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Not Guilty: Get the Jury to Favor Your Side

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Relating to the members of a jury in an engaging and winsome manner is an essential part of a jury trial. Both the defense attorney and defendant have a role to play in creating a favorable impression with jurors. There’s every reason to believe that individual jurors are influenced to some degree by the demeanor of a criminal defendant and their legal counsel.

The Jury Experience

Even though it’s the defendant’s future that’s on the line, the opposing attorneys are the stars of the show. An experienced defense attorney will make a jury feel as though they are an essential part of the legal process, namely to ensure that the defendant receives justice under the law.

The defendant and defense attorney need to be aware of the jurors whenever court is in session. Jurors can’t help but notice bouts of poor posture, agitation or disappointment. Utmost respect must be communicated to the members of a jury at all times. Making eye contact and maintaining professional decorum will always serve a defense attorney well.

The opening statement of a defense attorney can set the tone for a trial. The opportunity to speak directly to the members of a jury with sincerity can leave a lasting impression. Even when a defense attorney isn’t on center stage, the general demeanor and body language of both the defense counsel and defendant are being scrutinized by the jurors.

Good Tips to Win over the Jury

It’s important to remain focused and engaged at all times. Never display emotion or disdain during the course of a trial. The following tips will also hold a defense attorney in good stead with the members of a jury:

  • Learn as much as possible about the jury members in order to create a personal connection with the jurors. Communicating persuasive arguments to the jurors is what a jury trial is all about.
  • Create a theme for the trial that jurors find compelling. Don’t allow the jurors to get lost in an avalanche of details and legal jargon.
  • Don’t preach conclusions to the jury. Tell a convincing story that will make it easy for the jury to reach a desired conclusion.
  • A good trial lawyer knows every detail of a legal case. Jurors are impressed by the professional skills and strategic tactics of an effective defense lawyer.
  • Be prepared and eloquent in the courtroom. Juries appreciate clear, concise and organized defense lawyers.
  • Dressing well is an important part of presenting a persuasive story to a jury.
  • Endeavor to be honorable and forthright in the courtroom. Keep sidebars and secretive deliberations to a minimum.
  • It’s important to be seen as reasonable in the eyes of the jury. Concede when possible and treat witnesses with respect during cross examination.

Professional Legal Experience Matters

It’s extremely important to win over the jury. Failure to do so can mean increased legal penalties. However, this is very difficult for an inexperienced defendant. It’s much easier to get the jury to like you with a qualified lawyer by your side.

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