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Effective Courtroom Advocacy

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With the benefit of more than twenty-three years of trial observation and juror feedback, Judge Joseph F. Anderson Jr. distills his thoughts on how to master the fundamentals of trial advocacy, develop advanced skills, and win arguments before judges and juries.

Written from the perspective of an experienced trial judge, Effective Courtroom Advocacy provides practical and insightful advice designed to empower new litigators and inspire seasoned advocates. Judge Anderson's conversational style offers a treasury of practical suggestions for conducting every aspect of trial, from dealing with courtroom personnel and handling difficult judges to comprehending troublesome evidentiary rules and avoiding common - but deadly - mistakes in the courtroom. A fireside chat that tackles the most prevalent courtroom issues, Effective Courtroom Advocacy is the go-to manual for litigators everywhere.

Authors / Contributors

Table of Contents

Contents


Foreword


Preface


Acknowledgments


Chapter One. Trial Tactics



Preparation


Trial Notebooks and Checklists


Developing a Theme


Motions in Limine


Sequestration of Witnesses


Courtroom Protocol


Opening Statement


Direct Examination


Introduction of Exhibits


Cross-Examination

Brevity

The Proverbial "One Question Too Many"

Listen to the Answer

Know the Answers to Your Questions in Advance

Don't Quarrel with Witness


Redirect Examination


Objections


Impeachment


Experts


Resting Your Case


Miscellaneous Forensic Devices

Props

Nonverbal Communication

Video Depositions

Terminology


Preparing Proposed Jury Instructions


Dealing with Court Personnel


Composing and Delivering an Effective Summation

Use of Boilerplate

Use of Analogies

Leaving Questions for Your Opponent

Dealing with Credibility

Personalizing the Corporate Defendant

Arguing Damages

Educate the Jury

Empower the Jury

Review the Verdict Form

Do's and Don'ts of Closing Argument: A Quick Checklist


Receiving the Verdict


Chapter Two. What Today's Jurors Really Think


Don't Over-Try the Case


Don't Be Disrespectful to the Judge in Front of the Jury


Don't Attempt to Take Unfair Advantage of Your Opponent


Don't Use Legal Jargon


Don't Underestimate the Jury's Intelligence


Don't Make Unnecessary Interruptions, Especially Sidebar Conferences


Don't Move On Until the Jury Has Fully Viewed Your Documentary Evidence


Don't Be Overly Hostile When Cross-Examining Opposing Witnesses


Don't Use Inappropriate Humor


Other Miscellaneous Juror Insights

Cautionary Instructions Generally Don't Work

Jurors Have Short Attention Spans

Objections Don't Offend Jurors


Chapter Three. How to Handle Judges


The Generalist


The Manager


The Nitpicker

Frequent Requests for Extensions, Postponements, and Continuances

Discovery and Its Abuse


The Human


The Bully


The Weasel


Dealing with Judges Generally

Proposed Orders

Wrapping Up Your Argument

Reconsideration Requests

Getting in the Last Word

Honesty with the Court

After the Hearing


Chapter Four. Common Mistakes to Avoid


The "Not-Ready-for-Prime-Time" Lawyer


Opening Doors


Failing to Properly Preserve Error for Appeal


Inadequate Knowledge of Local Rules, Customs, and Mores


Putting on a Show for the Client


Inability to Change Strategy at Trial as Circumstances Warrant


Putting Interests of Lawyers and Witnesses Ahead of Jurors' Interests


Technology Overkill


Inadequate Familiarity with the Applicable Rules of Evidence


Chapter Five. A Survey of the Most Misunderstood and Misapplied Evidence Rules


The Proper Making of Objections


Problematic Evidence Rules

Character and Habit
Exceptions to the Bar on Character Evidence

Habit

Character of Witnesses

Refreshing Recollection vs. Past Recollection Recorded

Hearsay Generally

Admissions by a Party Opponent

Business Records

Impeachment

Prejudice, Confusion, and Waste of Time

Best Evidence Rule

Summaries

Miscellaneous Evidence Concerns


Chapter Six. A Tangled Web: A Mock Trial Script and Case Study on the Federal Rules of Evidence


Chapter Seven. Examples of Good Advocacy



Opening Statement


Cross-Examination


Closing Argument


Index