June 05, 2016 practice points

The Jury Weighs In: Top Responses from Jury Surveys

How to avoid repetition but still be persuasive to a jury

By Hon. Mark A. Drummond

"I found the closing argument of the prosecution overly repetitive and slightly annoying."
"Excessive evidence to prove case loses attention of jurors"
"Some repetition"
"They repeated a lot…"

I recently promised you tips gleaned from my do-it-yourself jury surveys. The responses above are typical of the number one critique jurors have of attorneys to the question "What part of the advocacy, or presentation in the case, did you find not persuasive?"

So how do we combat this but still serve our clients and avoid worrying about directed verdicts? In some cases, if the proposition to be proved comes from varied sources, we need to be repetitive to be persuasive. In addition, we want to make sure that the judge knows that we have proved the point, especially if it is an element for which we have the burden.

Premium Content For:
  • Litigation Section
Join - Now