May 28, 2015 Articles

Courtroom Ethos: How to Win Over a Jury with Credibility and Respect

Win your case, with a few tips from Atticus Finch. And Joe Pesci

By Wayne Morse

Knowledge and preparation are important, but a trial is about credibility. For a jury to believe in your case, the jury must believe you. You must earn a jury’s trust, and then do it again each day when you question a witness and interact with the judge, opposing counsel, and witnesses. With jurors, you are “always on.” They take in every fact, word, and movement. They see every glance, facial expression, and hesitation. Jurors know who you really are, and they know a trick when they see one.

Quit the obsession over the impeccable apparel and perfect technique. Make your goal to be the jury’s vehicle to the truth. Any lawyer who tries cases knows jurors are looking to determine the truth and seeking to determine who their way to truth is. Respect the jury, and never doubt that a jury represents collective wisdom and insight. Jurors can determine the most technical cases. Jurors decide your client’s fate.

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