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

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