Real Rules of Exhibits
Most lawyers don’t know how to use exhibits
effectively to persuade the jury. So we have started a series of the
practical rules of using your exhibits. You might call them The
Persuader’s Real Rules of Exhibits.
This first article in this series sets out the "The
Persuader's Real Rules of Exhibits " 1 through 4 - the use of exhibits during
your opening statement to the jury.
Rule No. 1: You can show the exhibit to the jury
anytime after it has been received into evidence.
It’s against the rules of evidence to show a jury something that has not been
placed into evidence. But --- the reverse rule is the Persuader’s Rule — you can
show the exhibit to the jury anytime after it has been received into evidence.
The Persuader’s Rule means you can show the jury your exhibit during your
opening statement, if you handle it right.
Get ahead in the race to a favorable decision. Put your major exhibits in
front of the jury as soon as possible, together with your explanation of what it
shows, and why they should pay attention to it. Whether you are on the
plaintiff’s side or the defense side, the Persuader's Real Rule of Evidence is
to start showing the jury a couple of your major exhibits during your opening
statement. During your opening statement you can talk about your exhibit in an
uninterrupted, persuasive, flow. Here, before any testimony, you can show the
jury how and why "the physical evidence" demonstrates you are right.
If you want to show the jury an exhibit during your opening statement — all
that needs to be done is to have the judge receive your exhibit into evidence
before your opening statement.
Rule No. 2: You can use a motion in limine (offer of evidence in limine) to
get your exhibit admitted.
"Motion in Limine" simply means a request for the court to do something
before the trial starts. Although legions of lawyers and judges have .
. .Read or download
the entire first article in
Read the second article in the series, Rule 5, on showing exhibits to the jury
in a manner that puts it into long-term memory.
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