Common Sense Rules of Advocacy for Lawyers
A Practical Guide for Anyone Who Wants To Be a Better Advocate
By Keith Evans
Common Sense Rules of Advocacy for Lawyers provides tips and rules that will help anyone – lawyer or lobbyist, account executive or negotiator, parent or teacher – improve their advocacy skills in less than 10 minutes a day.
The classic advocacy guide for trial lawyers, Common Sense Rules of Advocacy for Lawyers has been hailed by attorneys, mediators and professors nationwide. It’s the practical advocacy guide designed for anyone who must persuade others including attorneys, lobbyists, negotiators, account executives, law students, sales professionals, and parents.
I wrote this book in the first place* as a kind of guidebook for young lawyers who had to do a trial in court. And I have been pleased over the years to hear from people who claimed they had won a verdict because they used one of the techniques I suggested. I have been told as well that these practical rules are as useful outside the courtroom as they are in it. And I do agree that if you have to make a presentation or negotiate a deal, these rules will undoubtedly help you.
But I don’t want to re-write the book so as to point out that this or that rule is of particular importance in any kind of negotiation or alternative dispute resolution, or that an account executive making a pitch should pay special attention to this one or that one. You are intelligent enough to see how a rule lifts out of the courtroom and can be used in negotiations and presentations, and, indeed, in every kind of relationship. My second wife complained, “I wish you’d use your advocacy on me,” and looking back on it I should have done.
And it is in the framework of a trial in court that the rules can be most easily explained. So although I have been persuaded to adopt a new title, what you are getting here is more or less the original advice for the brave young lawyers who dare to do a case in court. You’ll find it quite funny in places, and you’ll easily decide which rules you want to take with you into your daily life and into your work.
I think the central rule of this whole book is Newton’s Rule, as I have called it. “You can’t possibly convict my client on this evidence,” says the lawyer, and although the jury don’t move a muscle you can see them all thinking, “Oh no? You wanna bet?” Every action has its equal and opposite reaction, and this rule is working all the time when people are communicating or trying to communicate.
But we’ll come to Newton’s Rule, as we will to the Rule of the Honest Guide. When you’ve familiarized yourself with all the rules you’ll even find it easier to fix a date.
If a new rule occurs to you and you are willing to share it, please get in touch and tell me about it. I can be contacted through my Publisher, Chug Roberts, at TheCapitol.Net, PO Box 25706, Alexandria, VA 22313-5706 www.TheCapitol.Net, 202-678-1600, and I very much look forward to seeing this collection added to.
Here, then, apart from the occasional footnote, is the book as it was designed for the lawyers. Enjoy – as they intransitively say in California.
* This book was originally published in 1994 by West Publishing as “The Common Sense Rules of Trial Advocacy.” The Foreword, edits and updating, and Appendix 3, “How to Succeed as a Lawyer,” by Roland Boyd, are new to the 2004 edition.
Keith Evans passed away August, 2008, in Swansea, Wales. RIP
TheCapitol.Net is a non-partisan firm, and the opinions of its faculty, authors, clients and the owners and operators of its vendors are their own and do not represent those of TheCapitol.Net.
For more than 40 years, TheCapitol.Net and its predecessor, Congressional Quarterly Executive Conferences, have been teaching professionals from government, military, business, and NGOs about the dynamics and operations of the legislative and executive branches and how to work with them.
Our on-site training, publications, and audio courses include congressional operations, legislative and budget process, communication and advocacy, media and public relations, testifying before Congress, research skills, legislative drafting, critical thinking and writing, and more.
TheCapitol.Net is on the GSA Schedule, 874-4, for custom on-site training. GSA Contract GS02F0192X
TheCapitol.Net is a non-partisan small business.
Teaching how Washington and Congress work ™