Posts tagged closing argument
Ride the Ducks Trial Day 62: If We Could Turn Back Time: Closing Argument Ride the Ducks Trial

Jesica has marked off our half of the courtroom to reserve it for cocounsel clients, members of the law firm, and people who want to cheer us on.  Defense counsel ignore the signs and line up behind Jesica.  


Andrew shows me some of the transcript from yesterday.  Since I tactically missed it.  They are complaining about the second screen.  Conspiracy theorizing  am trying to block their view of the jury or vice versa.  So the judge tells them to move over next to us.  It’s even pettier than that though.  Remember the lego wall we built to keep them at least symbolically on the other side.  Well they have been stressing about that wall ever since.  They start to complain to the court that I might do something with legos during closing.  She shuts them down.  Seriously.  They are in a tizzy over a screen and legos on the eve of closing.  Gawd.

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The nicest thing an opponent has ever said to me

We have been in trial for a month.  Many times he's told me to back off.  We have been Going. At. It.

He is one of the best defense lawyers I've tried a case against.  Nick started as an associate with his law firm when I was in the 8th grade.   But he's not old fashioned.   He used powerpoint in opening and closing.  All of his trial exhibits were projected just like ours - electronically via a 70" LCD screen.

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Co-opting Ye Old Glass Is Half Full Defense

The only health condition the defense won't try to spin - is death.

One technique used against plaintiffs, is to paint them as negative whiners.  The defense mocks the injured person by saying they are overly focusing on their injury and see the glass as half empty.  The logic is - if the person had a better mindset - they would see the glass is half full and everything would be better.

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Tips for attorneys - from a children's novelist

We are rewarded in school for using sentences so complex, that the reader or listener is virtually tortured by them.  As grown up lawyers this means we tend to spout legalese to normal people.  How as trial lawyers do we shrug off these intellectual habits.  So we can tell a good story.

Look at these tips from C.S. Lewis (he of The Chronicles of Narnia fame).  This is taken from a letter he wrote to a young Fan in 1956.

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How to work Oprah into a closing argument

By now you know, I love Oprah.  I'm actually in somewhat of a tizzy as we count down her final season.  Who will keep me company those late nights on the treadmill.  Oh Oprah - I will miss you so.

Here is an excerpt from my trial diary on closing earlier this month.  I am also posting the first ten minutes of the argument.  I taped this with my flip.  It is very funny as my head is completely cut off.  You can watch my torso give closing argument.

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Rebuttal Pizzazz

The temptation of rebuttal is to make absolutely positively sure the jury is told the right version of the case.  To have the last word and correct the defense.  But the jury wants to get going.  They are ready to start deliberation.  They’ve listened to the lawyers for long enough.  They don’t want to hear a rehash of what they already have been told.

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Big Bad Wolf Proofing your Closing Argument

Once upon a time, there were three little lawyers  They were sent out into the world to fight for justice for people unfairly injured.  Shoulders back, heads held high, arms swinging, feet marching. They were filled with a sense of righteousness and faith in the Seventh Amendment.  Optimism permeated their beings as they set up their houses.  They couldn’t wait to get to trial.  The ultimate tribunal of truth.  Oh the joy!

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