Friday, November 9, 2007

Our Best Stories

We've been looking at the Story as the criminal defense lawyer's device through which he persuades the jury his version of the case is believable. Without a story the lawyer's presentation is no more than an unmemorable "information dump," failing to give the lawyer's information any context. The story gives the audience something to take with them once the presentation is finished. Here we looked at creating a human event using the story, thereby personally involving the jury. Here we learned the importance of creating momentum and suspense in the stories we tell.

But from where does the energy come enabling us to tell an authentic story? A story to which our jury will respond? In other words, how do we go about telling our best stories to move the jury into action on our client's behalf? Simply put - our credibility and authenticity comes from our own life experiences. The story we tell using an event or emotion to which we can personally relate enables us to tell our story with power. It enables us to tell our story with personal involvement. Without this emotion and personal involvement, our story comes across as hollow and fake.

Our job as defense lawyers is digging deep for the resources we need to zealously represent our clients against the power of the state. If digging deep means tapping our own experiences of fear, loneliness, and desperation, then that is where we need to go. It makes us more human and better advocates.

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