Eli5 how does an renowned lawyer make such a difference in a trial


Essentially, the title says it all. How do some lawyers make such a difference in the outcome of a trial when defending clients accused of crimes? The evidence is the same regardless of the lawyer, so it doesn’t seem like they should have that much power over the verdict.

In: 32

Part of being a lawyer is being a good arguer and a convincing speaker.

If I’m trying to convince you to agree with me, are you more likely to agree with me and believe in my stance if I’m acting timid or shy or unconfident? Or are you more likely to agree with me if I show no cracks and demonstrate strong confidence in my argument?

The reputation of being a good lawyer is also going to prime you, so if you’re involved in a case with them, you’re already expecting them to impress you, and you might subconsciously be biased to them.

Well, larger lawyers often have access to more resources. They can devote multiple people to researching the case. Finding evidence, witnesses, or just combing through mountains of case law to find some case to support their case. That stuff exists for both sides, but if you have a single lawyer versus the guy that has several lawyers and a small team on interns the latter is just going to be able to churn through more info.

The evidence presented should be the same, but a good lawyer knows to double check the evidence, try to downplay the more damning stuff, and try to elevate the exonerating evidence.

A defense lawyer, at his most basic, is a debator. His job isn’t just to go where the evidence points, far from it. Often he has to take a piece of damning evidence and convince 12 people to ignore it.

To see what a great defense attorney can do, look at Johnny Cochrane and the OJ Simpson trial. He had OJ try on a pair of blood-drenched leather gloves over a pair of latex gloves in court after making sure OJ didn’t take a medicine that would keep his hands from swelling. Of course, those gloves were not going to fit right there, and it shouldn’t have swayed a jury.

But Johnny was very convincing.

It’s like asking 2 different people to sell you the same pen. They’re both trying to convince you why you should trust them and buy it from them. The more confident speaking one who knows how to manipulate the evidence to their advantage is more likely to win over the judge / jury.

Renowned lawyers are usually not only good at their job (arguing for their client), but they also have a strong reputation that gives more credence to their arguments.