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Tips for Eliciting Sympathy from a Jury

Although the court reminds jurors to not allow sympathy to affect their judgment, it’s virtually impossible for humans to not allow their emotions to influence their judgment. You can bet the plaintiff or defendant are going to make appeals to a jury’s sympathy themselves. Thus, you don’t want to sell yourself short by not seriously considering how you can spark the most sympathy in the jury. Numerous factors play a role in eliciting sympathy from a jury, such as timing, word choice, how you phrase things and how you present yourself.

The Timing of Your Testimony Matters in Eliciting Sympathy from a Jury

When jurors are hungry, their ability to sympathize is decreased. Hunger is not only distracting but releases hormones that increase a person’s irritability. With this fact in mind, it’s best to time your testimony for early morning or just after lunch. The worst times for telling your story and attempting to gain sympathy are at the end of the day and right before lunch.

Other Tips for Getting Sympathy from a Jury

Make sure you present yourself as someone who has endured unjust losses if you’re seeking compensation for injuries. The other side may try making you appear entitled or responsible for your injuries. A personal injury attorney can help you create an effective strategy for best representing your claim. They can also provide additional guidance on how you should phrase things and present yourself.

Eliciting sympathy from a jury is easier when you understand a bit of human psychology and what kind of words and presentation will cause others to feel sympathetic. Even if you were injured and think it’s impossible for anyone to not sympathize with you, it’s important to put thought into this aspect of your trial. The other side is going to use anything legally possible to reduce their responsibility in your injury and may even use appeals to the jury’s sympathy themselves. Choosing a personal injury lawyer to assist you in getting a jury to sympathize is important.