First impressions are tremendously powerful. It takes less than a minute for you or your witnesses, to establish a credible first impression with the jurors, one which, once established, will be very difficult to change or alter in any way.

Credibility is founded on trustworthiness. And those we trust display more trustworthy behaviors: more head nods, more eye contact, more smiling, more open body posture. All of these behaviors are easily accessible to any of us. For that matter, when you’re in a relaxed, comfortable situation with friends or family, you’re likely to display these very behaviors without thinking about it.

Allow yourself to present yourself to the jurors more as who you are with friends – trusting and therefore trustworthy, and encourage your witnesses to do the same. The only caveat is that smiles must be appropriate to the situation, and when in trial, the moments where it is appropriate to smile are limited.

Dr. Noelle Nelson recently consulted on:

Congratulations to Gerard T. Carmody and Lindsay Combs of Carmody MacDonald P.C. (St. Louis) for their $2,300,000 unanimous Jury Verdict in City of Brentwood, Missouri v. TMD Property I, LLC, an eminent domain case involving the taking of 6+ acres of vacant undeveloped property in highly sought-after Brentwood, Missouri.  The City’s original offer was $170,000 which increased at trial to approximately $280,000.  The property owner, represented by Carmody MacDonald, testified to a range of value between $2,150,000 and $2,300,000.  The jury unanimously awarded $2,300,000.  Several jurors were moved to tears during the reading of the verdict.  In addition to the $2.3 million verdict, TMD Property I, LLC is also due over $230,000 in interest.