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An effective litigation story follows the same literary rules as any compelling story, with two notable differences. Like other stories, a litigation story has characters, setting, plot and conflict, and resolution. The critical differences between an ordinary story and a litigation story, is that the litigator’s story must be based on actual admissible evidence, and must be legally sound and persuasive. The objective of this article, the third in this four-part series, is to discuss how in-house and outside counsel can draft an effective litigation story.

To recap, a successful litigation story includes the following five essential ingredients: (1) it must convey a story about what makes the party deserving, unique, and worthy of justice; (2) it must provide a solid evidentiary basis for the desired outcome; (3) it must be tethered to the law, logic, and common sense; (4) it must carefully weave in the major themes that are central to the case; and (5) it must anticipate the opposing party’s story and legal arguments, and explain why the other party’s position is legally deficient, not credible, and/or unworthy. The litigator’s challenge is taking these ingredients and pairing them with the elements of narrative. To do this well, in-house and outside counsel must analyze the case using the tried and true methods of storytelling.

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