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GOOD TRIAL ADVOCACY CAN BE TAUGHT

Tigar and Twain on Good LawyeringMichael E. Tigar in the preface to his book Examining Witnesses (ABA Litigation Bookshelf 1972) expresses the view that good lawyering can be taught, and he supports the thesis with this Mark Twain story:“I believe that good lawyering can be taught. . . . Mark Twain tells the story of [...]

THE CRITICAL LAWYERING SKILL

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATIONThis coming Tuesday Seattle University will introduce a new course that is designed to familiarize students with practical aspects of practicing law in order to prepare them to start work either in a firm, public employment, or in a solo practice. The intersession course (January 8 -10, 2013) is Essential Lawyering Skills: Persuasive Communication; [...]

HOW TO BECOME A GREAT TRIAL LAWYER

Courtroom ObservationsThe best way to learn how to become a great trial lawyer is to second chair for a great trial lawyer. That way you learn from the best not only what it takes to prepare but also how to perform in trial. The second best way is to watch trial lawyers in court. Law [...]

BEYOND “THINK LIKE A LAWYER”

The “Featured Story” in the Wolter Kluwers website entitled “Becoming a Lawyer” is my article on what law schools should require students to learn in addition to “how to think like a lawyer.” The article discusses the communication skills that law schools should teach students so that they will be well prepared to practice law. [...]

DON’T BOTCH LAYING THE FOUNDATION FOR AN EXHIBIT

Predicate Questions for AdmissibilitySeeing is believing and understanding. My students who take Seattle University Law School’s Comprehensive Trial Advocacy course are required to spend a day watching a trial and write a report on what they observed and learned. The students went to different courts – federal, state and municipal. They reported on the skillfulness [...]

HIWAII PROSECUTORS AIM FOR SUSTAINABLE TRAINING

On the Road in KonaMonday of last week I was in Hong Kong and watched a Barrister cross-examine the defendant in a high profile murder case – more about that experience here. Then, after a one-day turnaround in Seattle, travelled to Kona, Hawaii. Last Friday I conducted a day-long seminar on “Sustainable Prosecutor Training” for [...]

TRIAL LAWYER’S APPEARANCE – PARTICULARLY WOMEN

Law Students Spend a Day in CourtSeeing is believing and understanding. For the first time, I added to my Seattle University Law School Comprehensive Trial Advocacy course a requirement that the students spend a day watching a trial and write a report on what they observed and learned. The students went to different courts – [...]

REFORMING LAW SCHOOLS – BEYOND CARNAGIE

Professor Kristen Holmquist on Lawyerly ThinkingIn a recent issue of Journal of Legal Education (Vol. 61, February 2012) Kristen Holmquist (pictured here), Associate Director of Professional Skills and Lecturer in Residence at UC Berkeley School of Law, assails the 2007 Carnegie Report’s conclusion that law schools successfully teach students to think like lawyers. She states, [...]

VALUABLE WEBSITE FOR ADVOCACY INSTRUCTORS

Visit Teaching Advocacy BlogThis blog is dedicated in part to teaching pretrial, trial and appellate advocacy, and, therefore, I was delighted to discover Teaching Advocacy Blog, which has teaching advocacy skills as its focus. That blog is administered and often written by Christopher Behan (Assistant Professor of Law, Southern Illinois University School of Law), Charles [...]

INSPECT TRIAL EXHIBITS

Jurors Discover the Exhibit An irrefutable principle is that a trial lawyer must carefully examine every exhibit that may go to the jury room. Adhere to this rule or live to regret it. One cautionary tale I use to drive home this point involves the trial of a criminal sexual conduct, first degree burglary and [...]