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Assessment Of Brain Science For The Courtroom

International education consultant David A. Sousa, Ed. D., has researched the brain for many years and has put all his research on paper in his book, How Brain Science Can Make You A Better Lawyer. Sousa poses that fact that we as humans retain all information from the brain stem up. It is the survival center that must be satisfied first before the higher areas of the brain come to play. In Sousa’s book, he explains the part of the crucial concepts of primary and recency through factual information. All people remember what happened first and what happened last through opening, direct, cross or closing events. “When one considers direct, in terms of primacy, I like to use headlines at the very front of the exam to alert the jurors as to why this person is being called in this case.” says Jeffrey Kroll, Section of Litigation Council member. “If my expert has been pummeled in a videotape deposition, I will try to put that on right after lunch. I have no hesitancy in putting a less- than- favorable witness on later in the morning or right after lunch when the jury is starting to get tired,” Kroll states. These principles that Kroll uses applies to a lawyer as well as the witnesses. If perhaps you are going to make a mistake, it is most likely going to be at the end of the day. Kroll explains his experience with a well- known attorney. He found that the attorney became tired in the afternoon so he decided to change the order of his witnesses and put his medical specialist on later in the day.  Kroll states, “His (the attorney) cross of my expert was less effective than the crosses I had seen him do earlier in the morning.” Sousa has explored many methods to gain an advantage and advises one what to do when you are at a disadvantage. “People do learn and comprehend things differently.” notes Kroll. “Some lawyers are too afraid of the ‘asked and answered’ objection”. Lawyers need to realize that they have to keep the witness guessing and keep their attention, whether its presenting them with a visual, changing your stance in the courtroom, or simply using vocal inflection.

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