February 24, 2021
8. Rex Parris: The Neurology of the Courtroom

Rex Parris discusses the neurology of the courtroom and tools of persuasion that he has used in his own trials, including how trial advocates can embrace vulnerability.

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  • Rex explains his unconventional start and how he learnt to deal with fear.
  • Lawyers are the last to show vulnerability but showing vulnerability is what connects us.
  • Reverse the roles: by playing the witness and answering questions, you can get into see the world as they see it and speak their language.
  • Once you have all the power in the room, don’t do anything to look like a bully as people will immediately have you once you do. There is no need to be mean. You can be a very good advocate and vulnerable.
  • Angles make all the difference: pointing while you are facing someone or to an angle makes.
  • Rex shares how he is no longer afraid of hostility and enjoys moving people over.
  • Use breathing exercises to control your fear and anxiety.
  • Why Rex thinks metaphors are so important and how he uses them.
  • How to diffuse your opponent’s metaphors by using reversals.
  • When dealing with experts, explore the concept of “Negative space” – what didn’t he or she do or consider
  • Make sure you have full understanding of the words experts use.
  • Juxtapose expert evidence with the real world, e.g. would the doctor seek a second opinion for his child?

Books mentioned:

Metaphors We Live By, George Lakoff & Mark Johnson 
Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman
Duped: Truth-Default Theory and the Social Science of Lying and Deception, Timothy R. Levine 

Courses mentioned:

Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College 
Case Analysis 
Rick Friedman’s Seminars 


Rex Parris

Rex Parris has over 40 years experience and a reputation as a highly innovative trial lawyer based out of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Rex founded his law firm PARRIS in 1985, focusing on personal injury litigation, whilst also having served as mayor of Lancaster, California since 2008.

In 2009, Rex was the lead attorney in a defamation action against Guess Inc. co-founder Georges Marciano that resulted in an historic jury verdict in Los Angeles for $370,000,000. Most recently PARRIS Law Firm filed a class action against Apple Inc. in relation to MacBook Pro display defects.

Rex has been at the forefront of exploring innovative techniques for improving trial advocacy, particularly in relation to jury trials. Among these, he utilises cognitive science and Neuro-Linguistic Programming in order to improve courtroom interactions, as well as facial micro-expression software to determine which emotional elements are most amiable to specific parts of cases.