Case Theme Development

What would the jury panelists say if the Judge posed this question: “Would you rather sit for jury duty or go to a movie today?”

We love stories. Stories have been a part of us since before spoken language. Research shows that stories engage listeners, demand involvement, humanize, organize, entertain, and increase retention—all the things you want jurors to do.

Stories need a theme. The theme is the frame for the story. The facts are the bricks. The motivation behind the facts is the mortar that holds it all together. Jurors retain the “bricks” that fit the story and reject those that do not. Jurors so want the story to work that if you leave a hole in your story, they will fill it in with their own “facts.”

Your openings and closings cannot leave any holes to fill. Developing memorable story themes and the pictures that go with them is a specialty of Trial Science.

Stories with words and pictures triple memory and comprehension of the subject.

Development for Opening Statements & Closing Arguments:

  1. Harvest language and expressions from focus groups & mock trials – research participants supply themes that resonate with them as they reflect on your case.
  2. Create a PowerPoint presentation – let your audience see and hear the story you are telling them. Seeing and hearing triples comprehension.
  3. Test themes and stories on test groups – let people tell you what strikes a chord with them.