Practical Guidance
Time-saving Solutions
Knowledgeable Insights

Winning at Trial

Winner of the Association of Continuing Legal Education's top award for professional excellence, Winning at Trial is the only book that teaches trial skills by analyzing video and transcripts of actual trials. Used by law schools throughout the country for both their introductory and advanced trial advocacy classes.
Publisher: NITA
Print Book + CD

*Final Sale. No Returns

In Stock
ISBN: 9781601560018
Publisher: NITA
International Order Inquiry

Product details

*Items marked Final Sale are not eligible for return at any time. To learn more refer to our Terms and Conditions.

Chosen the best book from over 300 entries, Winning at Trial has been singled out by the Association of Continuing Legal Education (ACLEA) for its clarity and innovative teaching methods. Winning at Trial by Shane Read is the only book that teaches trial skills by analyzing video and transcripts of actual trials. It is also the only book that reveals the secrets of jury decision-making through the use of video in collaboration with one of the nation's foremost jury consultants, DecisionQuest.

This innovative book is being used by law schools throughout the country for both their introductory and advanced trial advocacy classes, as well as by law firms for their training programs. The author, a seasoned trial lawyer and professor, has carefully selected video and transcripts from actual trials (4 hours of video on two DVDs) that show lawyers demonstrating both great and terrible skills in the courtroom - which teach trial techniques and strategy in an interesting and memorable way.

Law professors may request the teaching notes for this publication by emailing


"A fresh and updated approach to trial advocacy. With almost four hours of video of focus groups and specific trial clips, the DVDs are worth their weight in gold. Shane Read has spent countless hours analyzing actual trials to bring the best teaching examples to your fingertips. If you are looking for the best advocacy book, this is it. Winning at Trial is a comprehensive guide to trying a case, from start to finish, voir dire to closing argument, including exhibits and objections. . . . This book should be on the shelves of every student, lawyer and teacher of advocacy. Whether you are trying your first case or your 100th, you must read this book."

       — Tracy Walters McCormack, Director of Advocacy, University of Texas School of Law

"Shane Read takes the mystery out of learning trial skills in this unique book, sure to revolutionize the way trial skills are taught. . . . In Winning at Trial, readers study actual trials where techniques are either executed at such a high level of excellence or so badly demonstrated that those skills needed to master winning techniques will never be forgotten."

       — Eric H. Holder, Jr., former U.S. Deputy Attorney General

"Shane Read has written an excellent book that will be most helpful to the bench and bar for many years to come. I wish he had produced this gem 50 years ago so I could have used it when I was a trial lawyer. It would have also made easier my job as a trial judge if the attorneys had the benefit of Winning at Trial when preparing their cases. Shane draws upon his unique experiences as a civil trial lawyer, prosecutor and law professor to set forth in an original and practical way the skills needed to win in the courtroom."

       — Robert F. Chapman, former U.S. District Judge, retired U.S. Circuit Judge

"An important and timely addition to the trial literature. Winning at Trial is both an enormously instructive text for law students and an invaluable resource for the experienced trial lawyer. Shane Read has skillfully bridged the gap between theory, trial strategy, and the development of fundamental courtroom skills. Through detailed explanations and well-chosen examples from high profile cases, Winning at Trial explains in detail how to do it and why it works."

       — Douglas A. Blaze, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and former Director of Clinical Programs, University of Tennessee College of Law

"Winning at Trial is a must read for all trial lawyers. It is the most comprehensive compilation of trial strategy that I have read in many, many years. . . . I strongly recommend to any lawyer who wants to learn how to try a lawsuit or to improve and enhance his or her skills, this is a book you should read."

       — George Chandler, former president of the Texas Trial Lawyer Association

Featured Authors

Table of Contents




Chapter One Trial Strategies and Basics

Six Factors Influencing the Outcome of a Trial

Eight Qualities of Great Trial Lawyers

Bench versus Jury Trials

The Trial Process

The Trial Notebook

Study Questions for Focus Group Video Clips from Scruggs v. Snyder

Chapter Two Voir Dire

Strategies for Voir Dire

The Basics of Federal Court Voir Dire

Challenges for Cause and Preemptory Strikes


Jury Questionnaires and Consultants

Voir Dire in a Criminal Trial

Voir Dire in a Civil Trial

Answers to Voir Dire Problems

Study Questions for Voir Dire Video Clip of Scruggs v. Snyder

Chapter Three Opening Statement

The Underrated Importance of the Opening Statement

The Basics

The Ten Steps of Preparing a Powerful Opening Statement

How to Deliver an Opening Statement

Seven Steps to Overcoming Courtroom Fears

The Six Don'ts of Opening Statements

Examples of Themes

Analysis of Prosecution's Opening Statement in U.S. v. McVeigh

Analysis of Defendant's Opening Statement in U.S. v. McVeigh

Study Questions for Opening Statement Video Clips from People v. Simpson

Chapter Four Direct Examination



Organization and Style of Direct Examination

How to Prepare Direct Examination

Difficult Problems on Direct Examination

Redirect Examination

Common Mistakes on Direct Examination

Expert Witness

Analysis of Direct Examination (Joseph Hartzler) from U.S. v. McVeigh

Study Questions for Direct Examination Video Clips from People v. Simpson

Chapter Five Cross-Examination

Three Myths about Cross-Examination

The Basics of CLIPS

Creating an Outline

How to Ask Questions

Impeachment with Prior Inconsistent Statements or Omissions

Logical Reasoning and Progression of Questions

Control of the Hostile Witness

Expert Witness

Analysis of Cross-Examination from Goldman v. Simpson

Study Questions for Cross-Examination Video Clips from People v. Simpson

Chapter Six Closing Argument

The Overrated Importance of Closing Argument

The Basics

Eight Steps to a Successful Closing Argument

The Three Don'ts of Closing Argument

Rebuttal Argument

Analysis of Closing Arguments in People v. Simpson and Goldman v. Simpson

Study Questions for Closing Argument Video Clips from People v. Simpson

Chapter Seven Exhibits and Objections

Three Types of Exhibits

Majority of Exhibits Easily Admitted

Laying the Foundation

The Six Steps for Getting Exhibits Admitted

The Right Witness

Bench Memos

Examples of Admitting Real and Illustrative Exhibits

Persuasive Aids

Examples of Persuasive Aids

Objections to Exhibits and Testimony

Chapter Eight Conclusion

Appendix One: Background for People v. Simpson

Appendix Two: Background for U.S. v. McVeigh

Appendix Three: DVD Menus

Appendix Four: Sample Newspaper Ad and Focus Group Questionnaire

Appendix Five: Federal Rules of Evidence


About the Author

November 9, 2010