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

What Kahneman Means for Lawyers: Some Reflections on Thinking, Fast and Slow

Written for economists, the classic THINKING FAST AND SLOW by Daniel Kahnemann should be recommended reading for lawyers.  Until advocates in and out of the courtroom understand thinking/decision-making processes, in particular what Kahnemann dubs “thinking fast” and “thinking slow,” they cannot expect to convince decision makers to think their way. Although several years old, this

PRACTICE POINTS: TWO DEMONSTRATIVES TO INCORPORATE INTO YOUR NEXT CASE

It is beyond question that jurors expect, and advocates need to offer, some visual information – and, indeed, some electronic visual information – during a trial.  Visuals increase attention and retention when done properly, and they certain reduce boredom. In this succinct two-page reminder of these principles, litigation consultant Josh Dubin summarizes some of the

THE JURY CRISIS

THE JURY CRISIS is subtitled “What’s Wrong With Jury Trials and How Can We Save Them.”  Yet the value of this book is not in its assessment of anything “wrong” with jury trials but instead in its deep and rich understanding of how jurors [and judges] make decisions and what advocates can do with that

THE CADAVER KING AND THE COUNTRY DENTIST

This book is aptly subtitled “A true story of injustice in the American south.”  Radley Balko and Tucker Carrington take the reader to the backwaters of Mississippi and the tale of the local medical examiner who somehow conducted 3 to 4 times as many autopsies per year as any pathologist should (or even could) and

Certainty and Uncertainty in Reporting Fingerprint Evidence

Words count.  And when forensic discipline experts discuss a ‘match,’ a correspondence between crime scene evidence, words have particular impact.  Words count so much that when experts use scientifically-indefensible terms or descriptions, such as “and no one else in the world has the same print,” the weight given to such proof is high.  It is

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