Chapter 4: Story
The Importance of Your Story
One of the fundamental reasons that the jury system works is because we convey much of our information to jurors through a story. Granted, the bulk of the trial story can be disjointed; its internal cohesion is repeatedly disrupted by questions, objections, and delayed answers. Nonetheless, it is still a story and any disadvantages arising from this disjointed presentation style are more than offset by the way we tell the story. We tell the story three different times (first in opening statement, then during the case-in-chief, and finally in closing argument), and each time we tell the story we do so in a slightly different way, using a full array of different teaching tools that appeal to the variety of learning styles you will inevitably find on a jury. This combination of repetition and appeal to a variety of learning styles means that the message in our client’s story potentially strikes deep and sticks with jurors.
Over several thousand years, we have learned how to use stories to educate ourselves, educate others, and find common ground from which we can relate to and communicate with others. Not coincidentally, all three of these are necessary to win a jury trial.