By Timothy F. Devereux, Ladendorf Law
Every case has a “theme” – it will either evolve naturally or, more critically, be carefully crafted by counsel. In reality, each case has two (2) “themes”; one from each of the opposing parties. It has been observed that the party with the best “theme” is the party that wins the case. A well-crafted “theme” assists counsel in presenting their case to either the judge or a jury and binds the evidence together in a cohesive and concise manner that provides for maximum impact.
Theme development begins as soon as counsel undertakes work on the case and should guide the discovery on the case. It will help define the facts to be developed and will provide the framework to give those facts relevancy as the case is presented. The case “theme” will play an important part in all aspects of the case including motions in limine and voir dire as well as mediation and settlement discussions. Simply put, the “theme” is the thread to brings counsel argument and the facts together in a persuasive and meaningful way.
An example of books and articles that discuss the use of themes in litigation include: “Rules of the Road” by Rick Friedman & Patrick Malone and “Theme Development in Trial Practice” by Thomas C. Regan and Kevin G. Kenneally.
If you would like to submit content or write an article for the Litigation Section page, please email Kara Sikorski at firstname.lastname@example.org.