6. Work on your tone of voice. “I struggled for years to find mine. I was torn at different points between seeming too young, too academic or too strident (another female pitfall). You want to come across as smart but not smarmy, warm but not cloying, passionate but calm. It’s a difficult balancing act for anyone, but it’s especially tough for young lawyers and female litigators.
Eventually, I found my sweet spot, talking to jurors as I would to my mother-in-law: a smart, empathetic woman I loved and admired and who brought out the best side of me. Think about someone in your life such as this. Stephen King writes his books toward an imagined ‘ideal reader.’ Make your closing argument toward an ‘ideal juror’ who you respect and like and who brings out the best in you. If you’re not sure you’re hitting the right tone, try to practice your opening on your own mother-in-law. The advice you get from a nonlawyer can be eye-opening.”
There are numerous motions that either party can file throughout the lawsuit to terminate it "prematurely"—before submission to the judge or jury for final consideration. These motions attempt to persuade the judge, through legal argument and sometimes accompanying evidence, that there is no reasonable way that the other party could legally win and therefore there is no sense in continuing with the trial. Motions for summary judgment, for example, can usually be brought before, after, or during the actual presentation of the case. Motions can also be brought after the close of a trial to undo a jury verdict contrary to law or against the weight of the evidence, or to convince the judge to change the decision or grant a new trial.
Rules of criminal or civil procedure govern the conduct of a lawsuit in the common law adversarial system of dispute resolution. Procedural rules are constrained and informed by separate statutory laws, case laws, and constitutional provisions that define the rights of the parties to a lawsuit (see especially due process), though the rules generally reflect this legal context on their face. The details of the procedure differ greatly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and often from court to court even within the same jurisdiction. These rules of the particular procedures are very important for litigants to know, because the litigants are the ones who dictate the timing and progression of the lawsuit. Litigants are responsible to obtain the suited result and the timing of reaching this result. Failure to comply with the procedural rules may result in serious limitations that can affect the ability of one to present claims or defenses at any subsequent trial, or even promote the dismissal of the lawsuit altogether.
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