Kurt Zaner
Kurt Zaner

How to use dramatic/theatrical techniques in opening and closing

  • Limited to 8 attendees but observers are permitted
  • Most lawyers are boring and bore jurors into not caring.
  • Or worse, they try too hard to entertain them and make the jurors hate them.
  • We need to find a happy medium – keeping the jurors entertained and caring about your case, without pushing them away by acting over the top.
  • I trained as a stage actor throughout college and moved to LA upon graduation to purse acting before going back to law school. I have found that learning how to emote and act brings clarity, passion, emotion to your presentations.
  • We will work on some acting techniques and exercises to bring about your natural ability to do these things. You will not be "acting" in the courtroom, you will be living your true self and expressing your full range of authentic emotions and maximizing your presentation skills with an eye towards your listener/watcher.
  • We will start with acting warm up techniques.
  • I will take two of my case examples from two recent eight figure verdicts involving CRPS diagnoses and perform portions of closings that illustrate theatrical tools that can create drama and emotion in the courtroom in both opening and closing. We will breakdown the different dramatic techniques applied and how to use them. These techniques include speaking directly to your client, using pauses, incorporating defense counsel into the story theatrically, and story telling with emotion and intention.
  • Time permitting, I will also go over theatrical tools to use in witness examination (both cross and direct), providing drama, interest, and pace to examinations, focusing on how to use theatrical tools to make points stick in the jurors’ minds.
  • These tactics include cross examining directly to the jury, using video clips, moving around the courtroom, using facial expressions, using dialogue, using demonstratives and exhibits.
  • You must bring a case you are working on be prepared to practice 10 minutes of your closing related to damages and the facts of your opening.

TLU Live HB Agenda

Pre-Event Party
5/16 — Tues. — 6:00pm

Pre Event Party at the Presidential Suite, Pasea: Drinks, Appetizers, Poker Tournament. Hosted by: Priority LawRank, Smart Advocate

Cabana Pregame Poolside
5/17 — Wedn. — 12:00pm - 4:30pm

Hosted by Nick Coulson and Jose Robles

Jury Duty
5/17 — Wedn. — 8:00am - 5:00pm

You're invited to sit in as a juror and give feedback to presenter

Registration & Opening Pary
5/17 — Wedn. — 5:00pm - 8:00pm

Sponsored by Parris Law Firm, Claggett & Sykes, Priority Responsible Funding, Lee Isaacs Band sponsored by Walker Advertising