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Establishing Credibility in Plaintiff’s Opening Statement

In a personal injury case, plaintiff’s counsel should approach the opening statement to the jury with one primary goal: establishing credibility. If the jury believes you, it will be much more likely to rule for your client. Here’s a sample opening statement that shows how you can get right out of the gate with credibility. Continue reading

Using Social Media to Research Prospective Jurors

Given the decreasing time attorneys have for conducting voir dire, it can be very useful to investigate jurors with publicly available background information. Simply running Google searches can reveal an enormous amount of information about a potential juror in a short amount of time. This public information often will come from social media sources. As Ben Hancock reported in his article for Law.com, “social media profiles can present a trove of data points for jury selection…[but] researching jurors online while keeping on the right side of the judge and local ethics rules is hardly a straightforward exercise.”

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Should You Discuss Damages During Opening and Closing?

thinkstockphotos-465858366Whether and how you discuss damages in your opening statement and closing argument is a strategic consideration. A plaintiff discussing damages in the opening may turn jurors off, but not doing so can be a tactical mistake. Defendants usually want to steer clear of damages in the opening if possible. And both sides should discuss damages in the closing, but maybe in a different order. Continue reading

4 Steps to Deciding How and When to Present Evidence

Your objective is to determine how and when to present each witness, exhibit, and other item of evidence most persuasively during trial. The key to meeting this objective is breaking it down into these four steps. Continue reading

Say It Early and Often

78724287The most important concept to remember in organizing your statements to the jury, whether during opening statement or closing argument, is the “rule of primacy”: Jurors tend to believe what they hear first and most frequently. Continue reading

4 Tips to Get the Jury Excited About Your Expert

thinkstockphotos-537972277Don’t treat the qualification of your expert as a mere formality. The expert’s qualifications should convince jurors that they’re fortunate to have someone as qualified as the expert to assist them in deciding the case and that your expert is better qualified than the opposing one. Continue reading

Don’t Let Your Witness Look Like a Liar

noseJurors have been bombarded with information about “body language.” This information is joined by common folklore about tell-tale signs of falsehood. Here are five things to practice with your witnesses to keep their body language consistent with their truthful testimony.

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