Give Them Back Their Lives: Recognizing Client Narrative in Case Theory

This article is about case theory and its implications for incorporating client narratives in litigation. In seeking to understand the connections between voice, narrative, and case theory, I look not only to theory but to my experience as a clinical teacher and criminal defense attorney. I explore how the practice of lawyering can be reconstructed to embrace a greater role for clients in constructing case theories, both through the images of the client the lawyer presents in the case theory and through active client participation in developing and choosing the case theory. Although one aim of case theory is to persuade the trier of fact, my focus is not on the sorts of inferences and arguments that might persuade a jury but rather on the role of the client in shaping case theory.