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Lawyers' Poker: 52 Lessons that Lawyers Can Learn from Card Players

Overview

Great poker players are master tacticians. Not only do they calculate odds with lightning speed and astonishing precision, but they also cunningly anticipate and manipulate the actions of their adversaries. In short, they boast skills that every lawyer can envy. This highly entertaining work might best be summed up as "better lawyering through poker." Steven Lubet shows exactly how the tactics of the poker table can be adapted to litigation, negotiation, and virtually every aspect of law practice. In a series of ...

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Overview

Great poker players are master tacticians. Not only do they calculate odds with lightning speed and astonishing precision, but they also cunningly anticipate and manipulate the actions of their adversaries. In short, they boast skills that every lawyer can envy. This highly entertaining work might best be summed up as "better lawyering through poker." Steven Lubet shows exactly how the tactics of the poker table can be adapted to litigation, negotiation, and virtually every aspect of law practice. In a series of engaging and informative lessons, Lubet describes concepts like "betting for value," "slow playing," and "reverse bluffing," and explains how they can be used by lawyers to win their cases. The best card players, like the best lawyers, have a knack for getting their adversaries to react exactly as they want, and that talent separates the winners from the losers. Lawyers' Poker is an irresistible guide to successful lawyering and an enjoyable read for anyone with an interest in law. No poker knowledge required.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Lubet deals a winning hand with this entertaining and creative approach to gamesmanship. Anyone who negotiates, strategizes or bluffs—and who doesn't—will benefit from this great read. You won't be able to keep a poker-face when you read this funny and informative book."—Alan M. Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

"A most clever mingling of the likes of legendary poker player Doyle "Texas Dolly" Brunson, with the master legal tactician Clarence Darrow. Juxtaposing the color and strategies of poker playing greats with the mastery of great lawyers in "trials of the century" creates a fascinating read for a gambler, lawyer, or just the average Joe."—Oscar B. Goodman, Mayor, City of Las Vegas

"Steven Lubet creatively weaves together two ostensibly unconnected worlds. Highlighted by anecdotes from some of the greatest arguments in American trial history, coupled with memorable hands in the World Series of Poker, Lawyers' Poker provides illuminating insights into strategic decisions in courtrooms and card tables across America."—Kenneth W. Starr, Dean and Professor of Law, Pepperdine University School of Law

"What a great read—the trial lawyer's lessons are precisely the same as the skilled poker player's—the reader learns about history in both domains and smiles while being educated and entertained. This is a book for practitioners in the courtroom or the cardroom or those that want to be—or envy—either one. It is a true collector's piece!"—Rikki Klieman, Court TV Anchor, trial attorney and best selling author

"Lawyers' Poker is clear, entertaining and educational. It is a treasure trove of valuable lessons in competent trial advocacy, the art of negotiation and ethics—all told in a page-turning, storytelling fashion. As a bonus, the reader will also be introduced to the art of poker playing! Indeed, the parallels drawn are accurate. Both the neophyte and seasoned lawyer will love this book."—Thomas A. Demetrio, Corboy & Demetrio, Member of the Inner Circle of Advocates

"Lawyers' Poker is a fascinating read, as with great wit, skill and clarity Lubet moves from the poker room to the courtroom with impressive knowledge of the operation of both venues. As a veteran cross-examiner, I found Lubet's thesis "straight" and his book "flush" with clever insight. Indeed, I "bet" I could argue the case he makes to a "full house"."—Benjamin Brafman, criminal defense lawyer

"Professor Lubet's insights about poker (and life) will make you a far better trial lawyer. I loved the book."—Lawrence J. Fox, former Chair, ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility

"Every lawyer should play his cards right by reading Lubet's book. It's a safe bet the reader will come away with some great lessons in a courtroom and maybe even a tip or two at the card table."—Robert A. Clifford, former Chair, ABA Section of Litigation

"Any attorney who has ever tried a case or who aspires to be a litigator will want to read this book and learn more about how success at the poker table and winning in the courtroom are related. Reading Lawyers' Poker is a complete treat."—Trial Magazine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195182439
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/5/2006
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 5.80 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven Lubet is Professor of Law at Northwestern University and a nationally recognized expert on trials and trial strategy. He writes an award-winning column for American Lawyer Magazine. His humorous commentaries have been heard on National Public Radio's Morning Edition and his op-eds have run in Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and many other newspapers.

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Table of Contents

Diamonds : maximizing your winnings 11
Lesson 1 Saving bets 15
Lesson 2 Expected value 17
Lesson 3 Don't gamble 20
Lesson 4 Depend on the rabbit's foot if you will, but remember : it didn't work for the rabbit 22
Lesson 5 Opening hands 28
Lesson 6 Drawing hands 33
Lesson 7 Chasing is for dogs 36
Lesson 8 Yardley's law (and Darrow's exception) 41
Lesson 9 Losing it 49
Lesson 10 Desperate times 56
Lesson 11 Volatility 59
Lesson 12 Sunk costs 63
Lesson 13 Stakes matter 67
Clubs : controlling the opposition 73
Lesson 1 Fundamentalism 77
Lesson 2 Know why you are betting 80
Lesson 3 Slow playing 85
Lesson 4 Bluffing 90
Lesson 5 Reverse bluffing 94
Lesson 6 Semi-bluffing 97
Lesson 7 Overplaying 103
Lesson 8 Calling bluffs 107
Lesson 9 Loose wiring 111
Lesson 10 Folding winners 115
Lesson 11 Establishing patterns 118
Lesson 12 Implication and storytelling 121
Lesson 13 Patience 127
Spades : digging for information 131
Lesson 1 Knowledge is power 134
Lesson 2 Taking their measure 137
Lesson 3 Tells 141
Lesson 4 Get what you need 146
Lesson 5 True lies 151
Lesson 6 That's acting 155
Lesson 7 Calling bias 157
Lesson 8 Paying attention 161
Lesson 9 Reading value 165
Lesson 10 Total recall 169
Lesson 11 The unexpected 175
Lesson 12 Local rules 178
Lesson 13 Showing your hand 181
Hearts : ethics and character 187
Lesson 1 Lying 190
Lesson 2 Cheating 196
Lesson 3 Scamming 202
Lesson 4 Banking the proceeds 209
Lesson 5 The right stuff 212
Lesson 6 Moral hazards 215
Lesson 7 Self-control 218
Lesson 8 Beginner's luck 224
Lesson 9 You gotta have heart 229
Lesson 10 Cards speak 232
Lesson 11 Cross-examination does not mean angry examination 235
Lesson 12 Beautiful losers 241
Lesson 13 Poker ain't life 246
Rank of hands 247
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2007

    Well Written and Practical

    A great practical guide to using the tricks and trades of poker for negotiating your way through cases. The author does a great job of getting the analogies across to the reader without getting too technical or too specific with poker concepts.

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