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CLINT EASTWOOD AND ADVOCACY

Halftime Pep Talk and Trial AdvocacySuper Bowl has come and gone. As have the ads. Much has been said and written about Eastwood’s halftime advertisement for Chrysler. Carl Rove attacked it, claiming that it was a payback to Obama for the bailout. Joe Klein in Time magazine mused over how Rove and the Republicans got [...]

DON’T RUIN YOUR OPENING STATEMENT

Checklist of Pitfalls for Opening StatementDon’t ruin your opening by stumbling into these pitfalls. Avoid: Preramble: “My name is . . . and I represent;” “As His Honor has told you everything we say in opening statement is not evidence . . .;” “First, I want to thanks you for your jury service because. . [...]

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 [...]

FAVORABLE ATTRIBUTES OF A TRIAL LAWYER

Through the Jurors’ EyesI asked my law students to put themselves in the jury box and ask what they as jurors would want to see in a trial lawyer. Three students came up with this nice list of attributes worth aspiring to project:• Credibility• Compassion• Capability• Clarity• Conciseness• Conscientiousness • Charm• Charisma

A TRIAL TO FOLLOW IN 2012 – ROGER CLEMENS AND RUSTY HARDIN

Advocacy at Its Best – Rusty Hardin at WorkThe trial had just started. July 14, 2011 was the second day of testimony when the prosecutors made a mistake that the judge said a first year law student would not have made. This occurred in the trial of Roger Clemons, who is charged with perjury, obstruction [...]

NEW SET OF PRETRIAL AND TRIAL BOOKS AND DVDs LAUNCHED

Litigation Bundle with a 50% Price Savings – Call 1-800-294-6777Wolters Kluwer (Aspen) has just launched the sale of a litigation bundle of materials at a price that can’t be beat. The suite of books and DVDs covers pretrial litigation and trial from START to FINISH. The BooksThe litigation package includes four books: Pretrial Advocacy, Trial [...]

GUARDING AGAINST JUROR ONLINE RESEARCH

Washington State Jury Warning PosterAccess to Information OnlineIn their article “Online and Wired for Justice: Why Jurors Turn to the Internet (the ‘Google mistrial’)”, The Jury Expert (Nov. 2009) Douglas L. Keene and Rita R. Handrich recount how since 2001 jurors have been going online and upsetting trials. Instances include a 2009 lengthy federal drug [...]

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 [...]

UNORTHODOX REBUTTAL CLOSING ARGUMENT STRATEGY

Averting an Attempt to Blunt a Rebuttal ArgumentIs there anything more powerful and gratifying than a good rebuttal closing argument? It’s rightfully called the “hammer.” When you have the rebuttal, you can expect that opposing counsel will attempt to deflect the hammer blows. Here is a transcript of just such an effort:Defense counsel used this [...]

ANY DOWNSIDE TO CHANNELING IN CLOSING ARGUMENT?

The Too Powerful Closing ArgumentAs was discussed and illustrated in the last post, the trial technique of channeling the deceased in closing argument can be extremely effective in bringing the case to life in the courtroom. Counsel speaks as the deceased, telling the jury how the deceased feels. An example of the power of channeling [...]