Organizational Integrity Shorts: The Science of Persuasion

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP

Many lawyers — and most humans for that matter — have a fundamental misunderstanding about persuasion. We are convinced that if we have the better, more logical, more legally sound, more morally righteous argument, we will convince our adversary to abandon her position and realize the correctness of ours. While this approach may work in a courtroom where there is a neutral arbiter of fact and law, most of the work we do as lawyers will never see the inside of a courthouse. Our arguments will never be judged by a neutral decision-maker. Most of the persuading we do will be judged by only one person — the adversary sitting across from us.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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