Five Reasons the Jury Hates Your Lawyer
Most lawyers, even experienced ones, are terrible trial lawyers. Terrible. With a capital "T" that rhymes with LOSE. Here is a list of common problems:
1. Using big words–any legal terminology, scientific mumbo-jumbo, or multi-syllabic jargon–is never a good idea. One can and should use clear, concise language to express even complicated ideas.
2. Making the same point over and over. Jurors hate to have their time wasted. Make your point. Move on.
3. Talking down to the jury. Collectively the jury is smart. The attorney’s questions should be clear and direct but not simplistic.
4. Talking without using visual aids. Take a cue from television news. The newscasters talk for about 30 seconds and then there is a change in the screen shot or the introduction of a graphic or a video. If your lawyer stands at podium tediously yammering, you are making enemies of the jury. Utilize diagrams, photos, computer compilations so that you convey your message orally and visually.
5. Objections–Lots of Objections. Your lawyer may view constant objections as proof he knows the laws of evidence but the jury views the objections as proof you, the client, want the truth kept from them. This is suicide. Your lawyer must be seen by the jury as the truth teller. If the jury doesn’t trust him or her, they won’t trust you. The lawyer should address important evidentiary issues without the jury present. This is usually done with motions in limine before the start of trial.