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Tag Archives: Practice Tips

Solo doesn’t mean alone (access required)

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Solo practitioners are constantly faced with tackling multiple jobs while trying to achieve the most important goal: building a successful law practice. If you’re a solo, in addition to being a lawyer, you have to be a small business owner, ...

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Learn the unwritten rules (access required)

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In every walk of life, there are unwritten rules that must be learned through experience, observation or training. So it is with trial practice. You can learn the rules of evidence and the rules of procedure, but much of what ...

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Borrowing and the art of trial advocacy (access required)

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Whether you are just starting out or an experienced hand, you should take every opportunity you can to watch other lawyers try cases. When a trial lawyer stands up in open court, the lawyer is not only pleading the case, ...

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Five reasons why you lost your jury, and your case (access required)

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Litigating is a mix of science and art. It takes the right amount of craft, knowledge, intelligence, evidence and personality to get the people in the box to see things your way. Sometimes it’s easier to do in some areas ...

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Prepare your witness for questions about preparation (access required)

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It was like watching a slow-motion train wreck. As a young prosecutor, years ago, I was sitting in court and saw a witness self-destruct over something that should’ve been an easy preliminary. Witness preparation is an important topic. Generally, we ...

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The witness’s 4 magic words: ‘Please rephrase the question’ (access required)

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In the futuristic movie “I Robot,” Will Smith’s detective speaks to a computer-generated hologram of the scientist whose death he is investigating. When the detective’s questions veer off from being clear and simple, the hologram intones, “I’m sorry, my responses ...

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Tell your witnesses they should be relentlessly polite (access required)

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Don’t just tell witnesses to be polite. Tell them to be relentlessly polite. And relentlessly positive. That’s not etiquette advice. It’s a survival technique. Being polite in this environment can be a tough, often thankless job, but it is essential ...

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Lawyers, start your questions (access required)

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Depositions are such a common part of today’s civil litigation landscape that much of how they are conducted has become routine. That includes the opening “admonishments” to the witness. But every witness and every situation is different. Everything you do ...

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