Communication (Eye Contact)

For a trial lawyer communication is essential. We begin with an accepting and understanding heart for all jurors. We are unpretentious and have  meaningful eye contact. Meaningful eye contact is different than serial eye contact.

In serial eye contact we scan jurors. In serial eye contact there is a tendency to go side to side briefly meeting the eyes of a juror. This type of eye contact means little to a juror.

Meaningful eye contact starts with silent looking into a juror’s eyes. We stay with a juror  (three to five seconds) for meaningful eye contact. We then repeat with the next juror who invites eye contact. In the beginning we say nothing  we simply make eye contact.

When we begin to speak we keep eye contact until completing our thought. When talking with the juror if the juror allows we keep eye contact. We go to the next juror when we know we have permission to leave. This is the next juror who invites eye contact; we engage with eye contact discussion. 

A way to image meaningful eye contact is imagine reaching to touch the hand of a juror. Stay with this juror three to five seconds until another juror (figuratively) extends her hand (eyes); then flow with the next juror.

Try making meaningful eye contact in all  communication including conversation, even when conversation involves a group. You will find acceptance which is a good thing in jury trials.

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