THE DEFENDER

The words still resonate – “I don’t want a Public Defender, I want a real lawyer.”  They underpinned the backhanded compliment of “hey PD, you’re good.  You should go to law school.”  But it has been the case for decades that a person accused of a crime – adult or juvenile – was better off

BIASED TRIALS

A book titled “Biased Trials” will invariably draw the attention of those who take courtroom advocacy seriously, who teach advocacy, or are driven by concerns over disparate treatment.  This was a ‘moth to the candle’ attraction.  But this book is more than what a trial lawyer needs.  It is a study in behavioral economics, a

DIY COURTROOM DEMONSTRATIVES: AN INVALUABLE GUIDE

There are certain essential tools for learning how to best design a courtroom presentation, particularly powerpoint.  Think of PRESENTATION ZEN by Garr Reynolds, a map through the art of making less do more.  Reynolds taught simplicity, visuals over words, and story-telling; and in doing so inspired tributes like this one – How PRESENTATION ZEN fixed

GUILTY PEOPLE

Wrongful convictions; eyewitness error; DNA exonerations.  These are the exciting and popularly-acclaimed aspects of criminal defense – preventing or correcting the error of someone being wrongfully accused or imprisoned for an act that never occurred or was committed by someone else.  But focusing on those cases ignores the primary role invoked by the Sixth Amendment

ADVOCACY EXCELLENCE (NOT QUITE)

There was much to look forward to when a new textbook on trial advocacy, by two experienced women lawyers,  was released:  new voices, more prominence for women advocates, and [hopefully] the latest in multi-disciplinary insights to teaching and performing the art of litigation.  And the promotional material for Camille Abate’s and Kathleen Mullin’s ADVOCACY EXCELLENCE

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR EXPERT

Lawyers need to train their experts?  Well, sort of. Experts need no training in their subject matter, but they may and often do need guidance in preparing for report-writing, depositions, and trial.  And there may be no better guide than the succinct ABA publication HOW TO TRAIN YOUR EXPERT: MAKING YOUR CLIENT’S CASE. Written as

TRIAL TACTICS

There can be no doubt that Stephen Saltzburg knows his way around a courtroom, and his way around the Federal Rules of Evidence, too.  This prowess is on full display in the fourth edition of Trial Tactics, released by the ABA earlier this year.  Trial Tactics takes Saltzburg’s columns from the ABA’s “Criminal Justice” magazine,

FOOLPROOF: THE ART OF COMMUNICATION FOR LAWYERS AND PROFESSIONALS (NITA 2018)

Where do I stand?  When should I move – my location, my arms?  Is this much eye contact too much eye contact?  How loud should I get, and when?  And in all of this, where is the line between communicating effectively and being seen as histrionic or manipulative? Those are among the questions FOOLPROOF is

TOUGH CASES

This book might be titled, alternatively, JUDGING JUDGES or JUDGES JUDGE THEMSELVES.  It is a text I was prepared to discount as self-serving – judges writing about some of the “hardest decisions they’ve ever made” according to the cover’s blurb.   I was wrong.   This is a mostly remarkable collection of essays, each from one

POINT WELL MADE

  Motions – pre-trial, mid-trial – are where the edge is gained in litigation.  Said more powerfully, the lawyer who understands and excels in motions practice – narrowing the claims, restricting or amplifying the admissible proof and how it is to be considered – is the lawyer who controls the litigation and is better positioned