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Surely one of the most intimidating moments in your professional life is standing before a judge and jurors the morning of your very first trial. This is no mock trial: the stakes are high, and your client is counting on you. Are you ready?

Trial Advocacy Basics is a courtroom primer that helps both the novice advocate prepare for his first day in court and the practicing lawyer bring her skills in line with the most recent developments in trial advocacy. In the Second Edition of this law school classic, Molly Townes O'Brien and Gary Gildin provide the modern perspectives on both the style and substance of case analysis, case theory, cross-examination, impeachment, closing arguments, and presenting information using technologies. They break down the importance of finding a single factual story of the case, then explain how each aspect of the trial must contribute to that story. O'Brien and Gildin relate practical advice on every stage of trial preparation and practice in a straightforward manner, using memorable examples and anecdotes, colorful quotes, and humor to highlight each lesson.

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Table of Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS  

CHAPTER ONE:  INTRODUCTION TO THE COURTROOM
1.1  Welcome to the Courtroom
1.2  The Nature of Trial
1.3  What Makes a Good Trial Lawyer?
1.4  The Basic Outline of a Jury Trial
1.5  Differences between Bench and Jury Trials

CHAPTER TWO:  ANALYZING THE CASE FOR TRIAL
2.1  The Theory of Your Case
2.2  Developing the Legal Aspect of Case Theory
2.3  Developing the Factual Aspect of Case Theory

CHAPTER THREE:  THE LAWYER'S COURTROOM DEMEANOR
3.1  The Trial Lawyer on Trial
3.2  Effective Courtroom Behavior
3.3  Managing Your Body
3.4  The Gentle Art of Persuasion

CHAPTER FOUR:  JURY SELECTION
4.1  Jury Selection Basics
4.2  Preparation before Trial
4.3  Techniques for Conducting Voir Dire
4.4  Final Thoughts and the Final Question

CHAPTER FIVE:  OPENING STATEMENT
5.1  The Goals of Opening Statement
5.2  How to Prepare Your Opening Statement
5.3  How to Deliver Your Opening Statement
5.4  Objections to Improper Opening Statement

CHAPTER SIX:  DIRECT EXAMINATION
6.1  Introduction
6.2  Organizing Direct Examination
6.3  Performing Direct Examination

CHAPTER SEVEN:  CROSS-EXAMINATION
7.1  Introduction
7.2  Identify the Purpose(s) of the Cross-Examination
7.3  Do Not Be Inappropriately Cross on Cross-Examination
7.4  Determine the Sequence of the Chapters of the Cross-Examination
7.5  Five Techniques to Control the Witness

CHAPTER EIGHT:  IMPEACHMENT
8.1  Types of Impeachment
8.2  Revealing Weakness: Attacking the Witness's Competence
8.3  Revealing Mistakes or Lies: Prior Inconsistent Statement
8.4  Impeachment by Omission in the Prior Statement
8.5  Exposing the Liar: Attacking the Witness's Character for Truthfulness
8.6  Revealing Reasons to Shade the Truth or Lie: Attacking the Witness for Bias, Prejudice, Interest, or Corruption

CHAPTER NINE:  EXPERT WITNESSES
9.1  Interviewing Your Expert Witness before Trial
9.2  Preparing the Expert for the Courtroom
9.3  Presenting the Direct Testimony of Your Expert Witness
9.4  Cross-Examining an Expert Witness

CHAPTER TEN:  EXHIBITS AND ILLUSTRATIVE AIDS
10.1    Introduction
10.2    Types of Exhibits
10.3    Make and Use a Checklist of Exhibits
10.4    Observe the "Ritual of Foundations" 187
10.5  A Review Script
10.6  Special Problems in Evidentiary Foundations

CHAPTER ELEVEN:  MAKING AND RESPONDING TO OBJECTIONS
11.1  Introduction
11.2  How to Make Objections
11.3  The Grounds for Objection
11.4  How to Respond to Objections

CHAPTER TWELVE:  CLOSING ARGUMENT
12.1  The Purpose of Closing Argument
12.2  How and When to Prepare Your Closing Argument
12.3  The Contents of an Effective Closing Argument
12.4  A General Outline for Closing Argument
12.5  Delivering Your Closing Argument
12.6  Things You May Not Do in Closing Argument

CHAPTER THIRTEEN:  GETTING READY FOR TRIAL
13.1  Marshal the Evidence
13.2  Conduct a "Favorable/Unfavorable" Facts Analysis
13.3  Prepare a Trial Notebook
13.4  Prepare to Present the Testimony of Your Witnesses
13.5  Take Your Witnesses to the Woodshed
13.6  Prepare Your Cross-Examination 249
13.7  Prepare Your Exhibits
13.8  Prepare Motions in Limine
13.9  Prepare Voir Dire Questions
13.10  Prepare Your Jury Instructions and Verdict Form 251
13.11  Prepare Your Opening Statement and Review Your Closing Argument
13.12  Before the Trial Begins

SUBJECT INDEX