What are some tips for persuading a jury?

| Nov 20, 2019 | San Francisco Civil Litigation Blog |

Working with trials can be complex. You need to convince a jury that your client is innocent of the crimes they’re accused of or that an accident or injury was not their fault. If you’re not familiar with going to trial or prefer to settle outside court, the idea of persuading a jury on behalf of your client may seem overwhelming, which is why there are attorneys who specialize in trial cases.

There is simply no question that you have to persuade a jury to win your case. It’s not good enough to state the case plainly. You need to simplify the entire trial down into simple elements and organize the evidence in a way that supports your side of the case. You need to help the jury comprehend why your client is innocent or should not be held liable for whatever reason they’re in court.

Helping the jury make the right decision is a high-stakes situation

Though you may walk away paid by your client and no worse for wear, the reality is that your client faces real negative effects if they’re found to be at fault for an incident or are convicted of a crime. These high-stakes situations can’t be left to chance, and they do require education, training and experience.

Persuasion is the key to your success in court

Persuasion is the only key to success in court. If the jury does not believe you or your client, then you are more likely to fail. How can you help convince a jury? Some tips include:

  • Setting the scene with a great, solid opening statement that is long enough to explain the situation
  • Explaining evidence, which is a great predictor of a potential verdict
  • Simplifying the case
  • Presenting a clear, understandable argument
  • Using demonstrative (visual) support for explaining evidence
  • Being able to present complex legal ideas or terms in simple ways, so any person can understand

Juries contain many different people with different backgrounds and beliefs. It’s your job to convince them, but you need to identify jurors who may not be on your client’s side right away. Those are the people you need to speak to most clearly, making your case and persuading them as carefully as possible. If you can persuade the hardest sell, then you’ll be in a great position moving forward and have a better chance of being able to win the case or to secure a more agreeable sentence.

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