Trial Advocacy in a Nutshell / Edition 5by Paul Bergman
Pub. Date: 01/28/2013
Publisher: West Academic
Trial Advocacy in a Nutshell was one of the first works to analyze and illustrate discrete courtroom skills and techniques in the context of principles of persuasion. The Fifth Edition builds on that tradition with the concept of argument-centered narratives. Part 1 provides a concrete and detailed guide for developing credible stories that support advocates’ desired inferences. Part 2 analyzes and illustrates strategies, techniques and rules for presenting argument-centered narratives effectively during all phases of trial. The Fifth Edition incorporates a number of new features that make the book more indispensable for trial lawyers than ever. For example, the Fifth Edition discusses the most important of the Federal Rules of Evidence, and devotes a separate chapter to rules and strategies for presenting testimony from expert witnesses. Visual aids also gain additional prominence in the new edition, with an emphasis on foundational requirements for many more types of exhibits, especially those that are produced electronically or by courtroom graphics experts. Some of the illustrative examinations and arguments in the new edition are drawn from trials that took place in a variety of eras. For example, the chapter on closing argument compares arguments made in the murder trial of Euphiletus (Greece, circa 400 B.C.) with those made in the trial of OJ Simpson (1995). Among the other trials from which illustrations are drawn are those of the Rosenbergs (the so-called “atomic spies,” 1953), the Menendez Brothers (1991), the “Hillmon case” (1890’s), and the “Triangle Shirtwaist Fire” case (1911). The illustrations from these cases are not only interesting, but also suggestive of enduring principles of persuasion. Another added feature of the Fifth Edition are analyses of examples drawn from classic courtroom films such as Anatomy of a Murder, 12 Angry Men and My Cousin Vinny. Combined with these new features, the Fifth Edition preserves many of the features that have made the book so valuable to readers. For example, the book continues to carefully explain principles, illustrate them, and analyze the illustrations. Popular “models,” such as the Credibility Model and the Safety Model of Cross Examination, also appear in the new edition. Also carried forward is the book’s light tone which makes it not only useful but also a good read.
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