Although some trial lawyers are born, the rest of us have to slowly and carefully learn the skills to try a case.
Representing those who have been injured through the negligence of others is an awesome responsibility.
Taking that case to trial and presenting to a jury of twelve is not only awesome but can keep you up at night.
This is your client’s only shot at a just and fair compensation for his or her injuries.
However, the goal is to be driven to win and not out of fear to lose.
One of the first books I purchased on how to acquire the skills of persuasion and argument was “Who Will Speak for the Victim?” by Texas Attorney Jim Perdue.
I recently reviewed and recommended this book as an essential resource for every trial lawyer. Many of the Kentucky trial attorneys I know have this book or at least borrowed and read another lawyer’s book.
Here is a short extract of my review contained in the Ketucky Law Blog.
“The subtitle of Who Will Speak for the Victim is A Practical Treatise on Plaintiff’s Jury Argument, and it is practical. Chapters address methods of arguing liability and damages in various types of personal injury cases, emphasizing the most effective approaches to relating the evidence and argument to the specific questions the jury must answer. If you primarily represent defendants, you will also find it helpful to review techniques the author describes to encourage large verdicts. But the extraordinary thing about this book is that all the practical tips, from basic forensic principles to how to help jurors develop a positive perception of your clients, couched in a cogent wit that is highly entertaining.”
I recommend this book for new and seasoned advocates for the simple reason that Jim not only addresses the broad strokes on argument and persuasion, such as the principles, concepts, voice, strategies, etc. , but he provides you with concrete examples and specific arguments made on liability and on damages.
Although I believe every attorney must adopt their own style and substance suitable to who they are, I also believe that you need to see and know what the experienced advocates are doing and have done.
Since few of us can go and sit in the courtroom for a two-week trial to pick up a little on voir dire, opening statements, direct and cross-examination, and closing arguments, this book is an excellent reference tool on persuasion, statements and arguments.
Who will speak for the victim? Hopefully, all of us.