Golden Rule Argument Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Golden Rule Argument, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Golden Rule Argument?

“When a lawyer asks the jury members to picture themselves in the plaintiff’s situation. The court usually does not approve this type of argument because it is not founded on factual evidence, but emotion.

History and Meaning of Golden Rule Argument

The Golden Rule Argument is a technique used by lawyers during court proceedings where they ask the jurors to put themselves in the plaintiff's shoes and imagine how they would feel in the same situation. Although it is not supported by factual evidence, it attempts to appeal to the jurors on an emotional level rather than logic. However, this form of argument is generally not approved by the court as it could be manipulative and cause jurors to give an unfair verdict.

Examples of Golden Rule Argument

  1. A lawyer representing the victim of a car accident might ask the jurors to consider themselves in the victim's shoes and imagine the pain and suffering they would experience if they were in the same position.
  2. A lawyer defending a company against discrimination charges might use the Golden Rule Argument and ask the jurors to consider how they would feel if they were wrongly accused of discrimination.
  3. In a case involving medical malpractice, the lawyer for the plaintiff might ask the jury to consider how they would feel if their loved ones had to go through similar pain and suffering due to incompetent medical practices.

Legal Terms Similar to Golden Rule Argument

  1. Ad Hominem: An argument that attacks the character of the opponent rather than addressing the issue at hand.
  2. Appeal to Emotion: A persuasive technique used to manipulate people's emotions to support a particular view.
  3. Slippery Slope: An argument that suggests that a particular event could potentially lead to a chain of negative events, making it a dangerous path to follow.