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Good ideas can be hard to come by, so when we have a decent point, we sometimes drone on, repeating ourselves in the mistaken view that more is better, that if we keep railing against the other side’s argument, our position will appear stronger, and the reason for our righteous indignation will be confirmed. Sometimes we elaborate because we are afraid we have nothing else to say.

Suppose your client XYZ Corp. prevailed in a jury trial against claims for fraud and breach of contract. Before the court sent the case to the jury, you asked the judge to require separate verdicts on each count, but plaintiff ABC Co. demanded — and the court agreed — that the jury should render a single general verdict, either for or against recovery. To plaintiff’s chagrin, the jury found “no cause.”

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