Trial Tip – Use a Rule of Law Kids Can Understand

This article in Slate about the definitive laws of childhood (ie finders keepers, he who smelt it dealt it) made me think about the rules of law that can be used in argument at trial to get your point across.

For years, trial advocates have been using nursery rhymes, stories from childhood, and similar experiences to connect with juries.

Another way to do it, where applicable, is to use a simple saying of law that kids understand. For example,

1. Finders keepers, losers weepers

2. Shotgun! (or any variation on “I called it first”)

3. Two for flinching

and perhaps the best one…

4. Look both ways before crossing the street

Obviously there can be more, depending on the facts of the case. Any ideas?

One other way to go is to use analogies from childhood. One that I use occasionally is the analogy of playing baseball in a park or vacant lot, when a baseball goes through someone’s window. Suddenly, everyone runs. No one wants to take responsibility. Stories like that can be useful in getting to the heart of a matter.

Any other ideas/suggestions?


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