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Persuasion

15 May

Videos of real and acting trial lawyers

Website of U.S. District Court (W.D. Mi.). Following up on my previous commentary about and video of Gerry Spence, here are some other links to notable performances by trial lawyers and actors playing them. - Here is Atticus Finch's closing argument for acquittal in To Kill...

02 May

“Close ah window”

Image from the Maine government website. Where I practice law, plenty of people in the courtroom grew up hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles away, and the accents and dialects change as I move from Baltimore to Washington, DC, to deep inside Virginia. Part of persuading...

27 Apr

Gerry Spence: Persuasion master

For the first time, I have found an online video of Gerry Spence, here. I have interacted several times with Gerry through the Trial Lawyers College. He has very positively influenced my growth as a person and as a lawyer. Watch how Gerry paints powerful...

14 Mar

Innocent people may plead the Fifth

The Fifth Amendment to the Bill of Rights. At least as long as a court witness has reasonable cause to apprehend danger from his or her answers if questioned at trial, the witness is permitted to assert the Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.  (From the public domain). Thanks...

25 Feb

Getting to yes with North Korea

T'ai chi helps the negotiator to listen, and to push effectively without being pushy. (From the public domain, showing the single whip position of yang style t'ai chi.) Sixteen years ago, a seasoned and able civil rights lawyer told me about the importance for a litigator to...

18 Feb

Everyone is my teacher

The Dalai Lama said: "Tolerance can be learned only from an enemy; it cannot be learned from your guru." (Image from the public domain). If a trial lawyer wants the jury to judge the lawyer's client fairly, the trial lawyer needs to judge the jury fairly,...

01 Jan

Jazz music and trial lawyering

Long before ever stepping foot in law school, I was a jazz music fanatic, since the age of twelve in 1975, particularly for fellow trumpeters. I experienced Miles play that year in Newport, Dizzy two years later in Westport and two more times, Cat the...

15 Dec

Why does psychodrama work?

Here is an article about the powerful effect psychodrama can have on lawyers and on their ability to persuade; thanks to TalkLeft for covering this article. This article covers a training session by Don Clarkson, who is my favorite psychodramatist and an amazing psychological counselor...

16 Nov

Finding inspiration for great work

Often when finding the story, persuasion, and arguments for a client's case, I step back to clear my head. Sometimes I will do t'ai chi outdoors, spend some time with my family, listen to some great music, or experience other great art.   I recently learned from the...

05 Nov

If Neil Young were a trial lawyer

© 1976 Mark Estabrook. Republication permitted, as detailed here. Click here for YouTube clip. If Neil Young were a trial lawyer -- at least if he were arguing on the side of the angels, which is the only side I could imagine him arguing --...

20 Sep

Know your judge and jury

Criminal defense is about persuasion, strategy, and fighting in the trenches for our clients. This requires knowing our judge and jury, and finding out who they are. For Maryland and Virginia state criminal cases, judges usually are not specially assigned to a case. Depending on the...