Dr. Noelle Nelson

Use Repetition to Drive Juror Acceptance of Your Case

When the jurors troop into the jury room for deliberations, every litigator’s dream is that each of them would, individually, spout your case theme/key points so that group consensus in your favor is inevitable.

But how do you get them to do that? By presenting a targeted, credible and compelling case. That’s a given. In addition, put the power of repetition to work for you.

Research by K. Weaver and colleagues shows that repetition, even by the same person or organization, is highly impactful: “…when an opinion is repeatedly broadcast at us by the same organization–think of a particular media conglomerate or an advertiser–we’re likely to come to believe it represents the general opinion. That’s despite the fact it is analogous to the same person repeating themselves over and over again.”

Not only should you, the trial attorney, repeat your themes and key points throughout your opening, examination of witnesses, and close, but all your witnesses, expert and lay, should be encouraged to include case themes and key points in their testimony.

Repeat, repeat, repeat! When you and your witnesses are consistent in broadcasting the same message over and over again, jurors are far more likely to accept it as the general opinion and adopt it as theirs.

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