Trial Advocacy Resources

Prepared for Prof. Maureen Howard's Trial Advocacy classes

Mary Whisner, Jan. 5, 2010. Updated Jan. 10, 2011.

Students of trial advocacy -- and trial lawyers -- may use a variety of resources to develop their skills, pick up tips, learn about scholarship and research in the area, and stay current with new developments. This guide lists selected sources.

Skills

Selected materials from the library collection:

  • American Bar Association Section of Litigation and the Center for Continuing Education, 73 Ways to Win (2001). KF8915 .S48 2001 at Reference Area. Video (VHS). Seventy-three of the country's top legal advocates collaborate to present litigation tips and practical advice on improving trial practice, as they illustrate the evolution of a case from the beginning through to its appeal.
  • David Berg, The Trial Lawyer: What It Takes to Win (2006), KF8915 .B448 2006 at Classified Stacks. Book plus two DVDs.
  • Marilyn J. Berger, John B. Mitchell & Ronald H. Clark, Trial Advocacy: Planning, Analysis, and Strategy (2008), KF8915 .B45 2008 at Reference Area. This text, written by Seattle University professors, has an accompanying DVD demonstrating trial components from voir dire to closing arguments. The actors are local lawyers and judges (including some UW Trial Ad instructors).
     
  • Steven H. Goldberg, Tracy Walters McCormack, The First Trial: Where Do I Sit? What Do I Say? in a Nutshell (2d ed. 2009), KF8915.Z9 G59 2009 at Reference Area
  • A.G. Harmon, The Complete Advocate: A Practice File for Representing Clients from Beginning to End (2010), KF300 .H368 2010 at Classified Stacks 
  • Brian K. Johnson and Marsha Hunter, The Articulate Advocate: New Techniques of Persuasion for Trial Lawyers (2009), KF8915 .J64 2009 at Classified Stacks
     
  • Cecil C. Kuhne, III, Building Your Best Argument (2010), KF8915 .K784 2010 
  • Thomas A. Mauet, Trial Techniques (8th ed. 2010), KF8915 .M38 2010 at Reference Area
  • Thomas A. Mauet,Trials: Strategy, Skills, and the New Power of Persuasion (2d ed. 2009), KF8915 .M384 2008 at Reference Area. Includes DVD.
     
  • Larry Pozner & Roger J. Dodd,  Cross-Examination Skills for Law Students (2009), KF8920 .P69 2009 at Reference Area
  • G. Christopher Ritter, Powerful Deliberations: Putting It All Together for the Jury (2009), KF8972 .R58 2009 at 
  • Stephen Saltzburg, Trial Tactics (2d ed. 2009), KF8915 .S35 2009 at Classified Stacks
     
  • Daniel I. Small, Preparing Witnesses: A Practical Guide for Lawyers and Their Clients (2009), KF8950 .S63 2009 at Classified Stacks
  • Irving Younger, Trial Evidence Series (NITA), KF8935 .Y68 1982 at Reference Area. Even though this is old, this 14-tape set (VHS) is still useful. Irving Younger was renowned for his ability to explain the rules of evidence.
  • Irving Younger, The Ten Commandments for Cross-Examination (1998), KF8920 T46 2000 at Reference Area. DVD.

For more, search the catalog for trial practice.

Online sources:

Ten Minute Mentor is an online collection of short videos "from leading lawyers in their area of expertise," produced by the Texas Bar and the Texas Young Lawyers Association. Check out the Trial category.

Trial Tips Newsletter is a free email newsletter from Elliott Wilcox, a Florida lawyer. The articles are short and practical.

Federal Judicial Center videos at the Internet Archive:

Courtroom View Network (CVN) is a business that webcasts trials to law firms and other subscribers. A handful of free demo clips are here.

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Studies and Scholarship

Institutional websites:

The National Center for State Courts is a great resource for facts sheets, studies, and reports about court administration. Topic categories include jury selection, evidence storage and handling, family courts, indigent, and many more.

The Federal Judicial Center is the research and education arm of the federal courts. See also Federal Judiciary Channel on YouTube.

Bureau of Justice Statistics (U.S. Department of Justice) provides criminal justice statistics, both state and federal.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) provides "comprehensive, independent, and nonpartisan information about federal enforcement, staffing, and spending." Statistical reports of court caseloads are here.

Washington State Courts Resources, Publications, and Reports includes annual summary of legislation of interest to the courts.

RAND Institute for Civil Justice offers "interdisciplinary, empirical approach to public policy issues."

The Sentencing Project

Selected books:

  • Harry Kalven, Jr. & Hans Zeisel, The American Jury (1986 reprint of 1970 work), KF8972 .K34 1986 at Classified Stacks or (1966 edition), KF8972 .K34 1966 at Classified Stacks. The classic work.
  • Analyzing Law's Reach: Empirical Research on Law and Society (John Heinz ed. 2007), KF389 .A45 2007 at Classified Stacks. Collection of journal articles by researchers from the American Bar Association. A good sampling of empirical legal research.
  • Sean G. Overland, The Juror Factor: Race and Gender in America's Civil Courts (2009), KF8972 .O94 2009 at Classified Stacks.
  • Cass R. Sunstein et al., Punitive Damages: How Juries Decide (2002), KF1249 .P86 2002 at Classified Stacks.

For more books, search the catalog using combinations of jury, psycholog*, sociolog*, decision making, trial practice, law - social aspects.

Recent papers posted on SSRN:

More:

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Professional Organizations

ABA sections and projects

American Association for Justice (formerly Association of Trial Lawyers of America). Civil plaintiffs attorneys.

Defense Research Institute. Civil defense attorneys.

National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys

National District Attorneys Association 

Washington State Bar Association

King County Bar Association

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Local Courts

Federal

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington

State

Washington Courts

King County Superior Court

King County Juvenile Court

King County Drug Diversion Court Program

Municipal Court of Seattle

Pierce County Superior Court

Snohomish County Superior Court

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News and Current Awareness

Jur-E Bulletin and other e-newsletters from the National Center for State Courts

The Third Branch: Newsletter of the Federal Courts

Blogs

Trial Ad (and other) Notes - a variety of notes and news items, often about Washington State. If you'd like to share an item, send a note to whisner [at] uw.edu.

Law-Related Blogs in Washington State

The Red Well ("a blog aggregator for views on litigation persuasion") - links to and shows the most recent four posts from 11 different blogs by members of the American Society of Trial Consultants.

LitigationWorld - new (Jan. 10, 2011) weekly newsletter "with a helpful tip on electronic discovery, litigation strategy, or litigation technology that you can immediately use. She'll also point you to the most important litigation articles published on the Web so that you won't miss anything," edited by Kimberlee L. Gunning of Terrell Marshall & Daudt PLLC, Seattle.

Sentencing Law and Policy by Ohio State law professor Douglas Berman is a premiere law blog (the first one ever cited by the U.S. Supreme Court!).

Directories of law-related blogs:

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Famous Trials

Famous Trials is a website developed by UMKC law professor Douglas O. Linder. It includes material on dozens of famous trials (from Socrates to Zacarias Moussaoui), including summaries, transcripts, pictures, and commentary.

The Law Library has hundreds of books about individual trials, many including excerpts of transcripts. To sample them, browse the Classified Stacks around KF224 and KF228 (or see the catalog lists here and here).

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