THE DEPOSITION TUTORIAL

The theme of this exceptionally useful book is simple but essential – as the number of trials plummets, the importance of the deposition as a tool to secure a favorable non-trial disposition increases exponentially.  The TUTORIAL is the ultimate guide on how to rethink the deposition and still have it in hand if the case

One step forward and two steps back? The ′20 Principles′ for questioning vulnerable witnesses and the lack of an evidence-based approach

In England and Wales, particular attention has been devoted to the presentation and questioning of vulnerable witnesses, usually children.  This led to the development of “The 20 Principles of Questioning,” a protocol for preparing and examining such witnesses. This article assesses the 20 principles to show which are supported by science, which have inadequate research

THE TRIAL PRESENTATION COMPANION

It takes a techie (and not a village) to ensure that courtroom technology works – works in terms of functionality, and works in terms of effective presentation.  So it is no surprise that NITA turned to a managing director of a forensic presentation consulting firm to author a comprehensive text on trial presentation technology, software,

TAILORED JURY INSTRUCTIONS: WRITING INSTRUCTIONS THAT MATCH A SPECIFIC JURY’S READING LEVEL

Jury instructions are core to the assessment of a case – although they are boring and often difficult for the lay audience (or even many layers) to understand.  Across the board, there has been inadequate work done to ensure comprehensibility. This article approaches the problem from the starting point of average reading levels in the

MEDIATING IN THE RED ZONE — AN ADVOCATE’S CHECKLIST

What does it take to resolve a case successfully in a mediation process?  This how-to article, from this Utah attorney who has both advocated in mediation proceedings and served as a mediator and arbitrator, is a common sense guide to lawyers whose cases will proceed via alternative dispute resolution.  With the touchstones of flexibility and

THE FEDERAL RULES OF EVIDENCE, DECONSTRUCTED

Author/self-publisher Maurice Baggiano offers THE FEDERAL RULES OF EVIDENCE, DECONSTRUCTED, as a user-friendly guide/deskbook for the practicing lawyer who needs a clear and simple elocution and elaboration of the Federal Rules.  The problem is that DECONSTRUCTED is too simplified and is organized in a way many lawyers might find difficult to maneuver. Let’s start with

THE FEMININE SIXTH – WOMEN FOR THE DEFENSE

GUEST REVIEWER: PROFESSOR SARA JACOBSON Reading the foreword to the book will ruin it too, but if you avoid that chapter, and the last paragraph of this review, with its spoilers, you’ll find WOMEN FOR THE DEFENSE an engaging, worthwhile read.                The premise of the book is that noted defense attorney Andrea Lyon has

ADOPTED STATEMENTS IN THE DIGITAL AGE: HEARSAY RESPONSES TO SOCIAL MEDIA “LIKES”

What is a “like” in the world of social media?  For Evidence law purposes, does “like” equal “approve” or “I agree?”  And what does it matter?  Because if “like” translates into approval, it becomes an adoption of the original message by the “liker.”  And if that person is ever the party to litigation, does this

“That’s How She Talks”: Animating Text Message Evidence in the Sexual Assault

Text messages are often more accurate in detailing a chain of events than a witness’ post-occurrence memory and time-of-trial reconstruction of the incident(s).  Yet text messages are not neutral; they may be subject to manipulation or alternative interpretations depending on how they are displayed and “animated,” i.e., brought to life. This capacity to give different

STORYTELLING SECRETS FROM NON-LAWYERS

Lawyers tend to look to other lawyers for insight on how to best persuade in the courtroom.  We read the speeches of legendary advocates; we go to watch closing arguments in high-profile cases; and we bunch up at CLEs as we are regaled with war stories and the ‘wisdom’ of masters.  This insular approach to