Every case has its details. That part’s obvious. What’s not obvious is how we choose to frame them. In every instance there’s a new set of facts, data and jurors. For every piece of valuable information, there are a plethora of details that prove superfluous. The challenge for trial lawyers is to pinpoint what works and what doesn’t. Even then, there’s more work to be done, and it’s generally with the intention of one thing: getting the jury to see your side of the story.
Trial attorneys are underdogs. We wage battle on behalf of the little guy, after all. We go for broke against large insurance companies, which often have nothing to lose but marginal sums of money. It’s the classic battle of David vs. Goliath. Trial lawyer Randi McGinn isn’t necessarily buying the underdog label. In her latest book, she warns that big corporations should be afraid. Very afraid.
There are a plethora of books and resources to improve your technical skills. But among the countless tomes and guides on shelves these days, Rick Friedman’s On Becoming a Trial Lawyer provides a decidedly fresh perspective on the mechanics and traits necessary to become an effective trial lawyer.
Ken reviews Charles Duhigg’s “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business” and Atul Gawande’s “Checklist Manifesto.” Understanding the nature of habit and learning how we can harness its power—both to maintain good habits and change bad habits—allows us to greatly improve our abilities as trial lawyers.