Applied Kabbalah: 10 sacred attributes to integrate into litigation Part two: Understanding

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By Amy Singer, Ph.D., Diana Greninger and Kemberlee Bonnet

 

In our previous article we discussed Da’at, (Applied Kabbalah: 10 sacred attributes to integrate into litigation, March 12, 2015) which translates to “knowledge” and we discussed the importance of connecting knowledge to the juror and their insight in a given issue. Having formed a relationship with knowledge on a personal level, the sensitivity of a given concept was gained through life experience.

However, sometimes we cannot unify ourselves to a situation initially, because we have never experienced the situation ourselves. This is where the attribute of Binah facilitates understanding of the given issue, and takes the original idea presented and expands and develops it into understanding.[1] Kabbalah considers the Binah attribute as contemplation, information processing and comprehension while also including inductive and deductive reasoning.[2] It is considered the rational process that works to fully develop an idea and is considered as the ability to distinguish one idea from the other. [3]

Binah demonstrates that words are just symbols. In litigation, these symbols are used to create understanding for jurors in the explanation of complex case-specific concepts that they likely have never experienced as an individual. We have found that the best way to ensure impersonal understanding is to use the attribute of Binah by the use of analogies and metaphors.  

 

Construction of Analogies and Metaphors

Analogies and metaphors are the language you must use to tell the given story so jurors will understand it. If a language is foreign, you need a translator. That is what analogies and metaphors are for; the analogy and/or metaphor will explain things in a way that it will make sense to the jury and aid in the understanding of a concept of which was initially foreign.

For example, in a work injury-related case, an explosion occurred in a chemical plant. The defendant owner of the plant had prior knowledge of issues with chemical storage but ignored it. That eventually led to an explosion from the chemicals. An example analogy could be presented as, “being sent out to work at the plant when major explosive chemicals were not properly stowed was like being sent into a room full of dynamite with a blowtorch.” This analogy demonstrates that the defendants were not providing the adequate protection that they were supposed to provide and chose to disregard safety. It is almost certain that most jurors are unable to relate to the context of an explosion in a chemical plant, especially being unfamiliar with chemical reactions. Jurors do, however, know that dynamite and blowtorched do not need to be in the same environment.

Metaphors also frame your story to facilitate juror understanding. For example, consider a case that involves a motorcycle and automobile collision. While the motorcyclist was exiting the interstate highway using the off ramp, he was hit by the automobile. The automobile had cut across many lanes and the driver claims he did not see the motorcycle.  An example metaphor could be, “the motorcyclist was like a deer in the headlights.” The purpose of the metaphor is to illustrate the impossible situation that the motorcyclist experienced. It is unlikely that most jurors will be motorcyclists, and thus would be unable to relate to the motorcyclist’s dilemma. Most people do, however, understand the metaphor “deer in the headlights” and its connotation.

 

Continued use of Binah in your case

You might be thinking, “Aren’t demonstrative aids and/or expert testimonies enough in getting a juror to understand my case?” Directly speaking, if a juror does not understand the foundation of your case, how is he or she going to really understand your exhibits and/or testimony? Further, Binah is an attribute to be exercised throughout your case. Once understanding of complex concepts is in motion in the nascent stages of your case, the juror is now motivated to understand further complexities. The continuous use of analogies and metaphors throughout the case will help to insure that understanding. For example, demonstrative aids are often not enough to maintain the understanding initially acquired and the jurors will likely need further help in understanding your exhibits.  The understanding acquired through analogies and metaphors can actually enhance the effectiveness of your demonstrative aids.

This is also applicable to expert testimony. It is a great strategy if your expert should use analogies in his or her explanation of difficult material. For example, if a doctor specializing in traumatic brain injury is explaining the scientific nature of a head injury and the effect it has had on the individual, an analogy would be most helpful in jurors’ understanding of the condition. Topics such as medicine are difficult for most to understand. Strong analogies and metaphorical explanations will bridge this gap in expertise.

 

Conclusion

As demonstrated, the attribute of Binah facilitates understanding of case-specific information that is impersonal to the individual. Binah is hinged on understanding through analogies and metaphors, and if jurors can relate to the presented analogies and the metaphors, they can truly understand your discourse. That is why analogies and metaphors are so important- jurors are less likely to find for what they do not understand. When a juror identifies with another’s dilemma, they are more likely to be in favor of that individual. 

 



 

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