Heather Hansen

You Can Choose Your Jury or You Can Convert Them

You can choose your jury, or you can convert them. You have a jury. They are your team members, your customers, your clients and your students. Ideally, you get to choose your jurors. When you choose your ideal customer, your ideal teammates or your ideal students, things are easier. They see things your way. You share a common perspective.

But sometimes you don’t get to choose. And sometime, even if you do choose, your jury doesn’t share your perspective. That’s when you have to advocate even harder. Because you can choose your jury, or you can convert them.

As a trial lawyer, I get to choose my juries. However, none of them share my clients’ perspectives. Every single juror in every one of my cases is a patient. They see things through a patient’s eyes and share a patient’s perspective. But in my twenty years of defending doctors in medical malpractice cases, not one of my jurors has been a doctor. That means I have to start advocating and convert these jurors. I have to help them see things through my perspective.

I do this with questions. On direct examination I ask questions that build my case, and on cross I use questions to challenge the other side. I use evidence of all kinds, in all kinds of ways. And I use my 7x7w system to share the evidence in a way that resonates. Then I also help my jury see my perspective by teaching my clients how to use their body language, tone of voice and energy. And I do it with my 5 Cs of an Advocate-Connection, Compassion, Curiosity, Creativity and Credibility. You can do it too.

Choose your ideal jury when you can. It does make advocating easier. But when you can’t choose them, convert them. Help them see things your way. You can choose your jury, or you can convert them. Either way, you win.

Heather Hansen

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