Monday, October 29, 2007

Telling a Better Story

The Story is the framework within which a jury evaluates our defense. Shouldn't the criminal defense lawyer learn to tell a better story? We arrogantly assume we know how to tell stories and our arrogance inhibits our learning. We told our children stories at bedtime, didn't we? As kids we sat around a campfire and told stories ("lies") to our buddies to impress them with how smart or virile we were. My guess? The stories we told our children and camping buddies all had elements common to great stories. But as lawyers we forgot how to tell a good one. Too much legal analysis, too much legal training.

Ira Glass is well known as a master story teller. Here he talks about the basic building blocks of a good story. His advice fits no matter what kind of story you need.

In short, Ira suggests developing your story with momentum and suspense. Imagine the story is a train leading to some destination. We don't need to reveal the destination - just yet. Tell the story while leading your listener down the path you want them to go. Additionally, Ira suggests "baiting" the story to create suspense. That is, raise questions that you answer later in the story (or during the trial). Lastly, the story must have a moment of reflection. This moment shows the story actually means something to somebody (the client). The client was wrongly accused, misunderstood, taken advantage of, and the like. The moment of refection gives your jury a reason to believe you and decide in your favor.

Story telling should be fun.  Brazos County criminal defense lawyers should have fun telling their client's story, giving their jury a context within which to obtain a favorable verdict. More on storying telling later.

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