Kansas City lawyer Timothy W. Monsees recommends that plaintiffs' lawyers "find the dastardly deed"--
I have followed this practice for years, but I never had a tag line for the strategy until my good friend and able trial lawyer Gene P. Graham, Jr. described the inevitable search for "the dastardly deed." In short, and perhaps this is a bit cynical, trials in the minds of juries are less a search for the truth than they are an emotional search for the "bad guy." The more we can do, as trial attorneys, to find and label the acts or omissions of the opponent as "dastardly," the less the warts of our own client and case will affect the verdict.
Monsees says that from the beginning of the case, you should find ways to make the other side's witnesses and arguments look sinister. Monsees has tips for doing this during jury selection, opening argument, and with the witnesses. An interesting article!