A:  And you never heard from the Nordick plant manager that you should stop harassing Rhonda Webb? With this brief fact pattern in mind, I’d like to take a closer look at what would and wouldn’t work as a theme and why. It is Holistic. A:  So you didn’t consider this any formal message from management, did you? On Phenemenology and Social Relations. In addition, the emphasis on “Nordick” rather than any particular decision-maker is a way of emphasizing that at all levels, Nordick knew that at least there were reasons for further investigation into Wilson’s conduct. Finally, a theme should be easy to use, and by that I mean that it should  be effortless and natural to work into your presentation at several points. That theme is not just relegated to one song or one point in the movie score, it reappears throughout the movies in many different scenes and moods. McElhaney, J.W. We Talk, You Listen. Themes That Strike a Chord. This is an objection that exists only in the mock trial world. (2005). In addition, an even shorter version (‘Nordick knew’) could be used at several points in the case presentation. Themes That Strike a Chord. (2005). You may be familiar with the concept of an “anchor” in the context of money damages.⁴  Stating a figure like $20 million won’t guarantee a $20 million result, but chances are good that once shared, this figure will serve as a starting point for adjustment. It also targets the Plaintiff’s harder-to-persuade jurors, because defense-oriented jurors are less likely to be swayed by sympathy or appeals to fairness and responsibility. And the only reason Ned said to leave her alone was because Rhonda was his girl.”  So, to Mr. Wilson, the company’s response is just a case of boyfriend defending girlfriend, no big deal. It is Easy. First, it should be targeted toward your toughest audience (the ones who will need to be persuaded). Does it feel more powerful hearing the actual number?] Get what’s yours. Your email address will not be published, but it helps us make sure you are a real reader and we may want to correspond with you about your comment. Here is one possibility: You have now had the chance to hear from both Rhonda Webb and Frank Wilson, and they couldn’t have described a situation that was more different…or more similar. This theme would have the appeal of casting Rhonda’s complaints in the most reasonable light. But what is more surprising is that Nordick chose Frank Wilson’s view:  No big deal. It is only a theme if it is worked into several points. A. Themes That … 3.) An effective trial theme will leave a jury with no choice but to apply the facts, presented within the framework of the legal theory of recovery, and award you a A list of 125 law firm slogans from around the world. Oyez! Ultimately, the best theme flows naturally into your own patterns of argument and advocacy, and fits naturally with the facts of your case. FOR MOCK TRIAL BY BRIAN . It likely isn't found in language that sounds forced or that too overtly calls attention to itself by saying in effect “…here is the theme!”  If it sounds like a slogan or an advertising jingle then jurors’ natural skepticism toward attorneys may prevent it from truly functioning as a theme. Attorneys will generally need to check the natural tendency to speak to the most favorable group, and instead take aim at the toughest jurors – a few of which will almost inevitably survive voir dire. We, the members of the jury, find for our school's mock trial team. Common Themes for a Successful Trial. That line of thinking calls attention to the most glaring of the company’s weaknesses:  The emphasis on the complacency of the company’s response (, In the deposition of the perpetrator, Frank Wilson, he describes the talk that Rhonda’s supervisor had with him, presumably after he had been asked by the plant manager to deal with the situation:  “, Ultimately, the best theme flows naturally into your own patterns of argument and advocacy, and fits naturally with the facts of your case. p. 1. 7 McElhaney, J.W. Instead of singling out a specific issue, this theme presents a combined message on harassment, the company’s knowledge, the company’s trivialization and lack of response, and finally Rhonda Webb’s necessity to leave that leads to her constructive discharge claim. 2 Schutz, A. Common Themes for a Successful Trial. These taglines help to define the firms industry sector and values. As long as the figure is not so extreme that it creates backlash, jurors who hear an anchoring figure of $20 million will end up with higher damages than those who hear a starting figure of $10 million. You should be able to present your theme in a few short words or phrases. The way the story is told determines what your decision-makers notice first and foremost. astcoffice@astcweb.org A theme should not just address one particular issue, but should instead address the case holistically, and comprehensively.