ABSTRACT

This chapter introduces some of the complex issues involved in the construction of stories in court. In particular, it stresses the multitude of ways in which narrativity of one form or another can emerge in the jury trial context through its various hybrid genres. The chapter focuses on the ordinary mechanics of narrative construction in court and, through the concept of narrative navigation, explains how trial lawyers can be intensely engaged with constructing their forensic stories while not actually producing a large amount of narrative discourse. After initial discussion of the place of narrative in the trial process, the chapter follows through the various stages in a jury trial from the initial selection of jurors to the judge’s sentencing of the defendant, demonstrating at each stage how narrative is manifested in emplotment, story negotiation, character navigation and narration.