What William Butler Yeats recognized a century ago when he said, “Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people,” is what any smart litigator can apply today: Communication is all about making your audience understand.

If jurors don’t understand what your case is about, you risk losing a favorable verdict. In a recent mock trial for a trademark case, for example, the plaintiff, a Philadelphia pharmaceutical company, was suing the defendant over a similar product name for a competitive product. On a gut level, jurors did not feel as though the defendant in the case had done anything wrong and were skeptical of some of the plaintiff’s actions related to the lawsuit.

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