Building an excellent case

Building an excellent case: strategies for success in the legal arena

Whether you’re defending a corporate lawsuit or a criminal case, making an excellent case is vital to winning in a courtroom. However, every budding law professional understands that making an exceptional case can be challenging without proper planning, education and experience.

Cleveland State University’s online juris doctor degree is an intrinsic program that takes law students through thorough professional development, sharpening their legal research and analysis skills, and giving them the real-life experience of making good cases.

This article will discuss key strategies that lawyers can use to build a convincing and winning case.

Four Strategies to Build an excellent case

Below are some of the must-have techniques to assemble an exceptional case.

1. Lay a solid foundation

An excellent case starts with understanding the facts, legal issues, and your client’s objectives and points of view. Identify your case’s strengths and weaknesses by reviewing available evidence meticulously – analyze the documents repeatedly to find flaws and advantages, and thoroughly examine relevant statutes and any legal precedents that you can study to grasp the case process fully.

A solid foundation helps you fully understand the case you’re handling. To achieve this, you must identify the specific legal issues at the heart of the dispute. Did your client breach a contract, were they scammed, or was it a case of misrepresentation? Pinpointing the critical legal concern helps you narrow down your legal research and keeps your focus on the problem.

The next thing to do is to review the terms and conditions of your client’s contract. Look for clauses that revolve around the dispute, such as payment terms, dispute resolution provisions, or an agreement breached. Reviewing the contract will help you identify ambiguities and inconsistencies that you can leverage in your argument.

Check out your opponent when collecting foundational data. Assess each party’s strengths and weaknesses with the data you have. This opens your eyes to any potential defenses or counterclaims that the other party might throw your way, giving you enough time to counterattack them.

The primary purpose of laying a good foundation is that it helps you formulate a solid legal strategy. Tailor your legal strategy to complement specific facts and circumstances of the case. This technique enables you to minimize any weaknesses or vulnerabilities during arguments.

2. Master the art of communication

A well-prepared and smartly delivered opening statement can immediately capture the judge’s attention, setting the mood for a favorable outcome. The goal is to communicate well with judges, juries and your client.

The trick to achieving this is to create well-drafted documents, including contracts, briefs and pleadings, that convey complex and complicated ideas and make it easier for readers to digest.

You can use persuasive writing techniques to strengthen your client’s position. How? Using clear language and presenting a logical flow of argument can make briefs more convincing, especially to the judge reading them.

Besides drafting superb documents, the way that you present your arguments in court also matters. Oral advocacy requires articulating your arguments with clarity, confidence and conviction. This can range from offering an impressive opening statement to compelling closing arguments that impress the judge.

Cases that you communicate effectively are more likely to capture the judge’s or jury’s attention, giving you a better chance at winning. Here’s how it works. Imagine a scenario where you’re representing a plaintiff in a personal injury case. Your ability to describe the severity of the injuries and how they affect the plaintiff’s life, using both verbal and non-verbal communication techniques, can sway the jury’s emotions, giving your client better compensation.

However, not all cases make it to court. Some parties might choose to settle after persuasion from their lawyers. This is easy if it’s from their lawyers – persuading an opposing client to settle is on another spectrum. You must learn to be empathetic and listen to the opposing party while maintaining a firm stance on your client’s interests.

3. Stay ahead of legal developments

Read up on recent case laws, statutes and regulations that can arm you with important information that might significantly improve your case. Some of the ways that you can stay on top of recent legal developments include the following:

  • Utilize legal research platforms that offer information on case laws and regulations. These platforms let you search precedents by jurisdiction, practice area and specific legal issues, providing access to secondary issues such as law reviews and treaties.
  • Subscribe to legal blogs discussing recent court decisions, legislative changes and regulatory updates.
  • Engage in continuing legal education (CLE). Many jurisdictions require attorneys to complete CLE courses to maintain their licenses. These courses often cover recent legal developments that attorneys must stay updated on.
  • Ensure that you regularly discuss cases and legal developments with your colleagues to gain insights from them. They might know something that could help your case tremendously.
  • Keep an eye on decisions from appellate courts and the Supreme Court, as these rulings usually set precedents that can impact your case. Sign up for email alerts, subscribe to YouTube channels that discuss these rulings, and follow these courts on social media to receive notifications when they make new decisions.
  • Track federal and state legislative websites to get updates on bills and enacted laws that affect your practice area.

4. Handle your witness preparation meticulously

Take time to prepare witnesses for direct and cross-examinations, ensuring that they understand the key points they should convey. Familiarize your witness with courtroom procedures, walking them through the roles of each participant and the questioning process.

Let them understand how the opposing lawyer might question them and the best ways that they can answer. Knowing the routine and what to expect helps them reduce anxiety, making them feel more comfortable during their testimony.

You should also remind witnesses to be honest and accurate in their testimony. Encourage them to admit if they can’t recall specific information rather than guessing or providing inaccurate details. Help them understand that giving incorrect information could render their other testimonies irrelevant.

You should also prepare them for potential cross-examination tactics, including rapid-fire questions to confuse and mislead them. Run them through every question that the opposing lawyer might ask them and the best ways to answer them. This prepares the witness for these tactics and teaches them to maintain their composure and respond calmly.


Building an excellent case requires adequate preparation, communication and adaptability. Lawyers must perfect these key strategies to boost their cases and give their clients a better winning chance. This makes navigating the legal landscape and achieving favorable outcomes for their case easier.

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