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When the Story Is Too Good to Be True: A Lawyer's Role in Resisting the Lure of Narrative

32 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2015 Last revised: 15 Oct 2015

Jeanne Kaiser

Western New England University School of Law

Scott Kaiser Brown

University of Minnesota Law

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

Storytelling is important in legal persuasion. The power of a good story is why an attorney strives to mold the facts of a case into a tale with clear heroes and villains. High profile bullying stories and the reaction to those stories by prosecutors, legislators, and the legal academy provide examples of lawyers’ susceptibility to the power of an emotional narrative. This article explores how social problems, like those relating to Phoebe Prince, Tyler Clementi, and Meagan Meiers, are likely to seem more real and pressing when presented in human terms as opposed to the abstract consequences.

Keywords: Forensic orations, Oratory, Storytelling, Legal composition

Suggested Citation

Kaiser, Jeanne and Brown, Scott Kaiser, When the Story Is Too Good to Be True: A Lawyer's Role in Resisting the Lure of Narrative (2015). Western New England Law Review, Vol. 37, p. 233, 2015; Western New England University School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 15-12. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2670773

Jeanne Kaiser (Contact Author)

Western New England University School of Law ( email )

1215 Wilbraham Road
Springfield, MA 01119
United States

Scott Brown

University of Minnesota Law ( email )

229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.umn.edu

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