Monday, January 1, 2018

Trial Skills: Book Reviews

With the new year, some of us are making resolutions, like we will read more. We have gift cards or holiday money that we need to spend. It is too cold to go outside. And . . . we should expect to see more trials in 2018. With that, here are a few book recommendations:

Images With Impact: The Design and Use of Winning Trial Visuals, by Kerri L. Ruttenberg. Our jurors learn and remember more when information is received visually as well as aurally.  This is not a book about PowerPoint, but the "benefits of visual communication and the graphic design techniques that make our visuals more effective."

Trial in Action: The Persuasive Power of Psychodrama, by Joane Garcia-Colson, Assistant Federal Public Defender Fredilyn Sison, and Mary Peckham. "This book is intended for practicing attorneys." Not wild about the term psychodrama, but it is really just a method of credibly and effectively communicating your client's defense to a jury. It provides concrete and creative instruction on how to try the most challenging cases.

The Fearless Cross-Examiner: Win the Witness, Win the Case, by Patrick Malone. This book's approach might surprise you--it is not about going for the dramatic kill on cross, but how to comprehensively build your case through cross. Aaron Nelson recommended this book when he spoke at our October CLE on cross-examination (if you missed him, check out his materials on our website).

Not just for writers, Bryan Garner's Making Your Case (a book you must own) provides an excellent list of books under Recommended Sources, including topics like Modern Guides to Classical Rhetoric, Public Speaking, and Logical and Critical Thinking.

Read away.

--Melody

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