of last year’s Serial …
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Mitch Jackson
owner

General Discussion  - 
 
The Jury Wants to Take the Podium – But Even with the Authority to Do So, Can It?

http://actofcommunication.com/images/aoc-june-newsletter-061815.pdf
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When potential jurors fail to reveal their bias during voir dire, the trial itself becomes corrupted.
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Mitch Jackson
owner

General Discussion  - 
 
“Want to be 3x More Persuasive”
by Elliott Wilcox

Veni.  Vidi.  Vici.

Friends.  Romans.  Countrymen.

Snap.  Crackle.  Pop.

For whatever reason, your brain is wired to pay more attention when provided with a list of three options.  Your brain will be persuaded more easily when provided with a list of three arguments, and you’re more likely to take action if you’re given three reasons to do something.

For our brains, three is the magic number.  Not two (“Too few!”)  Not four (“Too many!”).  No, three is the perfect number of options, arguments, or reasons to provide to the person you’re trying to persuade.

Let’s call it the Triad of Persuasion.  If you can find a way to provide someone with three options, three arguments, or three reasons to justify their decision, you’ll have a much better chance of persuading them than ever before.

One of the most effective ways to put the Triad of Persuasion to use is when you need to handle an objection from someone you’re trying to persuade.  It could be the judge you need to rule in your client’s favor, the potential client you want to sign, or the senior partner whose permission you need to work on a career-changing project. 

Regardless of whom you’re trying to persuade, unless you’ve got the Force on your side (“These aren’t the droids you’re looking for”) you’re probably going to encounter objections.

For example, let’s take the scenario with your potential client.  You’ve just started your new solo practice and have done such a great job of marketing yourself and improving your legal skills that now you’re sitting face-to-face with a potential client who could potentially need your legal services for years to come.  But then, just as you think you’ve got everything finalized and are ready to ask for the business, she raises an objection: “I’m not sure we should do this…  After all, you’re just a one-person operation.”

This might stump other attorneys, but not you.  After all, since you’re a professional, you’ve already anticipated this objection.  As Dr. Alan Weiss, the author of Million Dollar Consulting says, there aren’t any objections you haven’t heard before.  So if you’re not prepared to respond to an objection, you’re negligent.

But you’re not negligent, that’s why you have not one, not two, but three answers ready for this objection.

Begin by disarming the objection with a confident statement, such as, “That’s exactly why you need me.”

That statement usually creates a pause or gets the client to ask, “What do you mean?”  Either way, take this brief moment to gather your thoughts.  Then launch into your Triad of Persuasion, outlining the benefits of hiring your single-person firm rather than a large, multi-national conglomerate: “First, you’re going to get my complete attention and will be my number one priority.  You’re going to get a faster response because I can adapt quickly to respond to your needs.  Second, you’re going to be dealing with the principal attorney at all times, so your case will never be handed off to somebody else who doesn’t know everything about the case.  You’re never going to walk into court and see some junior attorney who you’ve never met before.  And finally, since I’m a one-person operation, my fees don’t have to support a gigantic overhead or a large staff.”

(Obviously, if you work for a gigantic firm, you’d have three responses prepared for when the client objects and says, “I’m not sure we should do this…  You’re such a large firm, I’m afraid my case won’t be a priority.”)

By preparing three responses to each objection, you become (literally) three times more persuasive.  But actually, you’ll become even more persuasive than that, because the Triad of Persuasion has a multiplier effect.  By stacking the three reasons, you appear more confident and more prepared, and therefore, you also appear more reliable.

But don’t limit your use of the Triad to those situations where you’ve prepared your responses to expected objections.  You can also use the Triad when you’re speaking off the cuff and need to demonstrate your conviction or your confidence.

Let’s imagine a scenario where you’re at a luncheon and the person next to you asks, “You’re a lawyer, right?  Do you think lawyers should advertise on TV?”

Again, start with confidence.  “I’m glad you asked me that.  There are three reasons why lawyers should/shouldn’t advertise on TV.  First, because…”

When you make that statement, you may not know exactly what your three reasons are going to be.  You’ll probably know exactly what your first reason will be, you’ll have some idea of what your second reason will be, but you might not have any idea at all what your third reason is going to be. 

It doesn’t matter.  You should still begin with the same set-up: “I’m glad you asked me that.  There are three reasons why…”  In fact, you should practice that set-up phrase a few times so that it rolls off your tongue.  That way, while you’re delivering the line, you can put your mind into high gear and finalize your thoughts for reasons #2 and #3.

Watch how much more attentive your listeners become when you deliver three reasons for each question or each objection, rather than the customary one (or worse, the half-answer) that they usually receive.

By justifying your arguments with three points, you look more polished and better prepared.  People will assume that you’ve put more thought into your answer, and will also feel that your answer is more believable, simply because you’ve done a better job of justifying it.  By giving three reasons, rather than one, you’ll soon become more persuasive than ever before!

__________
Elliott Wilcox publishes Trial Tips Newsletter. Sign up today for your free subscription and a copy of his special reports: “How to Successfully Make & Meet Objections” and “The Ten Critical Mistakes Trial Lawyers Make (and how to avoid them)” at www.TrialTheater.com
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Good article!
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Mitch Jackson
owner

General Discussion  - 
 
Repelling the Reptile Trial Strategy as Defense Counsel - Part 2 - 10 Ways to Spot the Reptile in Action by Ken Lopez, Founder/ CEO  

As I discussed in Part 1 of this series, the “reptile” trial strategy is quickly spreading among plaintiffs counsel. Some plaintiffs counsel have, in fact, claimed that the strategy has resulted in verdicts totaling more than $6 billion in the past few years... Click here to read the rest of this excellent article... http://www.a2lc.com/blog/repelling-the-reptile-trial-strategy-as-defense-counsel-part-2-10-ways-to-spot-the-reptile-in-action
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Mitch Jackson
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Use this powerful speaking tip by Craig Valentine during jury selection. Craig calls it the “Speak to One and Look to All" approach.

http://www.craigvalentine.com/speak-to-one-and-look-to-all-a-favorite-secret-to-a-deeper-connection/
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Clearwater Personal Injury Law Firm Dolman Law Group (727) 451-6900's profile photoK. Lawson Wellington's profile photo
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