Simile: A simile, like a metaphor, makes comparisons by using the words “like” or “as” to introduce the thing the subject is compared to. Like metaphors, similes also are powerful because they connect your case theory with something with which the jurors are familiar. Here’s a collection of similes, some of them compiled by Paul Luvera, one of the nation’s leading trial lawyers: Anonymous: Someone said he is like the rooster who thinks the…
Irving Younger’s 7th Commandment It is probably the most common mistake – the cross-examiner has the witness repeat their direct examination. Question: “On direct examination you told this jury that . . .” The error is grievous. It violates Irving Younger’s 7th commandment: “Don’t allow the witness to repeat his direct testimony.” Younger’s commandment directs the cross-examiner  to focus on accomplishing the goals of cross-examination which are to gain concessions that either bolster the cross-examiner’s…
“PittsburghsFutures” programming interrupts “Future Law” programming here from time to time. I’m motivated to do that in part by increasingly urgent questions about the future of cities, with Pittsburgh as prime and local example number one (an interest that goes back at least to 2004, via Pittsblog, and continues very recently in the Tribune Review). Pittsburgh legacy leaders’ endless obsession with making Pittsburgh important again drives me bonkers. I am all but…
On June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 extends to people that identify as gay or transgender. Title VII prohibits an employer from discriminating against any person based upon, among other characteristics, that person’s sex – in other words, male or female. In Bostock v. Clayton County, the Supreme Court considered whether Title VII’s definition of “sex” includes gay and transgender individuals. Until now,…
When I was studying for the bar many, many years ago, I remember waking up about six weeks before the exam with a sinking feeling in my stomach, wondering “How am I ever going get this all finished in time?!” I can imagine many educational leaders are feeling the same dread looking at the calendar this week, wondering how in the world their institution is going to come into compliance with the new Title IX…
Metaphor: A metaphor makes comparisons by replacing one thing for another. Metaphors are powerful because they connect the information you want to impart to with something with which the jurors are familiar. Also, metaphors can be utilized to make a complex idea easier to understand. In trial advocacy, the metaphor can be a bridge between your case theory and something with which the jurors are familiar. Here’s a collection of metaphors, some of them compiled…
Successful trial lawyers know how to pick the right words to persuade. They use similes, metaphors, analogies, famous quotes, and the rule of three. We’re going to explore all of these, and we start with the rule of three. Rule of Three: For a trial lawyer or for any public speaker, the application of the rule of three is a must. The pattern of three has an impact on the listener. The audience, the jury,…
On cross-examination, avoid pitting. When the cross-examiner asks the witness to contradict another witness, it’s called pitting. Here’s an example: Q. . . .You never told those detectives that you were a lookout in this case, huh? A. No I didn’t. Q. So you heard them both get up there and say that you told them that, right? . . . Q. And, now, I guess, you’re telling this jury that these two detectives came…