Category: Barack Obama

Final Argument: Tone (Part 3) – The Presidential Debate

Trial lawyers start working on their final argument from the first day on a case and keep working it until they get up on their feet and start talking. They continually collect ideas, details, and special facts to weave into arguments. They write out the boiler plate arguments like reasonable doubt, presumption of innocence and how to highlight the critical jury instructions. They know these set-pieces will always be part of the argument. They are not prepared in a rush the night before or off the top of their head. These lessons could have helped the President in the first Presidential debate.

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Concrete

I am writing of concrete details, not building materials. I am a strong believer in making our presentations as concrete as possible. The problem with lawyers is that we make abstract arguments instead of concrete ones. This comes from our law school education. We argue the law in the abstract and forget that it doesn’t work with facts. Concrete facts always win over abstract generalizations. As a side note, I always tell my law class that to become a good trial lawyer you have to overcome three years of law school.

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