Presiding over cases in the Domestic Violence Court in Cook County, Illinois, Judge Megan Goldish draws on more than 20 years of legal experience. As both a judge and former attorney, Megan Goldish utilizes techniques from theater training to connect with the people in her courtroom.
Trial lawyers often use theater techniques when giving opening statements or preparing clients to take the witness stand. One technique is psychodrama, which is taught in the Gerry Spence Method. Gerry Spence was a famous trial lawyer who took on high-profile cases defending clients against the government and large corporations.
The Spence Method uses psychodrama training by diving into each attorney’s case and bringing out the emotional human elements. Techniques used often include role reversal, soliloquy, and scene setting. The goal of this training is to make the client’s story more emotionally relatable for the jury.
The Spence Method focuses heavily on the lawyer’s opening statement, as Spence believes the most juries have already decided the case once both sides have given these statements. The opening statement is often made by a lone attorney at the front of the courtroom, much like monologues and soliloquys in the theater.