Lessons from the Courtroom

Lessons from the Courtroom

by Frank G. Jones
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Lessons from the Courtroom by Frank G. Jones

With more than 40 years of practice and 100 jury trials to his name, Frank Jones has learned a thing or two about what it takes to win in the courtroom. In Lessons from the Courtroom, he distills his career into an accessible, insightful guide that will find a keen readership among new trial lawyers, experienced attorneys, and anyone interested in the legal world. Jones takes a look at the changes in the profession over the past 40 years, showing readers where the opportunities are for new attorneys. He then discusses the jury trial system and how attorneys can gain practice both in and out of the courtroom. He also tackles such key issues as working with judges, understanding jurisdictional matters, the nuances of arbitration, and using expert witnesses.

Readers will find insights that they can apply to their own practice in Lessons from the Courtroom. Although not a step-by-step recipe for proven success, this handy guide will provide readers with priceless information usually gained only through hard-fought experience.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781427798596
Publisher: Kaplan Publishing
Publication date: 05/05/2009
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Frank G. Jones has been an attorney with the Houston, Texas, law firm Fulbright and Jaworski, LLP for more than 40 years. He has tried more than 100 jury cases and has represented a wide range of clients from diverse industries. Mr. Jones’s practice focuses on business law issues, information technology, securities litigation, and product liability.

Mr. Jones is a member of numerous professional organizations and associations, including the Houston Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas, and the American Bar Association, as well as the American Counsel Association, American College of Trial Lawyers, and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He is former chair of the Houston Bar Foundation and a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. Mr. Jones is highly-regarded in the field and has been named in “Best Lawyers in America,” “Who’s Who in Legal USA,” and “Super Lawyer.”

Mr. Jones is a prolific writer, speaker, and lecturer. He has been a featured speaker at numerous Houston Bar Association events; and he is a frequent panelist at various CLE sessions, including some hosted by Lexis/Nexis.

Table of Contents

Dedication ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction xiii

Chapter 1 Establish Your Reputation 1

When to Start 1

Your Courtroom Reputation: Distinguish Yourself from the Furniture 3

Big Juror is Watching You 5

Your Law Firm Reputation 6

Mistakes Happen: Can You Confide in a Senior Partner? 6

Your Internet Reputation 11

Don't Be a "Dirty Tim" 12

Chapter 2 Communicate! 15

Effective Client Communication Enhances Your Reputation 15

Good Client Communication Can Help with Jury Communication 16

Keep the Client Informed 17

Chapter 3 Stresses of the Job 19

Stress 19

A Balanced Life 21

Remembering the Low Points 22

Chapter 4 So You Want To Go To Trial 27

Adapting to Changes in the Legal Profession 27

Getting Into the Courtroom 28

Refusing to Settle May Get You in Front of a Jury 33

Looking For Small Cases 34

Chapter 5 Discovery 37

What Do You Really Need To Try Your Case? 37

Question Checklist 39

Using a Written Chronology to Organize Facts 40

Chapter 6 What You Need To Discover 43

Getting What You Need 43

Are You Ready to Try the Case? 46

Chapter 7 Depositions 49

An Important Tool 49

The Use of Depositions 50

Taking an Effective Deposition 51

Presenting Your Witness 57

Even the Best Witnesses Can Be Trapped 58

Mechanics You Need to Consider 59

What to Cover 61

Chapter 8 Voir Dire 85

What's Up With Juries? 85

Voir Dire 86

Effective Jury Selection 87

Let the Games Begin 88

Before Commencing Your Voir Dire 91

Striking Scenarios 119

Variations on a Theme: When Opposing Counsel Tries to Employ Innuendo Against You, Your Firm, or Your Client 129

A Well-Done Voir Dire can Make a Difference 132

Chapter 9Trying Your Lawsuit 135

Courtroom Choreography 135

Keeping the Jury Awake 152

Don't Ignore the Benchwarmers 153

Opening Statement 154

Choosing Witnesses for Trial 157

Cross-Examination 164

Rebuttal Evidence 175

Chapter 10 Jury Charge and Final Argument 179

Jury Charge 179

Final Argument 180

Chapter 11 Evaluation and Settlement 189

The Client Wants to Know What the Case is Worth 189

Mock Trials 193

Settling the Case 193

Conclusion 199

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Lessons from the Courtroom 2.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Rowlaw More than 1 year ago
Jones has done a great job of pointing young lawyers who want to be trial attorneys in the right direction. There are very few books that attempt the subject in modern terms. The jury has changed in the last 20 years and the system has not kept up. I have not found any books that discuss the changes (let alone very many attorneys that understand this). The problem with such a book is that so much of trial is art rather than science. What works for one lawyer might well fall flat for some else. Local rules and norms also will limit the book's help. What works well for someone in Texas could fall flat for the same person in New York. Nonetheless, this book does offer real life insights to the art of trial.
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