Chapter 5: Graphics
Graphic Persuasion Tools
Trial lawyers come from a different planet than most jurors. Trial lawyers are residents of Wordland—an orderly place where the inhabitants rely on words to understand, logic to analyze, and checklists to unemotionally resolve issues. Most jurors do not live in Wordland and are uncomfortable when forced to visit for an extended period of time. Jurors aren’t comfortable in Wordland because they rely on intuition, emotion and a basic sense of fairness to learn, persuade or be persuaded. As Ella Fitzgerald once sang, “Never in my Wordland could there be ways to reveal in a phrase how I feel.”
Most trial lawyers do not need help developing word tools for navigating through Wordland; after all, we write briefs, we parse jury instructions, and we bicker over the meaning of a single word. A lawyer who relies solely on word tools will have no problem connecting with and convincing three or four members of a jury (all of whom are likely from Wordland), that his client should prevail. Unfortunately, persuading three or four jurors is never enough to win a trial, since a verdict requires at least a super-majority and, more often, unanimity. Simply put, you can only consistently win if you find ways other than relying exclusively on word tools and logic to reach and persuade your jurors.
In order to consistently prevail, you need to begin to think visually and produce other persuasion tools that let your jurors see your point.