Every case contains a story. As lawyers, we tell the story for our clients. Abraham Lincoln pointedly described the purpose of storytelling: “I have the popular reputation of being a storyteller, but I do not deserve the name in the general sense, for it is not the story itself, but its purpose or effect that interests me” (quoted in John Wesley Hill’s Abraham Lincoln, Man of God, 1920). Lincoln’s observation is sound guidance for the lawyer presenting a cause. The story is the means to the end of prevailing for the client—it is the purpose and effect of the story that is important. An effective story requires a clear theme to tie the elements of the case together. We offer these ten tips that will help you develop a persuasive theme for your case.
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