WINNING JURY VERDICTS through The Power of Stories
“Don’t say the old lady screamed ……..Bring her on….And let her scream…..”
That is the sage and strategic advice from one of the masters of persuasive storytelling…. Mark Twain.
Twain’s words are profoundly “on mark” and could be an informal mantra for how Lawyers should prepare their case presentations.
Twain’s call for “show, don’t tell” is a winning strategy to help convey an Opening Statement to tell a story to the jury…
People actually remember things best in story format. But not just any story – it has to be told right.
There can’t be too many details….. or the story structure gets lost.
Each sentence has to move the story forward in time…. Otherwise…. you’re telling details…. not a story. It must move chronologically.
We all connect to stories, especially ones that involve good vs. evil…. and that remind us of our shared histories.
We especially want the good—often the underdog—to beat the bad.
The battle that often rages in civil court is the money-seeking unworthy plaintiff motif… against the uncaring defendants who will not admit the wrong they have caused.
And Without a good story… Jurors have nothing to grasp hold of.
In this INSIDER EXCLUSIVE TV Special…we go Behind the Headlines of some of America’s most important publicized trials to share 10 of the most successful Trial Rules used by successful lawyers to win their cases, in “Winning Jury verdicts with the power of stories"
And as our special guest today… we are honored to visit with Robert Kahlke, Ptr @ Robert Pahlke Law Group & Past President of Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys …to discuss some of his cases
and how he has successfully used these proven 10 Trial Rules in the courtroom
“Stories are about people”…..This is Rule No. 1 …..for a reason.
Lawyers often get lost in law and details… and lose site of the people that make their case have meaning.
Any time an lawyer can get beyond the mere facts of the case, and get to the story behind that case….
Rule #2 ….. “Let your characters speak for themselves”
While a true storyteller can create drama and interest by developing a compelling story and revealing facts along the way….. it’s much harder for an lawyer who really has to lay out the facts in a more direct way.
However, the use of visuals such as animations, graphics, video, storyboards and time lines can go a long way toward creating interest where boredom can reign.
Everyone loves to see a case presented like the INSIDER EXCLUSIVE Investigative TV Series…. Produces its Documentaries… because it’s much easier to understand and more powerful. We believe what we see.
Rule #3 …. “Stories stir up emotions”.
This truth of storytelling is…. not surprisingly…. near and dear to my heart.
Any good story doesn’t just tell a jury or judge that the other side is wrong…… it shows…. with vivid detail and images…. the facts and circumstances involved…. which evokes the desire to right a wrong.
Rule #4…. “Stories are the window in which we enter other people’s lives, connect with them, and discover our similarities”
The hunger for story is ingrained in every human being. We humans seek and thrive on story to connect with our fellow man…. pass down history and to teach.
“Telling stories and being curious about the stories of others is a way of life as much as it is a technique of in?uence.
In the Courtroom… Lawyers provide the words, and the visuals show the jury or judge what happened….. And why it was wrong….And why your side should prevail.
Rule #5…. “Stories have at least one “moment of truth”
“The best stories show us something about how we should treat ourselves, others or the world around us.” No question about this.
The best closing argument….. the best presentation at a mediation….. or the best discussion with opposing counsel…. summarizes a whole case in a simple description that encapsulates ….the right or wrong and highlights a larger truth.
Rule #6 ….. “Stories have a clear meaning”
A case is about a wrong or a right …..and about the people involved.
Ask yourself….. Why does this matter? What’s at stake, and who is involved?
Catchy slogans, phrases and themes have long been the hallmark of a persuasive courtroom presentation. But new research throws a question on whether they are as effective as we would like to think
The best trial lawyers that the INSIDER EXCLUSIVE have featured in its Documentaries…..are the ones who knew when to stop talking. Sure, they seemed to know what to say… but further….they knew when it had been said.
More is not necessarily better. Too much information is overwhelming and is simply tuned out
What matters is that you KISS: keep it simple…Real simple.
You aren't just influencing the decision maker…. you are preparing the decision maker for subsequent discussions with the “undecided”.
Closing arguments can and do turn favorable jurors into advocates, able to instrumentally use arguments on your behalf.
Even for those jurors who have already decided or are strongly leaning as of closing arguments, your converts will still need both a sword and a shield in the upcoming deliberations….. they'll need to be armed with good arguments (swords), and prepared to resist the arguments of jurors on the other side (shields).
Individual jurors can miss a lot, but the collective jury doesn't miss much at all.
Your words and the manner in which you use them… may have an enormous impact on individuals…. Communities… nations… the world … and world history.
The Gospel of John in the New Testament begins: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God…and the Word was God.
You can contact our featured lawyer, Robert Pahlke @ The Robert Pahlke Law Group http://www.pahlkelawgroup.com/about.htm or (308)-633-4444.