This weekend, the Melvin M. Belli Society will be hosting its 73rd annual seminar entitled: In the Spirit of Belli: Cutting-Edge, New and Innovative Ideas for Your Cases and Your Practice, a three-day event in Atlanta for lawyers across the country to meet and immerse themselves in new and innovative methods of effective trial practices. On Sunday, the first full day of the event, Levinson and Stefani’s own Ken Levinson will be speaking.
Levinson’s lecture will focus on the top non-law books that trial lawyers should read–a discussion on the best non-law-focused literature for lawyers to up their game in reaching a jury in a particularly powerful way.
“I read a lot of non-law books–books on decision making, psychology, persuasion, storytelling, and other fields that I think help us as trial lawyers that aren’t necessarily in trial lawyer books,” Levinson explained. “I enjoy sharing what I’ve read so that we can use things like what a filmmaker does, for example, to help our clients. I really get a kick out of teaching other lawyers about things I’ve read or learned from other means.”
Understanding the nuances of effective storytelling is key during trial, Levinson noted.
“You could be in an artificial environment, in a movie theater, and within minutes you could be vying for the hero of the story or angry at the villain, and it’s really interesting how that emotion is played out,” he said. “You know consciously and intellectually that this is a story and a fake environment, but it can still get you emotionally invested. That has always fascinated me because in real life, sometimes lawyers don’t tell a proper story of their clients’ cases. They don’t use storytelling methods to get the jury engaged in a case, and that’s, I think, a wasted opportunity.”
In his talk, Levinson will discuss how to implement key takeaways from these kinds of books into the way a lawyer can powerfully affect a jury in any given case.
“Why not tell a compelling–yet truthful–story about our client’s struggles and what they’ve overcome?” he asked. “Storytelling can give us some techniques to make our clients’ true life stories as emotional and engaging as any fake story that we’re watching in a movie theater.”
The seminar takes place this Sunday and Monday at the Capital City Club Brookhaven in Atlanta.