Silence in Court! Movement Psychology and Vocal Dynamics for Lawyers - Part 1

08 Mar , 2024

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“Movement psychology” is a branch of psychology that emerged in the early twentieth century with the research of the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. The work was further developed by Rudolph Laban, the architect of European Contemporary dance, and completed by a Swiss dancer and actor named Yat Malmgren in the middle of the twentieth century. 

Yat recognized that this would be a powerful tool for actors and went on to complete Laban’s theory. He extended Laban’s ideas by creating a psychological typology which brings together Laban and Stanislavsky. Inner motivation and outer expression are linked together leading to the detailed and accurate construction of character. 

Yat taught this work to scores of acting students at the Drama Center in London. His students included Anthony Hopkins, Sean Connery, and Colin Firth to name a few 

How is this work useful for lawyers? 

I believe that this work is enormously useful for storytellers (i.e., lawyers) in the sense that they have to tell their stories from the perspective of many different people (i.e., witnesses), none of whom are alike.

Practically speaking, this presentation could help litigation attorneys when it comes to cross-examining witnesses by helping them to identify a witness’s inner attitudes and thus what behavior would be most beneficial to adopt when it comes to questioning that witness in order to elicit favorable testimony.

It can also be enormously helpful during jury selection as you will come to find out.

 

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