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Litigation Strategy Trial Strategy

4 Ways to Appear More Credible to the Jury

Both the opening statement and the closing argument should be used to persuade. An essential part of the persuasion process is establishing your credibility with the jury by nurturing its perception of your sincerity, trustworthiness, and knowledge of facts. Here are four ways to increase your credibility.

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Evidence Legal Topics Litigation Strategy Trial Strategy

8 Ways to Combat Objections

A proponent of evidence can counter anticipated objections with a motion in limine before trial starts, but usually counsel counters objections to evidence after the opponent objects at trial. Here are eight ways to do it.

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Evidence Legal Topics Litigation Strategy Trial Strategy

How to Object Without Being Objectionable

thinkstockphotos-85449217-1How do you object in trial without being objectionable to the jury? Perhaps it’s impossible: A jury naturally resents the attorney who constantly leaps up and breaks the flow of information. But there are a few ways to make yourself less objectionable to the jury.

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Civil Litigation Criminal Law Litigation Strategy Trial Strategy

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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Civil Litigation Legal Topics Litigation Strategy Trial Strategy

Outlining a Defense Opening Statement

Ythinkstockphotos-465858364our opening statement is an opportunity to be creative and show your personal style. But as defense counsel, there are points you’ll always want to make; using an outline will help you to stay focused and organized.

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Civil Litigation Criminal Law Legal Topics Litigation Strategy Trial Strategy

Don’t Bore the Jury!

Much to the chagrin of trial attorneys, jurors don’t always give their full attention to the trial. It’s trial counsel’s job to keep things interesting. Depending on the case, this can be a tall order. Here are some tips for making your questioning of a witness as compelling as possible.

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Litigation Strategy Trial Strategy

Should You Save Something for Your Closing?

57277978Although it may be tempting to cover everything during cross-examination, there are situations in which it’s better to save something for your closing argument. In fact, it’s a time-honored rule among some litigators to always save something for your closing. But that strategy can be risky, too.

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Litigation Strategy Trial Strategy

4 Keys to Using Your Opening and Closing to Persuade

ThinkstockPhotos-477432677Both 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 worth heeding.

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Evidence Legal Topics Litigation Strategy Trial Strategy

Demonstrative Evidence: When You Want to Show and Tell

82770181An episode of This American Life described the failed effort to get a Tic-tac-toe-playing chicken into evidence in the death penalty case of a mentally ill man with a very low IQ. Defense counsel was trying to rebut a psychiatrist’s testimony that the defendant was aware he was going to be executed based on his beating her in a game of Tic-tac-toe. We’ll never know who would have won the game; the court refused to admit the chicken because it “would degrade the dignity of the court.” Although the chicken didn’t work out, demonstrative evidence can be a very powerful courtroom tool.

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Evidence Legal Topics Litigation Strategy Trial Strategy

Inadmissible Evidence May Still Get In for a Limited Purpose

78494947It may not be favored by courts or be the parties’ preference, but there’s a place for evidence to be admitted for a limited purpose. It can be seen as either a creative solution to an evidence admissibility problem or a way around the rules, depending on your perspective.