Last week, I attended the annual meeting of the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys at the Lake of the Ozarks, where I heard a presentation by Geoffrey Fieger, the lawyer who defended Jack Kevorkian. According to his bio, Fieger has been involved in "many high profile trials including the defense of Dr. Kevorkian, the Jenny Jones trial, the defense of Nathanial Abraham and record awards in Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania and Indiana."
Fieger's advice for trial lawyers? "If you want to be a successful trial lawyer," he said, "for God's sake, quit thinking like a lawyer." Take the time, in other words, to "get your brain back to where it was before they did whatever it was they did to it in law school." Otherwise, it will be impossible to communicate with jurors, who don't understand legal issues the way you think they do, but only hear what they want to hear, disregard the rest, and then make it all conform to their own internal sense of justice.
It's this "internal sense of justice" you must try to understand and speak to. Rather than merely mouthing legal terms, you must translate the legal issues into words that ordinary people can understand and feel. You should attempt to tell a story, not give a law lecture. Otherwise, there will be a fundamental disconnect between you and the jurors.