Domestic Diversions

A really good story = persuasive closing argument

ABA Journal’s McElhaney on Litigationshows how to make your closing argument ring true.

Jim McElhaney writes (excerpt):

Cabbages and Insance Goats

“Thirty years ago, the late Craig Spangenberg of Cleveland said, ‘The greatest weapon in the arsenal of persuasion is the analogy, the story, the apt comparison to something the jurors know from their own experience to be true.’

Circumstantial Evidence

“When the defense lawyer stood up he said, ‘Noth­ing but circumstantial evidence, huh? When I was a boy, my father read Robinson Crusoe to me. I remember when Crusoe was all alone on a desert island, and one morning when he went to the shore, he saw a footprint in the sand—and he knew it wasn’t his. The effect was so pow­erful that Crusoe fainted dead away, only to awaken to find the man he called Friday standing over him.


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