Major civil trial (hundreds of millions of dollars at stake) in my instance, but some of it may be of use in criminal cases. Or not - I dunno, but here it is:
The first thing that struck me, and stuck with me, was that both the defense and the plaintiffs went to great lengths to educate the jury on the whys and wherefors, and most especially on the underlying technology. They told stories with the material they were presenting, and each side tried to very carefully build an identification between the jury and their principle in how they told the story. They were very careful to not directly insult their opponents, but at the same time, presenting them as selfish, unprincipled, or ungrateful by way of insinuation.
Next thing that struck me was the ‘harping on a theme.’ Each side had a theory, a theme, and they stuck to it, returning to it time and again over the two weeks of testimony. With each witness called, there was some directed attempt to focus the testimony on either that side’s theory, or to discredit the other side’s theory, but only occasionally were both tried at the same time. Simplicity in focus was the manner that both sides used - They rarely asked the jury to try and absorb more than one concept per witness. Cross-examination was used as often to muddle the focus of a witness’ testimony as it was to impeach the witness or discredit the opposition’s theory. Re-direct would then be used to to refocus the witness’ testimony, or to repair the witness’ credibility.
There were a few ‘Perry Mason’ moments, and a couple witnesses were demolished, but for the most part, it was quite civil and polite. In two of the ‘Perry Mason’ moments, the lawyers found that they’d mouse-trapped a lion, and they got pounded by the witness. Those witnesses were paid great attention by the jury, and had very high credibility.
Both the plantiff’s and the defendant’s lawyers built a strong foundation, and moved towards their conclusion one step at a time.
In the end, though, the defence’s own theme came back to bite them in the ass. The case really was about “living up to the deal that they made, not the one that they intended.” Be careful which theme you harp on - The jury may hear you, and give you something other than what you wanted.