Positive repetition: visuals, themes, and testimony

(L to R: Carter Stein, Rob Beard, Alan Lane, Breean Walas, Sach Oliver)

Sach Oliver: ATLA President-Elect & IMPACT Chair, 2021-2022

(ATLA: Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association)

How does positive repetition relate to ATLA? Positive repetition in advocacy is a powerful and effective tool. However, many advocates confuse positive repetition with despicable repetition. Despicable repetition is saying the exact same thing in the exact same way over and over to your audience. At some number between 2-4 times of the exact same repetition it has a diminishing return on your audience.


Positive repetition is showing and telling your audience the evidence or important points in multiple medias through multiple witnesses, using multiple visual aids, and so on. We can tell a great story through the eyes of many different people. We can show a persuasive point through different photographs or visual aids. We can offer arguments and testimony that can be communicated through the 5 different senses (touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste). Positive repetition is healthy and effective

ATLA members are the voice of our great organization to so many audiences. As trial lawyers, we can use positive repetition to tell our organization’s story in the following ways: communication.

Client/Case Stories. There is nothing more powerful than hearing a client tell their story of the justice system working for their family.

Community Betterment Stories. Often litigation results in bettering the community and many of us have those stories to share, pictures to show, and results to see.

Being Influencers. People are watching us to see how we handle controversial situations, adversarial moments, ultimate conflict when morals and values are tested, and how we handle a successful outcome. Let us be a positive influence for those that see us working as trial lawyers.

The Bench. Let us be a helpful resource to any member of the Bench. Let us be a shining example of advocacy that ATLA would be proud of in each courtroom across our state. I try to weave ATLA into my conversations, oral arguments, and some pleadings with our Courts, because ATLA is a respected organization with a positive story to tell.

The Legislature. We are blessed in Arkansas with so many talented, caring, and driven political leaders. ATLA members should foster relationships with our legislators as part of our civic duty as trial lawyers so we can be a reliable and trusted resource concerning the civil justice system. Breaking bread, sharing stories, listening to the true needs and concerns of our legislators and our fellow Arkansans, and answering the real questions is being a team player for Arkansas and ATLA.

Let’s use positive repetition to tell ATLA’s story in so many ways across every county in Arkansas.