The Champion

November 2012 , Page 26 

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Creating an Environment Where Jurors Want to Tell Lawyers Their Secrets

By Richard Kammen

Criminal defense lawyers are quite capable of having meaningful conversations. They have such conversations with friends, professional associates and clients, and with witnesses during pretrial interviews. On occasion, defense lawyers have meaningful conversations with police officers and judges. Clearly, as a group, criminal defense lawyers are capable of important, sensitive conversations in virtually all circumstances, professional and social.

However, many criminal defense lawyers have transformed jury selection, which is nothing more than a structured conversation, into a ritualized, stilted, lecture/cross-examination that has little positive communicative impact and may have a very negative personal impact. When the principles and attributes of successful conversation are analyzed and applied to jury selection, it is obvious that the following rule applies: Lawyers should conduct jury selection the same way they would conduct a conversation with individuals they meet

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