The Language of Love v. Beshear: Telling a Client's Story While Creating a Civil Rights Case Narrative

Legal Communication and Rhetoric: JALWD, Vol. 17 (Fall 2020)

University of Louisville School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper Series No. 2024-6

31 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2023 Last revised: 3 Apr 2024

See all articles by JoAnne Sweeny

JoAnne Sweeny

University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law

Daniel Canon

Louis D. Brandeis School of Law

Date Written: Fall 2020

Abstract

Telling a client’s story is an essential part of client representation. Legal storytelling provokes empathy in judges and juries and helps convince them of the rightness of the client’s perspective. Civil rights attorneys, however, tell their client’s story in a way that takes into account the needs of similarly situated others, which may conflict with their client’s needs. Using the watershed case Obergefell v. Hodges, this article examines the strategies and pitfalls civil rights lawyers may encounter when telling a client’s story that they know will impact an entire group of people who also want their rights vindicated.

Keywords: civil rights, marriage, equality, storytelling, narrative, LGBT

Suggested Citation

Sweeny, JoAnne and Canon, Daniel, The Language of Love v. Beshear: Telling a Client's Story While Creating a Civil Rights Case Narrative (Fall 2020). Legal Communication and Rhetoric: JALWD, Vol. 17 (Fall 2020), University of Louisville School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper Series No. 2024-6, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4431084

JoAnne Sweeny

University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law ( email )

Wilson W. Wyatt Hall
Louisville, KY 40292
United States

Daniel Canon (Contact Author)

Louis D. Brandeis School of Law ( email )

Wilson W. Wyatt Hall
Louisville, KY 40292
United States

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