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Trial Skills Archive


Tips from the Trenches »

Be Not Afraid

By Kenneth P. Nolan

Ego prevents good lawyers from becoming great.

 

Claude Monet and the Theory of Your Case

By Michael E. Tigar

Can juror impressions change during the shared journey of a trial?

 

How Effective Trial Attorneys Present

By Hon. Robert S. Lasnik

Attorneys who have seen jurors reward brevity and efficiency while punishing repetition and inefficiency realize that it isn't only trial judges who don't appreciate tactics that waste time.

 

Ethics: Handle with Care

By Bruce Green

What should a litigator do upon receiving potentially helpful documents that may be unlawful for the lawyer to use?

 

Making a Difference

By Kenneth P. Nolan

If you wish to make a difference, law provides many options.

 

Eight More Tips for Practicing Law

By Steven A. Weiss

Thoughts on how to practice law effectively from the Section's immediate past chair.

 

How to Deal with Clients

By Kenneth P. Nolan

It doesn't matter if your client is a sophisticated general counsel or a mug who never made it past sixth grade. They know best.

 

I'm a Lawyer, Not a Fighter: Conquering Lawyer Bullies

By Kelley Barnett

These tips will help you conquer the lawyer bully: one who preys on younger or less experienced lawyers.

 

Seven Tips on How to Behave in Court

By Steven A. Weiss

Most of us remember something that happened the first (or maybe second or third) time we appeared in court that would not have happened had we been a little more experienced.

 

Acquisition and Merger: Whose Privilege Is It Now?

By Edna Selan Epstein

Take care to eliminate any uncertainty surrounding which entity can claim the privilege.

 

Opening Lines

By Charles N. Insler

The opening line of a brief introduces the subject matter, sets the tone of the argument, and casts the case in the most favorable light.

 

The Dos and Don'ts of Settlement Conferences

By Hon. James L. Cott

A magistrate judge observes the many things lawyers do to enhance the settlement process—and those done to impede it.

 

Seven Tips for Writing Briefs and Motions

By Steven A. Weiss

Practical advice on persuasive writing from a veteran litigator.

 

A Short Primer on Objections

By Stuart M. Israel

A few things about evidentiary objections that lawyers ought to know.

 

Seven Tips for Being a Better Lawyer

By Steven A. Weiss

Advice derived from 35 years of practice, exclusively as a business litigator.

 

Differentiating Yourself

By Chip Babcock

To be a great lawyer, you have to differentiate yourself from your peers.

 

A Primer on the Finality of Decisions for Appeal

By Brian C. Walsh

An examination of the main strands of the law of finality and appealability, including some recent Supreme Court developments.

 

The Art of Effective Communication

By Kenneth P. Nolan

Becoming an effective trial lawyer requires a worldliness that evolves slowly.

 

How to Wow

By Nancy Scott Degan

Ten tips for becoming the litigator everyone listens to at meetings.

 

The Epidemic of Self-Promotion

By Kenneth P. Nolan

What to do—and what not to do—to promote yourself.

 

Important: Avoid Beginning Sentences with "The Court Held That . . ."

By George D. Gopen

Learn why this phrase damages the reader's interpretation process.

 

Thermostats That Testify—Who Knew?

By Frank Sommers

Digital devices mean new data is available in discovery.

 

Social Media: #RealDiscovery

By William Hamilton

Social media evidence has arrived. Here are four principles for social media e-discovery.

 

Political Cover and Consulting Experts

By Maria E. Rodriguez

A consulting expert can help you get the information you need in order to give your client sound advice.

 

Going Too Far with Witnesses

By Kenneth P. Nolan

You can learn to ask piercing questions, but it is harder to know when to stop, sit down, and shut up.

 

How to Protect Data from Uncle Sam

By Sharon D. Nelson and John W. Simek

At least once a week we are reminded that law firms' cybersecurity is at risk.

 

Top Ten First Trial Mistakes

By Kelley Barnett

The author shares common traps for litigators hoping to ace their first trial.

 

Practical Advice from a Practical Lawyer

By Nancy Scott Degan

An experienced lawyer distills 30 years into 10 tips.

 

Your Opponent Can Discover Your Experts

By Maria E. Rodriguez

Case law supports routine discovery requests for consulting experts' names.

 

Section Members Share Their Secrets for Success

By Don Bivens

Litigation readers offer practical advice to advance our profession.

 

Deposition Preparation: The Four Simple Rules

By Edna Selan Epstein

All clients, even sophisticated ones, need to be told how to achieve a successful deposition.

 

Archival Research on the Web

By Don MacLeod

For litigators, the web is an overlooked resource for turning up factual information about the past.

 

Securing Your Data in a World of Remote Access

By Frank Sommers

This overview of privacy and technology policies may help firms avoid malpractice charges.

 

Fourteen Tips to Make You a Better Litigator

By Don Bivens

These practice tips will help you bring out your best in both motions and the courtroom.

 

How to Winnow Arguments on Appeal

By Martin J. Siegel

Too many arguments in a brief makes them all seem weak. Where do you draw the line?

 

Winning a Motion

By Kenneth P. Nolan

Motions have become more important due to the increasing number of cases that settle. Here are some tips for handling them.

 

How to Take Advantage of Courtroom Technology

By Lance Bachman

Evidence presentation systems can help your case—but first you need to understand how to get permission and then use them.

 

Electric Kool-Aid Judgment Test: Making Your Papers Come Alive

By Frank Sommers and Rob Bunzel

Linking complex briefs and their exhibits in electronic documents can help judges follow your argument.

 

Tips for Lawyers Writing in a Time Crunch

By Anna Hemingway and Jennifer Lear

These guidelines for writing on a tight deadline help provide relief for stressed litigators.

 

Leading Your Way Through Cross-Examination

By Kelley Barnett

Maintain control during cross-examination by using leading questions to support your testimony.

 

Collecting Data from Mobile Devices

By Michael Arnold

The power, convenience, and affordability of mobile devices pose challenges for lawyers. Discover your options.

 

Defending Masters of the Universe in White-Collar Cases

By Ashish S. Joshi and Andrew Bossory

It isn't a crime to be rich, but defending the rich often brings its own set of issues.

 

Lawyer Marketing: Decent Exposure

By Pamela Sakowicz Menaker

In today's competitive environment, litigators need to promote themselves in a manner that reflects their personal style.

 

How to Conduct a Paperless Trial

By David L. Masters

How you manage documents affects your ability to go to trial without paper.

 

Second Chairs Are Coaches, Not Benchwarmers

By Amy Jane Longo

A second chair's role is to make sure everyone is properly prepared for the competition and has everything needed to succeed.

 

How Social Media Are Transforming Litigation

By Andy Radhakant and Matthew Diskin

From gathering evidence to jury behavior, few changes have affected trials as swiftly as social media.

 

Winning the Internet with Social Media

By Jason Beahm

A law firm is a brand, and social media can keep it first in your clients' minds.

 

Finding Bad Jurors

By Kelley Barnett

Skillful, confident jury selection can mean the difference between winning and losing.

 

The Admissibility of Social Media Evidence

By Josh Gilliland

Behind the mad dash to introduce social media evidence lies potentially complex issues of authentication and hearsay.

 

E-Discovery's "Prime Principle" for the Rule 26(f) Conference

By William Hamilton

The failure to grasp the essential operating principles of computers leads to conscious and unconscious violations of the e-discovery prime principle.

 

Be Careful What You Reveal: Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.6

By Edward W. Feldman

Two lawyers from different firms walk into a bar—and run afoul of Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.6.

 

The iPad for Litigators: Storming the Courtrooms

By Sharon D. Nelson and John W. Simek

Litigators are eagerly embracing the iPad. Here are the tablet's pluses and minuses, along with a review of some of the better apps.

 

Eight Google Skills All Litigators Should Master

By Don MacLeod

Some tools that can quickly improve the quality of Google searches are hiding in plain sight.

 

Mentoring—What Is Our Message?

By Joseph A. Greenaway Jr.

When attorney-client communications occur by email from home or work, the attorney-client privilege can easily be lost.

 

The Challenge of E-Communications: Privilege and Privacy

By John M. Barkett

When attorney-client communications occur by email from home or work, the attorney-client privilege can easily be lost.

 

Cutting Litigation Costs Without Compromise

By Olivier A. Taillieu and Mark Wolf

Your efforts to keep litigation costs low will be rewarded with repeat business and enthusiastic referrals.

 

The Potential Collateral Estoppel Effect of Foreign Judgments

By Peter P. Tomczak

Practitioners litigating in U.S. and foreign jurisdictions should understand the complex collateral estoppel principles of the rendering foreign state.

 

Cramming Cases into Existing Tests

By Alan L. Farkas

What should a lawyer do when a test has become obsolete and stands in the way of a client?

 

Preparing a Witness to Testify in the Grand Jury

By Stephen D. Brown and Christine C. Levin

It is a lawyer's responsibility to protect a grand jury witness from the very real threat of a perjury charge.

 

Key Steps to Successful Foreign Depositions

By Craig Allely

Minimize problems in taking depositions in international litigation by following these steps.

 

Are Settlements Sacrosanct?

By Jed S. Rakoff

When should a judge turn down a settlement that is presented for the judge's approval? Some would say never, but the answer is neither yes nor no, but rather, "it depends."

 

Reining in E-Discovery

By Geraldine Soat Brown

Electronic discovery is more important than ever, but receiving a request for ESI does not necessarily condemn a client to an expensive hunt through long-abandoned formats.

 

Exonerating Your Client Before Indictment

By James F. Hibey and Arthur T. “Ted” Farrell

Your job is to get out in front of the events and convince the prosecutor not to bring a charge.

 

Making the Best of a Bad Situation: Grand Jury Representations

By Charles B. Sklarsky

Mishandling the response to a grand jury subpoena can be disastrous for the client.

 

Evidentiary Surprises and Ethical Dilemmas

By Sara L. Shudofsky

Fulfill your duties to your client and meet your obligations as an officer of the court.

 

A Comment on "Streetwise Litigation"—Unwise Advice for Trial Lawyers

By James C. Hill

The true basis for a verdict is the hearts and minds of the jury.

 

No, They Really Don't Like Us

By Kenneth P. Nolan

Tips on how lawyers can change negative behavior patterns and transform their reputations in the public eye.

 

Surviving Yourself

By Andrew Love

Tips on how to be a better lawyer and how to survive the practice of law by first surviving yourself.

 

Rule 16, the Litigator's Forgotten Ally

By Joel B. Rosen and R. Monica Hennessy

If used properly, the court's discretion under Rule 16 can further your goals in the case.

 

The Evidence Rules Every New Trial Lawyer Should Know

By Hon. Joseph A. Greenaway Jr.

An analysis providing you with the ability to use the rules to your advantage.

 

Preparing for Battle: Managing the Mega-Case Litigation Team

By Steven D. McCormick

The supersized litigation team presents immense management challenges.

 

A Judge's Guide to Protecting Your Reputation

By James G. Carr

Create a good reputation by blending talent, intelligence, competence, and integrity.

 

Building Your Case for the Jury

By Kevin P. Durkin and Colin H. Dunn

It is important to believe that you play a role in how a jury trial comes out; using these tools and techniques can help.

 

Reversing the Magistrate Judge

By Jeffrey Cole

What do you do when you are on the losing side of a decision made by a magistrate judge?

 

Persuading Courts to Impose Sanctions

By Douglas J. Pepe

Federal sanctions law is a tangled web; each rule covers a limited sphere of conduct and has unique requirements.

 

Ethical Considerations for Promoting Your Practice Online

By Richard M. Goehler, Christopher G. Johnson, Kyle Melloan, and Ali Razzaghi

Promotion is difficult when ethical codes of conduct haven't kept up with the evolution of online technology.

 

Overcoming Judicial Bias

By Stan Perry

Remain a professional, act with dignity, learn from your losses, and eventually you will overcome judicial bias.

 

How to Be a Great Law Clerk

By David J. Richman

Make a substantial contribution to a judge's success by delivering an accurate, well-balanced, complete, and timely product.

 

Starting a Litigation Boutique

By Elizabeth A. Starrs

Client-centered nature of the boutique environment has many advantages over large firms.

 

Tax Tenets for Trial Lawyers

By Robert W. Wood

Rules every litigator should observe regarding tax issues.

 

The Standard of “Reasonable Certainty” Proves Lost Profits

By D. Mitchell McFarland

Economic and financial data and expert opinion have made it easier to meet the requirement of certainty.

 

Finding the Greener Grass—The Ins and Outs of Going In-House

By Bettina Elias Siegel

Think carefully about your own needs, likes, and dislikes before deciding to move in-house.

 

How to Get Clients to Eat Their Spinach

By Ellen C. Brotman

Learning to give advice that can be heard, understood, and followed is of critical importance.

 

How College Football Has Made Me a Better Lawyer

By Francisco Ramos Jr.

The same principles that carry teams to a winning season make us better lawyers.

 

Ten Things Your Expert Neglected to Tell You

By Francisco Ramos Jr.

No attorney wants to hear his expert assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

 

Ten Practical Tips for Making Your Case Appealable

By Alex Wilson Albright and Susan Vanc

In the heat of a trial, it can be hard to remember that the war may not end with the trial court’s judgment.

 

Wrestling with the Judge Who Wants You to Settle

By Campbell Killefer

Sorting through juror opinions and beliefs is one of the lawyer's most difficult challenges.

 

Considerations for Determining When to File a Summary Judgment Motion

By Michele L. Maryott

Despite a lack of sexiness, the summary judgment motion is a critical weapon in the arsenal.

 

Selecting a Jury of Cynics, Believers, and Others

By Robert A. Clifford

Sorting through juror opinions and beliefs is one of the lawyer's most difficult challenges.

 

Ten Tips for Making Your Case Appealable

By Alex Wilson Albright and Susan Vance

Common sense and careful preparation are the keys to practicing the art of the blind cross.

 

Mastering the Blind Cross-Examination

By Mark A. Neubauer

Common sense and careful preparation are the keys to practicing the art of the blind cross.

 

Dealing with the Difficult Adversary

By Frederick Alimonti

Preparation, understanding of adversaries are keys to avoiding or ending disputes with opposing counsel.


Weathering the Storm

By Theodore M. Grossman

Annals are filled with cases won by lawyers who creatively responded to and surmounted bad developments beyond their initial control.


Narrative, the Essential Trial Strategy

By Stephanie Kane

What happens in between “Once upon a time” and “The end”?


Copyright Claims: Not Just for Artists Anymore

By Edward J. Naughton

Creative approach to copyright offers expanded benefit for clients.


Managing Client Expectations

By Bruce Bikin

With nearly all civil cases ending in settlement, parties must consider how to maximize efforts in judicial settlement conferences.


Alternative Dispute Resolution »

Assessing the Strengths and Weaknesses of a Pending Arbitration

By P. Jean Baker

The AAA offers a new online tool designed to help attorneys anticipate some of the surprises that can arise.


Pre-Award Removal of an Arbitrator

By Sheila J. Carpenter

Recently, two courts have recently taken that unusual step.


Arbitrating Arbitrability with Nonsignatories

By Tom Alan Cunningham

Who decides arbitration's gateway questions when a party to the arbitration is not a party to the contract?


Motion Practice in Arbitrations

By J. Timothy Eaton

Motion practice is now taking root in arbitration and may be a positive development if properly managed.


The FAA Dictates the Supremacy of Arbitration Agreements . . . Right?

By Sheila J. Carpenter

The Supreme Court has been quite clear, but the message continues to meet resistance.


Applying E-Discovery in an Arbitrational Setting

By Michael Swarz

Practical use of e-discovery is a challenge once arbitration enters the picture.

 

Federal Question Jurisdiction Raised Only in Counterclaims

By David B. Collier

High Court settles compulsion of arbitration controversy.

 

Informed Consent: Divorcing Couples Have Options

By Debra C. Ruel

Clients confronted with divorce or separation should be fully informed of all available options.


Should Your Firm’s Engagement Letter Contain an Arbitration Clause?

By Mitchell L. Marinello

Arbitration is favorable where both parties hope to preserve privacy, time, and resources.


Who Decides Whether an Arbitration Agreement Is Unconscionable?

By Manjit S. Gill

High Court set to resolve who determines the unconscionability arbitration agreements.


Appellate Practice »

Silly Lawyer Tricks VI

By Tom Donlon

Sharing lessons from across the country with our members, reporting real mistakes made by real appellate lawyers, frequently with disastrous results for their clients.


Silly Lawyer Tricks V

By Tom Donlon

Sharing lessons from across the country with our members, reporting real mistakes made by real appellate lawyers.


Silly Lawyer Tricks IV

By Tom Donlon

The latest column in our continuing series on real mistakes by real lawyers on appeal.


What to Do about Adverse Precedent

By Sanford Hausler

There is no clear answer for the precise amount of candor due to courts.


Silly Lawyer Tricks III

By Tom Donlon

Sharing lessons from across the country with our members, reporting real mistakes made by real appellate lawyers, frequently with disastrous results for their clients.


Silly Lawyer Tricks II

By Tom Donlon

Sharing lessons from across the country with our members, reporting real mistakes made by real appellate lawyers, frequently with disastrous results for their clients.


The Reply Brief: Turning "Getting the Last Word" into "Getting the Win"

By Sylvia H. Walbolt and Nick A. Brown

A few tips on how to nail the reply.


Silly Lawyer Tricks

By Tom Donlon

Real mistakes made by real appellate lawyers, frequently with disastrous results for their clients.


Effective Oral Argument and Reflections on the Roberts Court

By Stephen Feldman and Lance Curry

The Appellate Practice Committee recently presented three CLE programs discussing these topics.


Tips on Effective Editing

By Ashley Burkett

Editing can be the difference between a brief that gets read and one that gets skimmed.


Rule 54(b): Have the Courts Been Getting It Wrong?

By Conor Dugan

What can be done about it?


Raising Issues on Appeal: Fewer Is Not Always Better

By Paul Mogin

It is unwise to presume that the issues to be briefed on appeal should number no more than three or four.


Consequences of Mootness on Appeal

By David L. Schoen

The factors the courts consider relevant in determining when the order dismissing an appeal should also vacate the previous judgment.


Determining Finality of a Judgment Awarding Damages

By Victoria Dorfman

Where a judgment entails an award of damages, it does not always have to contain the actual sum to be final.


Young Lawyers Corner: Getting Appellate Experience

By Seth T. Floyd

A new associate need not wait to work on appeals.


Confirming Federal Judges: Perspectives, Rancor, and Potential Reform

By Stephen D. Feldman

The judiciary has 42 spots that have no prospect of being filled in the short term.


The Hutz Brief: How to Respond to Bad Briefs

By Jeff Berger

Win over the judge with restraint, not ridicule.


Why the Appellate Mandate Matters

By Jennifer L. Swize

It is more than merely a ministerial chore.

 

Effective Appellate Brief Writing

By Hon. Richard A. Posner

Brief writers must be aware of the limits of understanding, concerns of appellate judges.

 

Oral Argument for Young Lawyers

By Dennis Owens

A good appellate attorney needs a set of skils different from those required for trial lawyers.

 

New Federal Rules Will Govern Indicative Rulings

By Josh Jacobson

District courts will be unable to deny a Rule 60(b) motion while an appeal is pending.

 

Amendments to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure

By Steven Finell

Fourth amemdment dealing with amicus curiae briefs may generate controversy.


Class Actions & Derivative Suits »

Clarifying Cooperation under Rule 1: A Command or a Recommendation?

By Kathryn Honecker and Jonathan Udell

At least one district court has threatened to sanction counsel who do not cooperate.


Combating Objectionable Objections

By Jonathan Uslaner and Brandon Marsh

Rule 23 rules committee takes aim at frivolous objections to class settlements.


Class Actions 101: How I Began My Practice

By Emily J. Kirk

Our area of litigation is a rewarding practice for attorneys on both sides of the "v."


Class Actions 101: Possible Amendments to Rule 23

By Robert J. Herrington

The proposed changes could have a great impact for years to come.


How to Be a Better Class Action (Defense) Lawyer

By Donald R. Frederico

Move to the head of the class by learning the steps that lead to class action mastery.


How I Began My Class Action Practice

By Kate R. Isley

One lawyer's journey from general litigation to class action expertise.


Throwing to First: A Defendant's Pick-Off Move

By Matthew M.K. Stein

The strategy may have received new life from Genesis Healthcare Corp. v. Symczyk.


The Numbers Game: Dukes and Concepcion

By Robert J. Herrington

Are class action filings down?


Confusion in Court over "All Natural" Claims

By Dawn Goulet

Costly litigation will continue until the FDA finally defines the term.


Seven Steps to a Successful Class Action Settlement

By John B. Isbister, Todd B. Hilsee, and Carla A. Peak

Parties must observe certain procedures to bind absent class members.

 

Closer Scrutiny for Fee Awards in Claims Made Settlement

By Ashley Vinson and Teresa Wang

Courts use authority under Rule 23(h) to scrutinize fee agreements.

 

Courts Must Resolve “Dueling” Expert Testimony

By Margaret Lyle and Andrew Wirmani

More appellate courts are requiring trial courts to scrutinize expert testimony as part of class certification.

 

Keeping Your State Court Class Action in State Court

By Roger K. Smith

Location, location, location. Old real-estate adage applies equally to state class actions cases.

 

Pick Me, Pick Me: Getting Appointed as Class Counsel

By Jocelyn D. Larkin

District courts have a variety of factors to weigh when appointing class counsel.

 

Class Actions 101: What Are These Lawsuits All About, Anyway?

By Julie Cantor

While many new attorneys know the keys to class actions, it never hurts to have a refresher.


Expert Witnesses »

The Science Behind Expert Disqualification: A Guide

By Brian Hooven

Why stop at excluding expert testimony when you can exclude the expert?


Mobile Device Forensics: What Can Be Found?

By Joshua Dalman

The perspective of a digital forensics examiner.


So You Think You're an Expert on Experts?

By Jason Elster

Test your knowledge on some of the most influential cases involving expert witnesses by taking our quiz.


"Reasonable Certainty" Remains Uncertain

By Neil Steinkamp and Regina M. Alter

Determining the extent to which damages opined by an expert rise to this level can be a puzzle.


Games Experts Play

By David V. Dilenschneider

That impressive list of authored works may warrant a closer look.


Pretrial practice & discovery »

Getting It Right: Confidentiality and Sealing Standards

By Ronald J. Hedges

The confidentiality of discovery materials is fundamentally different from the sealing of materials filed with courts or the sealing of judicial proceedings.


Rule 30(b)(6) at 45: Is It Still Your Friend?

By Eric Kinder and Walt Auvil

Is the rule, now entering middle age, still accomplishing the goals it was designed to achieve?


Why I Love Rule 36, and Why You Should Too

By Fitzgerald T. Bramwell

Requests to admit are the Rodney Dangerfield of pretrial procedure: They get no respect.


How Far Do the Protections of the Rule 26 Amendments Go?

By Michael Lowry

Exploring how the provisions have been applied and interpreted.


Changes to FRCP 45 Substantially Alter Federal Subpoena Practice

By Steven C. Corhern

The 2013 amendments changed the requirements for issuing, serving, and opposing a domestic federal subpoena.


"Self-Serving Testimony" and Summary Judgment Standards

By Jeffrey G. Close

Is there a split between the Fifth and Seventh Circuits?


Trial Motion Practice Pointers: Post-Trial Motions

By Taylor N. Barr and Betsy P. Collins

A nuts-and-bolts look at common pre-, in-, and post-trial motions in federal court.


Vanishing Trial Skills

By Hon. Charles S. Coody

Effective and persuasive person-to-person skills are still fundamental even in our instant-communication environment.


Discoverability of Deposition Breaks

By Raymond P. Ausrotas

Two leading cases are instructive on the subject of deposition recess.


Ethics of Using Social Media During Case Investigation and Discovery

By Seth I. Muse

A simple tweet or "poke" could turn the tide against you.


How to Write an Effective Reply Brief

By Damon Thayer

Master these 10 simple steps to increase your chances of prevailing in any case.


Revised Deadlines in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

By Theresa A. Phelps

Primary changes relate to the manner in which deadlines are calculated under the rules.

 

Model Rule 1.10: Imputation of Conflicts and Private Law Firm Screening

By Cassandra Melton

The rules have changed for lawyers who change firms.

 

Ashcroft v. Iqbal: New Pleading Standards and Motions to Dismiss

By Edward D. Johnson

High Court revisits unresolved issues raised by Twombly.

 

Strategic Motions to Dismiss (or Lack Thereof)

By Mark Thomas Smith

Each case requires careful planning and strategizing before a move to dismiss.

 

Fundamentals of Discovery Motion Practice

By Samuel A. Thumma

Court cure for discovery disputes includes research, preparation, and dose of common sense.


Second Chair

Preparing for Your First Civil Trial, Part Six: Witness Preparation

By Jennifer L. Saulino, Maureen R. Knight, and LaQuita S. Wornor

No doubt about it: Cases are won or lost in witness preparation.

 

Preparing for Your First Civil Trial, Part Five: The Court and the Judge

By Jennifer L. Saulino, Maureen R. Knight, and LaQuita S. Wornor

The move to the real court carries a host of issues that first timers must keep track of.

 

Preparing for Your First Civil Trial, Part Four: Task Lists and Trial Outlines

By Jennifer L. Saulino, Maureen R. Knight, and LaQuita S. Wornor

Task lists and trial outlines are critical, regardless of case complexity.

 

Preparing for Your First Civil Trial, Part Three: Meeting the Judge

By Jennifer L. Saulino, Maureen R. Knight, and LaQuita S. Wornor

Meeting your judge for the first time requries attention to manners and being a good listener.

 

Preparing for Your First Civil Trial, Part Two: Depositions

By Jennifer L. Saulino, Maureen R. Knight, and LaQuita S. Wornor

Trial themes, strategies are critical to deciding whom to depose and what to ask.

 

Preparing for Your First Civil Trial, Part One: Where and How to Begin

By Jennifer L. Saulino, Maureen R. Knight, and LaQuita S. Wornor

Every case should be thought of as a trial case; preparation begins on day one.

 

Leveraging Your Jurors’ Self Interest

By Harry Plotkin

Even when they try to be impartial, jurors cannot divorce their values and interests from the outcome of your case.


Technology for the Litigator »

Attorneys, Beware! Six Technology Traps to Avoid

By John F. O'Rourke and Trevor Roberts

When it comes to making mistakes with modern technology, prevention may be the only cure.


Improving Google Searches with Advanced Queries

By Jason Briody

The white search box the world uses to find information has a few powerful secrets up its sleeve.


Five iPhone and iPad Security Steps to Take Right Now

By Keith J. Jones and Jason T. Briody

Simple steps to ensure your emails, texts, and documents don't fall into the wrong hands.


How to Access Data from a Party's Facebook Profile

By Brian Deitch

Attorneys must be aware of what information they and their opponents have readily available.


How Document Management Can Accelerate Law Practice

By Fred Wolgel

Recent technology can help you stop wasting time on low-value activities.


Regulating Cell Phones in the Courtroom

By Kent Markgraf

How should one of the biggest distractions in today's courtrooms be policed?


Trial Evidence »

Admitting Emails under Rule 803(6) Is No Slam Dunk

By Kirsten R. Fraser

Evaluating for compliance and laying testimonial foundation are necessary to ensure successful admission of the evidence.


What a Trial Lawyer Needs from a Deposition

By Kristine K. Meredith

To elicit testimony that will be useful at trial, let the witness tell the story in his or her own words.


Juror Use of Social Media: Closing the Evidentiary Back Door

By Andrew B. Flake

The burden of monitoring potential improper use of social media by jurors during trial falls mostly on trial counsel.


Summary-Judgment Evidence 101

By James A. King

A crash course on the admissibility requirements of Rule 56.


Is Eyewitness Testimony Inherently Unreliable?

By Aileen P. Clare

The system can take steps to prevent wrongful convictions based on faulty human memory.


District Courts Extend Twombly to Affirmative Defenses

By Brian Robison and Alithea Z. Sullivan

 

History of the Federal Rules of Evidence

By Josh Camson

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the Federal Rules of Evidence.

 

What's Wrong with Hearsay?

By James D. Abrams

Ask two trial lawyers about how they view the hearsay rule, and you’re likely to get two different responses, depending on their personal experiences in trial.

 

Proposed Amendments to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26

By Jason M. Rudd

Rule 26(a)'s broad mandate to produce all data considered by the expert proves more of a burden than an aid.

 

An Overlooked Hearsay Exception Proves Positive

By Dawn C. Van Tassel

Negative evidence can be a persuasive means of proving diligence and reliability in your case.

 

Identifying, Addressing, and Preserving Evidentiary Issues

By Alfred J. Saikali

Evidentiary issues require the earliest possible detection.

 

Using an Expert Witness as a Landmine

By James J. Donohue and Christopher E. Ballod

Pineda v. Ford Motor Company decision could be trouble for lawyers facing off against expert witnesses.


A Video Deposition How To

By Christina L. Dixon and Jennifer K. Hohnstein

Use of video at various stages of trial presents unique challenges, opportunities.


Trial Practice »

What Michael Jordan Can Teach Us About Cross-Examination

By Michael J. Satin

For starters, His Airness never stopped working on the fundamentals.


Tips for Dealing with Exorbitant Expert Witness Fees

By Theresa W. Parrish

Learn how to find relief available under the rules of civil procedure and underlying case law.


Pleading a Claim under the False Claims Act

By Alan Levins and Alison Cubre

Learn how to navigate this important but strict statute from the Civil War era.


Preserving Pretrial Issues for Appeal

By Ashley M. Felton

Litigants should be aware of hazards in the Federal Rule of Evidence 103(a) post-2000 amendment.


Learning to Love Direct Examination

By Sara E. Kropf

Seize the chance for your side to tell its story.


Twelve Angry Tweeters: The Effect of Twitter on the Jury System

By Bill Haltom

Juries, clients, judges, and trial lawyers spend time tweeting in the courtroom.


Shadow Juries: A Unique Advantage in Civil Trials

By Theodore O. Prosise, Ph.D.

Shadow juries can be used to evaluate and modify trial strategies and anticipate reactions of real juries.


Persuasion Starts with Strategy

By Chris Dominic and Bruce Boyd

Experience can, at times, divert attention from trial strategy to the routine laundry list of litigation items that must be addressed.