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Knowledgeable Insights

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