COMM 4610 KU Role of Emotional Intelligence in Effective Communication Questions


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COMM 4610
April 4 Class Assignment
1. Watch the videos that are posted in Week 10 that I assigned and mentioned in class:
How to Speak Like a Veteran Lawyer
Reading Body Language
Reading Minds Through Body Language
How Judges Can Show Respect

I added a very short one, The Power of Dignity.
2. Then also watch the video from Week 12:
Killer Cross Examination– Cooperating Witness Cross Examination

There is also a short article in Week 12- Courtroom Attire. – Attached
3. You were hired as a consultant to a law firm who wants your help in improving the
communication skills of its attorneys and clients and witnesses. The firm does all areas of law.
After watching these videos, what advice would you offer?
Write a few paragraphs of general advice that you feel is necessary. You can assume that you
observed some behaviors that you agreed or disagreed with. Would your advice differ to male
and female attorneys and clients and witnesses? Should it or is that politically incorrect?
4. After that job, the State hires you to provide advice to prosecutors and judges on their
communication skills. How would you advise them to communicate to the public and to litigants
with dignity while also maintaining the serious decorum of a courtroom?
Final Assignment
First- don’t fret– these are short clips! I don’t expect long essay answers and I don’t expect citations. I
just want your observations as a communications professional. I have offered direction in many of the
The following questions are to be answered after watching each clip. Remember our focus- looking at
communication skills- verbal and nonverbal- in all aspects of the legal system. We have been analyzing
what is effective communication? Feel free to look up summaries of the movies if you want a larger
context for the question about the scene.
1. Legally Blonde

What nonverbal cues are evident in this scene- both positive and negative? What/who has the director
chosen to show you and why? (Hint- think about the looks of each person and what they mean and how
they effect others around them)
2. 12 Angry Men

This is a scene of the jurors in the jury room deliberating. What communication skills are utilized here and
are they effective?
3. A Time to Kill

This scene is very powerful- why? How does Jake Brigance (the attorney played byMatthew
McConnaughy) use communication skills to make this closing so powerful? And I don’t mean that you just
think he’s a good actor!
4. The Judge jury selection
The first is a compilation of clips and the second is specifically jury selection. What communication skills
do you see being used effectively? i.e. Robert Downy, Jr. is the lawyer representing the defendant who is
a Judge and Downy’s character’s father– how effective is their communication as lawyer-client? How is
communication used to select the jury? I chose the compilation of clips so you can tell me what strikes
5. 12 Angry Men
We watched this movie in class. Describe on way that you think this movie highlighted the need for
communication in any aspect of the legal process?
6. Philadelphia

These are a series of clips from the movie ranging from the main character Andrew Beckett, played by
Tom Hanks, first meeting with attorney Joe Miller, played by Denzel Washington and trying to get him to
take his case to scenes in the courtroom. What communication skills- verbal and non-verbal are used
effectively in each of these stages of the legal process? i.e. Beckett’s communications with Miller, Miller’s
communications in the courtroom to the Judge, the prosecutor and the jurors; What nonverbal
communication is effective?
7. Runaway Jury

Again, a series of clips from the movie. The first is an interview with John Cusack talking about his
character, Nick Easter and the movie in general.
I chose this movie because it is a very cynical look at jury selection and the legal process because of all
the attempts at fraud- the book by John Grisham upon which the movie is based was published originally
in 1996. 24 years later we now have a much larger, legitimate business of jury selection. What
communication skills were utilized to select the jurors? Why were certain jurors picked? Are the
qualities/cues looked for by this jury consultant, Rankin Fitch, played by Gene Hackman, what you think a
lawyer would be choosing? Or are his selections based on different motives and thus wind up with
different jurors than if the players were not attempting to “rig” or “sabotage” the jury?
8. Extra Credit – 50 points
The Defender
We watched this movie in class also.
Write me a brief summary of the movie.
I liked this movie because it highlighted the moral dilemma for criminal defense attorneys so I could
relate. There are other themes as well. What theme(s) of this movie could you relate to? Since the main
characters were predominantly white men, are these themes still relevant today, over 50 years later?
Could you relate to any of the characters? Explain.

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Emotional Intelligence

courtroom attire

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