Even if you don’t know when you’re going to be in trial again, start preparing your “swipe file” today. “Swipe files” are used by copywriters who look to them for inspiration when preparing their next ad campaign or writing their next sales letter. Your swipe file will be a centralized folder or Word document where you’ll store all of the articles, comments, quotations, TV/movie references, etc. that you could use in your closing arguments. You can pull quotations from websites like www.Bartleby.com or www.QuotationsPage.com; write down interesting comments from TV, books,or movies; or rip articles out of magazines and newspapers and toss them in your swipe file.
Don’t wait until you’re getting close to trial to start looking for those analogies, stories, or quotations. You should always be thinking about closing argument. Those little quotations or comments are too elusive. If you don’t capture them when they arise, they’ll be unavailable to you when you start preparing your closing argument. Keep those quotes, facts, figures, stories, analogies, etc. close at hand. Put them in your swipe file, and you’ll have instant access to them as you prepare your closing argument.