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Published on December 7th, 2012 | by Trey Cox


Competence and Efficiency Equal Credibility

Every time you move, speak or breathe before a jury, your credibility is at stake.  Yes, I am talking about your credibility.  And, yes, I mean every time you do anything before a jury.  Jurors flyspeck your every move for clues to your credibility, competence and trustworthiness.  If you appear lost and confused or labor over the admission of exhibits, neither you, your abilities, nor your trustworthiness will rate very high with the jury.  If you are unable to move exhibits into evidence efficiently and your opponent is, the situation is even worse for you and your client.

Because the jury is watching, you must, with every move, statement and breath, send the implicit message that you are confident, have something accurate and material to say, and will do so as efficiently as possible.  Why? So the jury will trust you and know you would never waste their valuable time through incompetence or with the inconsequential.  I cannot tell you how many times I have interviewed jurors after a trial and heard one of the following:

“the other lawyer kept making the same points over and over.”
“the other lawyer insulted us with repetition.”
“the trial should have been 3 days shorter.”

Remember, jurors are people too.  They have lives, wives, kids and jobs to get back to.  Do not insult or antagonize them.  By wasting their time, you simultaneously destroy your own credibility.  Let’s look at a few simple ways to increase your efficiency in the administration of exhibits.

About the Author

specializes in courtroom fights between businesses. His jury trial experience and courtroom success have earned him the distinction of being Board Certified as a Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Trey represents Fortune 500 corporations, entrepreneurs, and leading firms in a wide array of industries. His dedication to his clients and winning track record have repeatedly earned him recognition as one of the top trial lawyers in the country.

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