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For speaking engagements and all media inquiries please contact:
Adria Belport

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Sonya is the "guru" of courtroom communication, having created that field at Harvard Law School. As a nationally recognized trial and communications expert and an analyst on national television, radio and in the press, she has covered the entire O.J. Simpson case, the Oklahoma City bombing case, the Clinton impeachment trial, Martha Stewart, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jackson cases as well as the 2004 Presidential debates.

A highly successful author and jury consultant, Sonya's groundbreaking What Makes Juries Listen has been succeeded by her bestselling What Makes Juries Listen Today, available as a book and on tape and CDs and her latest book Now What Makes Juries Listen. She teaches courtroom communication in the U.S. for the ABA, ALI-ABA, NITA, Defense Research Institute, American College of Trial Lawyers and the state Bar Associations among others. She also has given courses for barristers and Queen's Counsel in the U.K.

Through individual consulting and in group presentations, Sonya teaches trial advocacy from the jury's point of view. She helps lawyers understand how the jury sees the trial, their prejudices and preconceptions, how they make decisions and what turns them off. She develops effective communication techniques to get complex messages across and help clarify the case as well as preparing witnesses to be most effective.

Topics Covered in Sonya's Lecture-Demonstrations, Seminars and Workshops
  • Basic principles of communicating with anyone today
  • Understanding the Jury: How they think, what they need, how they decide
  • Voir Dire: Problems, questioning techniques, questions that work
  • Preparation of fact and expert witnesses for deposition and trial
  • Direct Examination: Organization; handling the witness; making it visual
  • Cross Examination: Dangers; effective impeachment; questioning techniques
  • Final Argument: What jurors need; openings and closings; persuasion skills
  • Demonstrative Evidence: Helping juries understand and remember; formats and techniques
  • Non-verbal skills in the courtroom
  • Business communication skills for lawyers: Meetings, presentations and one-on-one skills
  • Handling the media: getting your message across; personal style; safe but substantive answers; avoidance doesn't work
Her teaching methods include:
  • Audience participation and role play
  • Re-creation, performance and analysis of all aspects of the trial
  • Videotape and replay
  • Live demonstrations
Coaching and Consulting for Trial Success:
  • Preparation of the Case: How jurors see your issues; context material jurors need
  • Creating strategies for the case: issues from the jury's point of view, order of witnesses, what needs to be visual and how
  • Credibility: whom will they believe, what else you need
  • Crafting Effective Opening Statements: Presentation skills; visual approaches; effective openings and closings
  • Developing and Designing Demonstrative Evidence: Making your issues visual
  • Expert Witness Preparation: Teaching self-editing; presentation style; Expert testimony - helping experts understand the jury and what they need; handling depositions and cross-examination; developing visual demonstrations
  • Preparation of Fact Witnesses: See above content for expert witness coaching
  • Final Argument: Creating and presenting persuasive final arguments
Interested in scheduling an appointment to discuss your trial needs? Please send an email to