Working with various attorneys over the last several months I've heard myself repeat something over and over again:
"Your case is not about your client."
This, understandably, catches some people off guard. What? How is my case -not- about my client?
Well, obviously it's about your client as far as that's why you're bringing the case to trial. Someone harmed, maimed or killed your client (or your client's family member) necessitating this need for trial.
But when we get down to communicating to jurors what the case is about, it's not about the client.
It's about a violated principle. Your client is just a representation of the result of the violated principle.
Principles are, as Stephen Covey says in Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, "...deep, fundamental truths that have universal applications."
Principles act as natural laws. They are what govern human behavior. And although we all violate these principles in various ways throughout our lifetime, they serve as landmarks for how society should operate and behave.
Here are some principles/violations that nearly all humans hold as sacred:
Nearly any plaintiff case can fit into a violation of one of these principles.
These are just a few examples, and many of the above examples could fit other principle violations. The point is, jurors don't find for plaintiffs, they
take a stand for principles.
As much as we'd like jurors to care about our client, they don't. Tort reform has made sure of that. What you must do instead is get jurors to rally around the principle in your case.
Give this podcast episode a listen to learn more.
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