Pretrial, Trial, Appellate & Evidence Blog

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Yes, I know, the title says, “The Right Words for Trial Lawyers”, and this stretches the topic. But, successful trial lawyer talk through visuals without text because they help jurors understand subjects with which they are usually unfamiliar. Trial lawyers use visual analogies. The images remind the audience of physical things that they can relate to. The images can replace a complex concept, showing it to the viewer in simpler and more understandable form, and…
An analogy compares of two otherwise dissimilar things based on a similarity in some particular aspect. Because one aspect of the thing resembles that in the other thing,  there is an inference that other aspects are also similar. An analogy is useful in explaining  a concept or process that the audience may not be familiar. An analogy normally is more complex than a metaphor or simile. How do you craft an analogy? First, figure out what…
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…
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,…
In a book I edited, entitled The Appellate Prosecutor: A Practical and Inspirational Guide to Appellate Advocacy, J. Frederic Voros, Jr., who when the book was published was the Chief of the Appeals Division of the Utah Attorney General’s Office, contributed a chapter—“Writing the Brief.” Mr. Voros’s chapter focuses on how to write an appellate brief. Here is a favorite excerpt from his chapter, which is valuable for any advocate whether are a prosecutor,…
With the use of Zoom and other virtual meeting places these days, everyone is becoming more conscious of how they look on camera. For video depositions, the room, the lighting and how the videographer frames the witness has been not just important for ascetic reasons but also dictated by court rule. Here are the rules and some tips on lighting, camera framing and more that you may wish to adapt to your next video deposition…
Law schools teach three bad habits—ones that are particularly deleterious to pretrial and trial advocates. These three dreadful habits can be broken,  and the means to breaking them are covered here and, in more depth, in the Trial Advocacy: Planning, Analysis, and Strategy and Pretrial Advocacy: Planning, Analysis, and Strategy books. Visit the first bad habit here and the second one here.  While law school inflicts the first two bad habits on law students,…
Law schools teach three bad habits—ones that are particularly deleterious to pretrial and trial advocates. These three dreadful habits can be broken,  and the means to breaking them are covered here and, in more depth, in the Trial Advocacy: Planning, Analysis, and Strategy and Pretrial Advocacy: Planning, Analysis, and Strategy books. The first bad habit is being a poor communicator. The second bad habit is that lawyers find it impossible to find the core message…
Bryan Garner Law schools teach three bad habits—ones that are particularly deleterious to pretrial and trial advocates. These three dreadfully bad habits can be broken,  and the means to breaking them are covered here and, in more depth, in Trial Advocacy: Planning, Analysis, and Strategy and Pretrial Advocacy: Planning, Analysis, and Strategy. I’ve previously discussed this awful habit of being a lousy communicator. Nevertheless, in this series, the subject is worth revisiting. Law schools…