Expert-lay interaction in jury trials (case study of closing arguments)

Open access


This study arises out of the intention to examine the features of expert-lay interaction in a jury trial. The paper studies closing arguments constructed by legal experts as possible worlds which would be attractive for jurors. Theory of possible worlds is employed to present discourse practices as versions of the real world which may overlap, supplement or contradict one another. Legal experts construe and present possible worlds to jury members who deliver verdicts on the case, i.e. possess decisional power. Efficient involvement of jurors into the possible world constructed by the legal expert signals formation of discourse of concord. In order to make their own possible world more credible than the world of the procedural opponents, legal experts employ different interaction tools: description of legal concepts, empathy, appeals to social values, imperative and question utterances, personalization.

Anesa, P. (2011). Courtroom Discourses: An Analysis of the Westerfield Jury Trial: PhD Thesis. Verona: University of Verona.

Aron, R., Fast, J., Klein, R.B. (1996) Trial Communication Skills. Deerfield, Ill.: Clark Boardman Callaghan.

Atkinson, J.M., Drew, P. (1979) Order in Court: The Organisation of Verbal Interaction in Judicial Settings. London: Macmillan. DOI: 10.2307/3311753

Bakhtin, M.M. (1979). Literaturno-kriticheskie stat'i. Moskva: Hudozhestvennaja literature.

Bakhtin, M.M. (1981) The Dialogic imagination: Four Essays by M.M. Bakhtin. Austin: University of Texas Press. DOI: 10.2307/2068659

Bornstein, B.H. (1999) The Ecological Validity of Jury Simulations: Is the Jury Still Out? In Law and Human Behavior, 23(1), pp. 75-91. DOI: 10.1023/a:1022326807441

Bray, R.M., Kerr, N.L. (1979) Use of the Simulation Method in the Study of Jury Behavior: Some Methodological Considerations. In Law and Human Behavior, 3, pp. 107-119

Carnap, P. (1959). Meaning and necessity: studies in semantics and modal logic. Moscow: Izd-vo inostrannoi literatury. DOI: 10.2307/2019215

Chafe, W. (1982). Dannoe, kontrastivnost’, opredelennost’, podlezhashchcee itochka zreniya. In Novoe v zarubezhnoi lingvistike, 11, pp. 277-317.

Chiang, A.C. (1984). Fundamental Methods of Mathematical Economics (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. DOI: 10.1016/0164-0704(84)90011-9

Cotterill, J. (2003) Language and Power in Court: A Linguistic Analysis of the O.J. Simpson Trial. Basingstoke: Palgrave. DOI: 10.1558/ijsll.v11i2.293

Danet, B. (1985). Legal Discourse. In van Dijk, T.A. (ed.) Handbook of Discourse Analysis, Vol. 1. London: Academic Press, pp. 273-291. DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631205968.2003.00002.x

Diamond, S.S. (1997) Illuminations and Shadows from Jury Simulations. In Law and Human Behavior, 21, pp. 561-571. DOI: 10.1023/a:1024831908377

Dubrovskaya, T.V. (2010). Sudebny diskurs: rechevoe povedenie sudji (na materiale russkogo i angliiskogo yazykov). Moskva: Akademiya.

Eco, U. (1984). The Role of the Reader: Explorations in the Semiotics of Texts. Indiana University Press. DOI: 10.2307/40135037

Goodrich, P. (1984) Law and Language: An Historical and Critical Introduction. In Journal of Law and Society, 11(2), pp. 173-206. DOI: 10.2307/1410039

Green, J.P. (1976). All Men Are Created Equal: Some Reflections on the Character of the American Revolution. Oxford: Clarendon Press. DOI: 10.3726/978-1-4539-1327-7/14

Harris, S. (1984) Questions as a Mode of Control in Magistrates‘ Courts. In International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 49, pp. 5-28. DOI: 10.1515/ijsl.1984.49.5

Hastie, R., Penrod, S.D., Pennington, N. (1983) Inside the Jury. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

Heffer, C. (2005). The Language of Jury Trial: A Corpus-aided Analysis of LegalLay Discourse. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. DOI: 10.1558/ijsll.v13i2.293

Heffer, C. (2008). The Language and Communication of Jury Instructions. In Gibbons, J., Turell, M. T. (eds) Dimensions of Forensic Linguistics. Amsterdam / Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Hintikka, Y. (1980). Logic and epistemological studies. Moscow: Progress.

Holthoon, F. van, Olson, D. (1987). Common Sense: The Foundations for Social Science. Lanham, Md.: University Press of America.

Hyland, K. (2001). Bringing in the Reader. Addressee Features in Academic Articles. In Written Communication, 18 (4), pp. 549-574. DOI: 10.1177/0741088301018004005.

Kaplunenko, A.M. (2012). Federal / Federalism: from the concept to the term. Semiotic evolution of the nomination ‘Federal / Feeralism’. In Vestnik of Irkutsk State Linguistic University, 2(18), pp. 16-21.

Khutyz, I.P. (2012). Signaly interaktivnosti v akademicheskom diskurse: inklusivnye mestoimeniya. In Vestnik of Maikop State Technological University, 3, pp. 64-68.

Koni, A.F. (1966). Iz zapisok sudebnogo deyatelya. Tom 1. Prisazhnye zasedateli. Moscow: Yuridicheskaya literature.

Krapivkina, O.A. (2014). Pronominal choice in academic discourse. In Middle East Journal of Scientific Research, 20 (7), pp. 833-843. DOI: 10.5829/idosi.mejsr.2014.20.07.13676

Krapivkina, O.A. (2017). Analysis of discourses as forms of social interaction (Case study of court shows). In Vestnik Tomskogo Gosudarstvennogo Universiteta. Filologiya, 46, pp. 21-30. DOI: 10.17223/19986645/46/2

Kripke, S. (1963). Semantical Considerations on Modal Logic. In Acta philosophica fennica, 16, pp. 83-94. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-0346-0145-0_16

Kubryakova, E.S. (2004). Yazyk i znanie: Na puti polucheniya znanii o yazyke: Chasti rechi s kognitivnoi tochki zreniya. Rol’ yazyka v poznanii mira. Moscow: Yazyki slavyanskoi kultury.

Lewis, D. (1986). On the Plurality of Worlds. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Lubet, S. (2004). Modern Trial Advocacy: Analysis and Practice. South Bend, Indiana: National Institute for Trial Advocacy.

Matoesian, G. (2001). Law and the Language of Identity: Discourse in the Kennedy Smith Rape Trial. Oxford: Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1177/095792650501600110

Mauet, T.A. (2009). Trials: Strategy, Skills, and the New Powers of Persuasion. New York: Aspen Publishers.

McMenamin, G. (2002) Forensic Linguistics: Advances in Forensic Stylistics. Boca Raton: CRC Press.

Mellinkoff, D. (1963) The Language of the Law. Boston: Little Brown & Co.

Olsson, J. (2004). Forensic Linguistics: An Introduction to Language, Crime and the Law. London: Continuum. DOI: 10.1353/lan.2008.0005

Palashevskaya I.V. (2012). Courtroom discourse: Functions, structure, nattativeness. Volgograd:Volgograd State Social and Educational University.

Philips, S.U. (1987). The Social Organisation of Questions and Answers in Courtroom Discourse. In Kedar, L. (ed.) Power through Discourse. Norwood, NJ: Ablex, pp. 83-112. DOI: 10.2307/414585

Plantinga, A. 1976. Actualism and possible worlds. In Theoria, 42, pp.139-160. DOI: 10.1093/0195103769.003.0006.

Ryan M.L. (2013). Possible worlds [online]. Accessible from:

Stalnaker, R.S. (1985). Pragmatics. In Novoe v zarubezhnoi lingvistike, 16, pp. 115-125.

Swales, J.M. (1990) Genre Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Swales, J.M. (2016). Reflections on the concept of discourse community. In Concepts and Frameworks in English for Specific Purposes, 69, pp. 1-12. DOI: 10.4000/asp.4774

Whitehead, A.N. (1990). Selected works in philosophy. Moscow: Progress.

Journal Information

Cited By


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 233 226 9
PDF Downloads 282 281 78