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August 24, 2005

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Comments

Beldar

Ditto what Evan said.

In fact, it's sometimes effective to pose a challenge to the jurors in your closing argument when you know there's some juicy tidbit in a document that hasn't yet been brought out to the jury during the trial:

"And if you don't look at a single other exhibit when you get back in the jury room, please, please look at page 26 of Plaintiff's Exhibit 8. Please read for yourselves what Nurse Smith wrote about Mr. Jones' explanation at the time for why his wheelchair went down the stairwell. And then you can discuss among yourselves exactly what those lines mean on the subject of who's tellin' you the truth and who's blowin' smoke!"

Even if your opponent has the chance to speak after you, by trying to respond about that particular exhibit or those particular lines in it, he's reinforcing your pitch and heightening the jurors' curiosity.

Robert Williamson

Outstanding post...and outstanding comment by Beldar. They fit well with David Ball's suggestion that the attorney's arm the jurors leaning his client's way with the information they need to sway neutral or recalcitrant jurors to their side.

YGB

Another thing I've seen people do is to make a large demonstrative (seeral foot long and high foam core boards) and move it into evidence. These can be demonstratives summarizing support for elements of a claim which identifies key source exhibits by claim element (I've seen these used in patent cases for infringement "claim charts") or, perhaps a summary damages chart breaking out components of a damages claim, particularly in a sort of balance sheet type format. If these are of a sufficient size, when sent into the jury room, the hope is that their sheer size relative to 8.5 x 11 pages will make them easy for the jury to find and use to convince other jurors.

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