Subtle attribution cues embedded in language were investigated in a simulated courtroom setting. Lawyers in training as well as lay attorneys gave closing speeches for the defense and for the prosecution. In a first study, distinct linguistic strategies were identified. Prosecutors attributed internal causality to defendants, whereas defense attorneys supported negative intentional attributions to the victim. In a second study, lay persons judged the closing speeches and decided on verdict and punishment. Severity of punishment depended on speaker's role (defense or prosecution), severity of crime, and 2 linguistic strategies, indicating intentionality of negative behavior and dispositionality of negative behavior. It is concluded that subtle language strategies do have a noticeable effect on the attribution of blame and guilt in a legal setting.