High-Stakes Communication


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The defendant was a former NFL wide receiver accused of rape.  Years of waiting for his day in court had left him angry, abrasive and not very talkative.

The challenges:  how to neutralize all his negative emotions so the jury could see the real person behind the accusation.  How could he tell his side of the story in a way that the jury of men and women could hear him through all their pre-conceived notions of “entitled” pro athletes? Add to that a particularly agitated prosecutor who would try to verbally run the client down and tackle his testimony.  

By tapping into the client’s strengths on the field we helped him see how these skills would help him navigate the cross exam.  We helped him calm down, take control of the pacing of the cross, and tell his story to the jury in a clear, concise way.   

Bottom line:  the jury took 20 minutes to bring home a not guilty verdict.

Case Study - Witness Prep for Client Accused of Rape

Overcome Obstacles.

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After years of verbal and psychological battering, this client was a wreck.  Her attorney was concerned the judge would “hate her.” She constantly spewed out vitriolic contempt for her husband.  A simple question elicited a 5-minute, rambling answer. She was physically agitated.

The challenges: get her feeling safe, get her to trust us, get her focused on key points, and get her to see how her current behavior was hindering her case.  

Our approach:  We listened at a deep and intuitive level. This built trust.  By patiently taking the time to let her empty out all her concerns and know she was heard, we created a space for her to learn new skills.  By videotaping her, we made her aware of how counterproductive her current behavior was.

Then we drilled new skills: how to listen, how to answer concisely and on point, how to behave calmly and stay focused. More videotaping showed the client how well these new skills would play in the outside world, building her confidence.

The outcome:  in the words of her attorney, “the judge loved her”, heard her, and she prevailed in a multi-million dollar settlement.

Case Study - Witness Prep for a Divorce

Clearing out the Chaos.