As seen in Law360’s “How Top Product Liability Defenders Sway Jurors”
Law360 reported on the difficulty facing product liability defenders as they pit faceless companies against plaintiffs such as wounded children, the elderly and the disabled. To adequately represent their clients, these defense trial lawyers must tear down corporate stereotypes, create a human face for the company and launch credible attacks on the plaintiff's case. Partner Pam Yates offered Law360 some counsel on how to do just that.
On relating to and engaging with jurors, Yates said, “It's also critical that the attorney's sympathy is genuine, consistent and believable. If the first time they hear a defense attorney express sympathy is during closing arguments, they're not going to find it particularly sincere.”
Yates also advised to choose your attacks wisely. “A major mistake that trial lawyers commonly make is failing to calibrate their attacks on witnesses. One of my pet peeves is when somebody just goes full bore no matter who the witness is, or what the issue is, or how critical the aggression level is. I think you're going to lose some people there…if you need to impeach them, there's a way of impeaching them, but it might not be the same way in which you impeach the expert witnesses."
Yates also said defense attorneys must take careful note of their demeanors over the course of trial, and measure it against the situation and the tone of testimony.
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