Want your 8-figure verdict?
In today’s episode of the FHTH Podcast, I’ll tell you how to get it.
Need I say more?
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EPISODE 232 TRANSCRIPTION
Well, hello everyone! Thanks for being here. So excited that you are here. And today we're talking about 8 Steps to an 8-Figure Verdict.
Now, last week I talked about the holy grail of trial lawyerdom, which is hard work. Today I'm going to talk about the white whale of trial lawyerdom, which is the eight-figure verdict. If you don't have one, you want one, and if you already have one, you want another one, and this seems to be the big thing that everyone is attempting to do. It's almost like that Austin Powers movie where he comes out of the cryo freeze or whatever and they say $1 million and they're like, "That's not a lot of money these days." It's kind of the same thing for you, the seven-figure verdict, big whooping deal, but it's the eight-figure verdict. That is what you want. And let's talk a little bit before we go into the eight steps why you want it.
Well, for many of you it's because if you don't have it, it's like shame. It's a shame fest. If I don't have this eight-figure verdict, then I'm not a real trial lawyer. Only real trial lawyers have eight-figure verdicts. So there's a bunch of shame in this. So I'm not going to tell you how to get it done. No, kidding. I am going to give you the eight steps, but I think they'll be surprising. And then I'm going to ask you a question at the end to really see if you are a real deal trial lawyer, because there's a question that you have to answer that will determine that, and it has fucking nothing to do with whether or not you have an eight-figure verdict, but since you still want one, I want to give you what you want. That's why I'm your Finnish mother. I want to get you what it is that you want and you're telling me you want this.
So here it is. Are you ready? You better be taking notes. Unless you're driving or running, don't take notes, but you can take them later. All right. If you're in the crew, you already had this training, but here's the podcast for those of you who are not in the crew because you are lame. You have another opportunity to join later.
All right, step number one. Stop trying to get one.
I know. That's why you're like, "What?" I told you you're going to be surprised, so don't get mad at me. I told you this is going to be surprising. Here is the number one thing. I put the number one and number two thing at first and eighth so we can begin and end with it because these are the two things out of the eight that all of my clients who came to me and said, "Sari, I want an eight-figure verdict," and I help them get one, will come back and tell you that these two things made the most difference.
Now, the other six are important too, but these two are the big ones. So we're going to talk about one at first and we're going to end with the other one. If you want an eight-figure verdict, you have to stop trying to get one because here's the thing, when you are consistently attempting to get something that you do not have, what you're doing is putting so much effort on the result instead of on the actions. Actions are where you have the power. The result in every trial that you will ever have in your entire career is always and will always be out of your control. You don't get to decide that ever. The only thing that you have control over is your effort, not the result. So when I say stop trying to get one, what I mean is not stop trying to or stop wanting one. I know you want it, I want it for you. I celebrate every time our members get the eight-figure verdicts, but, and, stop trying to get one.
It doesn't mean you can't want one, but I want you to focus on your effort, not the result. For three reasons. First reason is, as I mentioned, you can't control it. It's not within your hands. But the second reason is winning occurs in the future. It's not something that happens in your day-to-day, your moment unless you're waiting for the verdict. Now, if you are focusing on something that happens in the future, that means your attention is not where it needs to be. It needs to be on what you're doing right now in trial in this moment or in your preparation even, not on this thing that looms out in the future. So it takes your attention away from where it needs to be, can't control it. Third thing is you use it to beat yourself up. If I don't have the eight-figure verdict, if I lose at trial, all the things, you're using that to beat yourself up, which does nothing.
I mean, I don't want you beating yourself up in the first place, but on a practical level, beating yourself up is the opposite of what you need to do to be a trial lawyer. Several podcasts ago I've talked about how you are amazing and we're going to talk about that here in just a minute too. And if you're beating yourself up all the time in this profession, that is not going to serve you. We do not want people who have self-esteem issues. You got to be big, you got to be ballsy, you got to be risky to be a trial lawyer. So let's get rid of things that we're using to beat ourselves up because what this work requires is not that.
Number two, act as if.
One of the big things I talk about when I talk to my crew members and my clients about how to get the eight figure verdict is you've got to get into a position of receiving it. The only way that we ever get money is by receiving it. We don't manufacture it in our basement. We don't hopefully steal it. We receive it from people. Now oftentimes we will do things to receive it like work and other things, but we need to be in a position of receiving. I really firmly believe that many of you are not getting your eight-figure verdicts primarily. Here's the number one reason why you're not getting it, because you ain't asking for them. That's the number one reason, and the reason you're not asking for them is that there's something scary about actually getting an eight-figure verdict.
I know you could talk all day long about what you really want, but when we really go and look at that, that brings you attention. That brings this pressure that you have to do it again. It potentially appeals because that's a big number. It brings all this other stuff on that on a certain level, you may not really want it. And so when I say act as if, I'm really talking about something in Gay Hendrick's book called The Big Leap where he talks about the upper limit problem. We have a very limited tolerance for feeling things that we're not used to feeling. Even good things. So many of us will self-sabotage so that we don't move into a new echelon. Right now, I'm an eight-figure verdict lawyer, and that's different and can be scary for the brain, even though on its face it seems like a really, really good thing. So if you really want an eight-figure verdict, you need to start working with your brain because your brain is wired to resist change.
It's wired to be efficient, so it just wants everything to be the same. Change is really energy sucking. So your brain wants to be efficient, so it doesn't want anything to change. So you have to feel good now. You have to believe that you are good with or without the eight-figure verdict. You have to believe that would add good things to your life. You have to practice feeling into what it would be like to have that eight-figure verdict. I know this sounds woo woo, but I can't tell you how this has totally proven true for so many of my clients or just even my own life with always moving into a newer sphere, I would always do it first and then live into it. Otherwise it would never happen. So you have to act as if. Start acting like eight-figure. Yes, an eight-figure lawyer would act even without the eight-figure. Would you be a little more ballsy? Would you try some more risky things? Start doing that now. Do not wait.
Number three, own your amazingness and your number.
So as I was saying, this trial lawyer world does not work when you have self-esteem issues. You've got to be this courageous warrior and be willing to go out there and get beaten down and stand up for your client. So in order to do that, you got to start believing you're amazing, because if you start with I need this process to prove to me that I'm amazing, that's not what the process is for. This just popped into my head right now. I think this is the first one I've ever seen it so clearly, but that is not what this process is for. If you are waiting for this process to show you that you are amazing, you're going to use it in an unethical way on some level because this is not your vanity project. You're here to do a job for your client and for the world at large. That's what we believe at H2H.
So let's just get rid of all the ethical concerns of using your next verdict as some way to show the world how great you are and let's just decide that you're great now because that's what we need. We need to start this process with I'm amazing regardless of whatever happens because, again, that's going to allow you to act as if. If you believe you're amazing with or without the verdict, you will do the very things that are required of you to get the verdict you so want. You start with amazing. I have a whole podcast on that. So go back and listen to the scariest thing that I tell jurors, or I can't remember the name of it, but it has something to do with being amazing. You can find it. It's only like five or six podcast episodes ago. So you have to own your amazingness. Now, you also have to own the number.
So I think a lot of you do not ask for the eight-figure number and you tell yourself it's because you could never get it and that jurisdiction or there's never been a number that big or the jurors are going to get mad at you, or, or, or, or. They're all excuses. Don't tell me that if somebody's body has been damaged that isn't worth at least eight figures. I'm not telling you what to price your cases at, but my body is damaged enough from the shit I do to it, I don't want somebody else adding to that. Your number is only as small as you can own, and the same thing goes for how big it is. You got to practice owning bigger numbers. Say them out loud, write them on your mirror, put them all over your house until you get so comfortable that it just feels like pocket change. You got to own your number. Every person I've ever helped get an eight-figure verdict has owned their number and it wasn't easy at first because of all this that's going on in their head. That's not an easy thing to do, but if you do not comfortably own the number you're asking for in trial, you're never going to fucking get it.
Step number four, simplify. Simplify, simplify, simplify. Don't overthink it.
Most of the questions that I answer in our Facebook group for our H2H crew members, it's just you're making this too hard. That's what I keep saying. You're making this too hard. It's too simple. Just pare it back. The more complicated it is, the harder it's going to be to sell to a jury, and this is true of your life too. Can you simplify your life? If you have 200 cases, I'm going to say it right now. If you have 200 cases, right there is why you don't have an eight-figure verdict. The end. What do you think you are? Superman. I think you're amazing, but you're not fucking Superman or Superwoman.
How can you possibly give the attention to the case and yourself, which I think is even more important, your training, your practice when you have 200 cases? You want big verdicts, then simplify that shit down. I'm not judging you, by the way. If that's what you've chosen to do and you're fine with that and you need to do it on some level, great, but do not beat yourself up then for why you don't have the eight-figure verdict. You can't have both. You're totally going to focus down and work on some big ass cases and take them to trial and win big or you're going to have 200 cases. It's one or the other. The end.
Step five, practice. Practice over preparation.
I think I'm going to do a whole podcast on that sentence because you're like, "What? Isn't practice part of preparation?" Not for most of you. Come on now. Most of the time it's just shoving as much information in your brain by reading. That's how you prepare or writing. That's not what we're talking about. Practice. The difference for my clients who didn't have an eight-figure verdict, then came to me and then they did get one after working with me is I made them practice all the time. On their feet practicing. They got to get comfortable in that space. You cannot stand in front of a group of people and own a courtroom and then beat yourself up for it if you've never practiced that beforehand. Even just getting up in your own office, just being in that physical space of standing and moving and riding on a flip chart. If you're not doing that on a regular and then you expect that you're just going to perform magically in front of a group where everything is high stakes, what are you doing?
It just amazes me that you are so hard on yourself. You're expecting yourself to pull a rabbit out of a hat, but you're not doing the things that will actually help you do that. You got to get up on your feet and you got to practice. That is why the H2H Playground exists, so that you will practice because that is the one thing I see missing across the board in lawyer training. We do not have regular practice. Yes, you can go to some CLEs, most of them know, but some, and they'll get you on your feet for weekend, but I mean regular practice, that is what separates most people in my mind for the eight-figure verdict.
Number six, go all in.
Last week, if you didn't listen to that podcast, go and listen to it. We talked about redefining hard work from suffering and difficult to going all in, putting lots of energy into an activity, and that's what we're talking about here. The people that I have helped become eight-figure verdict lawyers have made the decision to go all in. They're not holding back. They're designing with the jury. They are having these incredibly resonant conversations. They are getting really snarky with their DVA cues. If you know, you know. They're exhibiting all this range and storytelling. They're rolling around on the floor. They're slamming things together. They're getting passionate in their closing. They're showing the jury that they care. They're not afraid of being embarrassed. They're not afraid of not following decorum. They're going all in. That makes a huge difference on whether you get an eight-figure verdict or not.
Step seven, manage your mind.
Your brain is wired for fear. It's wired for survival. It tries to scare you to keep you in line so you don't do stupid shit. Apparently, this works much better with women than men. Men haven't gotten the brain wiring, I guess, that don't do stupid shit. Joking. But that's how it's wired, to keep you safe. Guess what? Trial lawyering is not a safe profession. It's consistently putting you in a position where you must risk and risk big, not just money and time, but your psyche. If you are not managing your brain, you just shot yourself in the foot. I'm telling you, every person that I have helped get an eight-figure verdict has had a coach because they've had me or they've had Coach K or they had somebody in our membership. There's not a single person I can point to that I know personally that has an eight-figure verdict that hasn't had coaching on some level.
Coaching is huge. It's not something that's nice to have. To me, if you are honestly committed to getting bigger verdicts, you will hire a coach, a mindset coach immediately, if not sooner, and/or get in the crew because we offer it in there or get it wherever you need to get it. I don't care if it's through us, but get somebody that can help you manage your brain and knows what the fuck they're doing. There's a lot of people out there who don't, but I'll tell you, brain management is huge. You have to manage your mind if you're a trial lawyer. Somebody asked me, what's your number one tip for trial lawyers? I said, brain management. If you don't know how to manage your brain, understand your saboteur messages, how to quiet those voices and quiet your fears and deal with all that stuff, then you will not be able to go out and get an eight-figure verdict.
Not on purpose at least. It may happen because you got a great case with great facts because that happens all the time. But on the regular, you need brain management. And I will tell you that all of the people in H2H that says, "Okay, yeah, this helped with my trial, but this has changed my life," all have coaches. They're like, "This has changed my life." Coaching changes lives. So manage your mind. You can do that by self-coaching. We teach the self-coaching model here. You've probably heard that in some other podcasts. You can do that in a variety of ways, but if you want to just take the straight shot there, get a coach.
Number eight, as I promised, I saved the best for first and last.
So number eight on how to get an eight-figure verdict is trust the jury.
That's really the number one thing that we start with and the H2H membership is how to let go of this fear you have about the jury. The jury is going to solve every last one of your problems if you would stop viewing them as the enemy. I mean, why trust the jury? Well, first off, if you don't, you're non-verbally going to betray yourself. That's going to come out. They're going to know something is up because you're going to be saying one thing, but you're inside going to be thinking, well, which one of you is going to kill me? I'm going to kill you first. You can't hide that.
Number two, what you expect, you get. If you expect the jurors to be awful, you'll get awful jurors because you're going to ask the wrong questions. You're going to do an exclusionary voir dire. You're going to come out of there going, see, none of them want to give money. They're all horrible to plaintiff attorneys because you set that shit up. I have seen juries completely do a 360 just based on the type of voir dire. I don't mean that we're changing their opinion. I don't think that's what you can do, but it definitely matters how you're coming in and how you're sequencing things and all the rest of it. We set the tone at trial. I'm going to sing that tune until I die. We set the tone. We go in there looking for enemies, we're going to find them.
Number three, you focus the case on them. When you trust the jury, you make it about the jury. And as we were talking about today earlier in another call I had, how do you create compelling content? You make it about the listener. Everybody listens to WIIFM, what's in it for me? So everything we do in H2H is for and in service to the jury. When I trust them, I want to do things for them. And guess what? They then end up trusting me in the process.
Number four reason why we want to trust the jury. It allows you to form the group. No one is going to form a group of enemies. If you think these people are your enemy, why are you going to get them together to kill you? You won't. You'll resist it. But we know group formation is huge, and so we teach you how to form a group of friends of people that are going to save the day, and honestly, the fifth reason, trial becomes more enjoyable when you trust the jury. Again, a lot of our clients have gone on to win eight-figure verdicts will say probably a version of all these things, but the two things that always come to the top is I stopped wanting one or not wanting. I stopped trying to get one and focused on what really mattered and I trusted the jury. That's why I did first and last.
Now, here's the question that really determines whether you are a trial lawyer or not. It's not whether or not you have an eight-figure verdict or how many eight-figure verdicts you have. What really determines whether you're a trial lawyer or not is how you answer this question is, if you never got an eight-figure verdict, would you be willing to do this work? Would you be willing to stand up for your clients in trial over and over again if you never even got a verdict? Would you be willing to do this work? If you can answer yes to that question, that means you're a real trial lawyer. Not the verdict, the willingness to do this thankless job in many cases, this scary, risky as fuck job. If you're willing to say yes to that regardless of the outcome, that's what makes you a fucking trial lawyer. Eight-figure verdict, that's just the cherry on a sundae. Talk next week.
Have you ever wished that you knew what the jury was thinking? Well, grab a pen and paper because I'm about to give you instant access to a free training I created for plaintiff trial attorneys called 3 Powerful Strategies to Help You Read a Juror's Mind. It's going to help you to understand what the jury is thinking so you'll feel confident to trust them and yourself in the courtroom. Ready for the address? Go to sariswears.com/jury. Enjoy.
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