The Behavioral Psychology of Appellate Persuasion
1 Stetson J. Advoc. & L. 83 (2014)
22 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2013 Last revised: 9 Jan 2014
Date Written: June 28, 2013
This article uses behavioral psychology research to work backward from how appellate decisions are made to how oral argument, briefing, and argument design can have the maximum impact on the decision makers. Appellate judges are human beings who have the same basic cognitive processes as any others. Understanding these decision-making processes is the key to understanding how to best utilize the few minutes of argument and few pages of briefing that you have to affect what the decision in a case will say. In addition to illuminating the most effective ways to communicate, it also provides insight into how best design arguments that will be intuitively appealing and how to properly evaluate opposing arguments. Finally, it examines the natural biases that must be overcome by advocates to critically evaluate outcomes to determine how to improve future performance.
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