Trial Advocacy Resources

Updated Jan. 17, 2012.
Prepared by Mary Whisner.

Prepared for Prof. Maureen Howard's Trial Advocacy classes.

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

I've marked sources that include video with V.


Selected Material in the Library

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. V.

David Berg, The Trial Lawyer: What It Takes to Win (2006).
KF8915 .B448 2006 at Classified Stacks. Book plus two DVDs. V.

Marilyn J. Berger, John B. Mitchell & Ronald H. Clark, Trial Advocacy: Planning, Analysis, and Strategy (2d ed. 2011).
KF8915 .B45 2008 at Reference Area
This item and the next title were written by Seattle University professors. The Evidence volume has an accompanying DVD. The actors are local lawyers and judges (including some UW Trial Ad instructors). V.

Evidence: Skills, Strategies, and Assignments for Pretrial and Trial (2012).
KF8935 .B398 2012 at Reference Area

Ralph Adam Fine, The "How-to-Win" Trial Manual: Winning Trial-Advocacy in a Nutshell (2011).
KF8915 .F54 2011 at Classified Stacks. Includes "test yourself" section, with answers.

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 & 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. V.

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 Classified Stacks

Stephen Saltzburg, Trial Tactics (2d ed. 2009).
KF8915 .S35 2009 at Classified Stacks

Paul Mark Sandler, Anatomy of a Trial: A Handbook for Young Lawyers (2011).
KF8915 .S24 2011 at Classified Stacks. Published by the ABA.

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. V.

Irving Younger, The Ten Commandments for Cross-Examination (1998).
KF8920 T46 2000 at Reference Area. DVD. V.

For more, search the catalog for the subject heading: Trial Practice.


Wes Porter on Evidence & Trial Advocacy: YouTube channel with video clips by Prof. Wes Porter, Golden Gate University School of Law. V.

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. V.

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

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

NITA YouTube channel. These short videos are basically ads for NITA training, but some clips of presentations include tips, for example What Gets Jurors Attention. V.

Federal Judicial Center videos at the Internet Archive (V):


Studies & Scholarship

Agencies & Organizations

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. V.

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). The classic work.
KF8972 .K34 1986 at Classified Stacks or (1966 edition), KF8972 .K34 1966 at Classified Stacks

Analyzing Law's Reach: Empirical Research on Law and Society (John Heinz ed. 2007).
Collection of journal articles by researchers from the American Bar Association. A good sampling of empirical legal research.
KF389 .A45 2007 at Classified Stacks

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

SSRN offers subject-specific "journals" collecting recent papers on these topics:

Recently published law review articles are added to:


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




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

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

State & Local

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


News & Current Awareness


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

The Third Branch: Newsletter of the Federal Courts

Washington State Courts news: Browse press releases or sign up for email alerts. Washington State Courts E-Clips Service (Judicial News) is email service linking to news stories. Sign up here for notifications of changes to courts rules and pattern instructions, new appellate opinions, and more.

Legal newsletters from Bloomberg BNA: Class Action Litigation Report, Digital Discovery & e-Evidence, Expert Evidence Report, U.S. Law Week.

Brennan Center for Justice (NYU Law) E-Lerts on Fair Courts: "To alert activists, scholars, and journalists to important developments concerning judges and the judiciary, each day the Brennan Center reviews a wide array of newspapers and periodicals for articles and commentary related to judicial independence issues (broadly defined), and once a week we post a short summary of these pieces, with corresponding citations."


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]

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 - 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

ABA Journal's Blawg Directory




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.


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