Opening & Closing Posts

  • Public Debate about the Trump Investigation, Juror Deliberation, and Closing Arguments

    This is peril. Not the kind of “mortal peril” the young Weasley children faced from time to time, but the kind of client relations peril that comes with wading, even ever so slightly, into one of the most polarizing issues, …

  • Helping Jurors Avoid "Alternative Facts"

    Kellyanne Conway has introduced the concept of “alternative facts” into the political discourse with her defense of President Trump’s Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s assertions about crowd size at the presidential inauguration. Of course, this isn’t the first time this concept …

  • Don't Be a Corporate Mouthpiece in Your Opening Statement

    One part of our case strategy sessions involves creating an outline of the case narrative. We call this the Case Story, and it typically entails outlining topics that serve as the segments of your overall case presentation. When working with …

  • Satisfying a Key Juror Need in Closing Argument

    A recent study of 3,202 jurors by Sprain and Gastil (2013) reveals a critical opportunity for trial attorneys.  The researchers found that although jurors thought very highly of their fellow jurors, felt their service to be extremely rewarding and meaningful, …

  • We Want Justice!

    But what does “justice” look like? Providing care to an injured party? Stopping corporate greed? Getting defective products off the market? Giving back what was stolen? Honoring truth? Promoting competition or protecting one’s invention? What does “justice” not look like?  …

  • Reading the Tea Leaves -- Jurors' "Signs" During Deliberations

    The jury asked to have the entire testimony of Mr. Smith read back; the jury asked for Thai food for lunch; the jury asked to see a particular medical bill; Juror #4 looks angry; Juror #8 looks sad; it’s been …

  • Values and Principles Drive Verdicts as Much as Evidence or the Law

    Most jurors enter a trial with very little expertise on the particular topic at issue. They are unfamiliar with legal concepts like “burden of proof” or “standard of care,” or “proximate cause.” However, all jurors have a sense of what …

  • Strategy, Planning Lead to Success

    King County Bar Bulletin, October 2005 Ted Prosise, Ph.D. discusses methods for getting an advantage in litigation. Specifically they discuss: Using a Courtroom Setting; Increasing Witness Comfort; Developing the Case Story Early; and Working with Consultants. Read the Full Article …

  • The Secret to Winning Over Jurors Away From Home: Just Be Yourself

    Oregon Association of Defense Counsel, Spring 2006 Jill Schmid, Ph.D. and Chris Dominic discuss the temptation to over focus on source similarity issues when addressing juries outside of one’s home venue. Five specific suggestions are made as an alternative. Read …

  • Common Defense Errors

    Oregon Association of Defense Counsel, Winter 2006 Chris Dominic highlights some strategic errors that are commonly made and can be avoided. Some of the errors highlighted are: –Choosing the technical case over the persuasive narrative; –Using arguments your social group …

  • Article Commentary on "Using the Science of Persuasion in the Courtroom"

    The Jury Expert, September 2008 Chris Dominic provides commentary on Burkley and Anderson’s article that takes empirical research on persuasion and applies it to the courtroom setting in the September 2008 edition of “The Jury Expert.”

  • Anatomy of a Medical Malpractice Verdict

    Montana Law Review, Winter 2009, v. 70, no. 1 Tom O’Toole, Bruce Boyd, and Ted Prosise explore, “Three key theories of juror decision-making and courtroom communication” in their article, “Anatomy of a Medical Malpractice Verdict.” The three theories explored include: …

  • Persuasion Starts with Strategy

    Verdict: The Journal of the ABA Trial Practice Committee, Vol. 23, No. 1, Winter 2009 Chris Dominic and Bruce Boyd discuss the problem of “doing a good job of executing the wrong strategy.” The authors encourage trial attorneys to ask …

  • Gender Differences in the Courtroom: Understanding and Capitalizaing on Factors that Impact Credibility

    Sue, Apr/May 2009 Laura Dominic and Jill Schmid, Ph.D. discuss gender differences in the courtroom by exploring: –The masculine/feminine communication continuum –Nature versus nurture: The socialization of boys and girls –The impact of gender on decision making – stereotypes and …

  • Seeing the Forest Through the Trees: Closing Argument and Jury Instructions

    DeNovo, August 2010 In 1950, Max Klein and Dan Robbins invented and developed the widely popular paint-by-number kits. These kits introduced everyday people to the unfamiliar world of artistic expression by providing them with the precise roadmap and tools to …

  • Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails: Does What We're Made of Make a Difference in the Courtroom?

    The Jury Expert, September 2010 It’s 2010. Why are we even talking about gender and the practice of law? Haven’t we already “Come a long way, baby?” Hasn’t the powerful female lawyer portrayed on the myriad TV legal dramas sent …

  • Effective Opening Statements and Closing Arguments

    King County Bar Bulletin, December 2010 Tom O’Toole Ph.D. and Jill Schmid Ph.D. discuss ten tips on how to effectively deliver opening statements and closing arguments. Read the Full Article Here: http://tsongasit.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Effective-Opening-Statement-and-Closing-Arguments-Article.pdf

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