Everything you will ever learn, everything you will ever know, everything you will ever do, that will empower you to act, that will empower others to act, will come to you in the form of a story! We all think of facts or just the facts Ma’am.
Just tell me the facts; I want to know the facts! Facts that are not caught up in a narrative. Facts that don’t have a theme. Facts become unimportant but when they’re caught up in a story, they make you feel! They make you act! They can empower others to act.
When do you empower a jury with a story? What can we do as attorneys to use those facts that we know, turn them into stories that can make the jury act. Stories maybe accurate or they may not be accurate. But they absolutely got to be true. They’ve got to have a certain fundamental basic truth involved in them or they carry no power.
Words matter! The difference between the right word and this is another Mark Twain which is exactly right because this man was an incredible communicator not only in the written word but he was also an incredible orator and a large part of his income was made from giving speeches. The difference between a right word and exactly the right word is the same as the difference between a lighting bug and the lightening and that is so true! Have your first sentence, rewrite your first sentence; think of your first sentence is there a better word to use.
Use it for your advantage. There are long stories and there are short stories. There are stories that will take 2 weeks to tell but you control the theme, you control the narrative. You’re the lawyer, you get to start, you know. You get to spend some time with the jury but we don’t just try lawsuits. We mediate lawsuit, we deal with the public. We explain our cases to insurance adjusters. We explain our cases if we’re defense lawyers, we explain them to plaintiffs; this is why I can’t pay you the money you’d like to have. This why you should take the money, I can pay you. You’re explaining it if you’re a defense lawyer to a jury, this is why we are here and this is why we haven’t paid these people already and so remember there’s a lot you can say.