Category: Books

Vincent Bugliosi: The Legacy

Vince Bugliosi, who first achieved fame as the Manson Family prosecutor and then as a first rate author, died June 6, 2015. His true legacy is the books he left behind. Too obsessive and detailed for the casual reader but perfect for us. The Lee Bailey, Gerry Spence and Bugliosi trial-centric books are major sources […]

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Samuel Leibowitz

Samuel Leibowitz August 14, 1893 – January 11, 1978 While reading an article in Thursday’s New York Times (4/4/13),I flashed back forty years deep into my public defender days. Alabama lawmakers voted to issue posthumous pardons to the Scottsboro Boys,  nine black teenagers, who were wrongly convicted of rape more than 80 years ago based […]

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Practice: Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience by Carmine Gallo The cliches roll off the tongue when someone says the word “practice”: “Practice makes perfect” “Practice makes the master” “Practice is everything” “Perfect practice makes perfect” “In theory there is no […]

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The Business of Persuasion (Part 3)

I started this blog because I wanted a forum and a reason to put my ideas in some comprehensible form and on paper (or at least the electronic version). I knew the rigors of this discipline would force me to vigorously examine my ideas and in turn enhance my skills. This set of blogs on […]

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The Business of Persuasion (Part 2)

This is a continuation of my thesis that business books on persuasion, selling and marketing are the almost perfect guidebooks for trial lawyers. This is not to mean one must slavishly follow every principle set forth in these books. They have great ideas which must be adjusted for our use. We are not presenting in […]

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The Business of Persuasion

Do you want to be a good speaker? Do you want to give memorable closing arguments? Do you want to give exciting public speeches? It can be done, but only through “blood, sweat and tears.” Persuasive speaking is not a god-given talent but a skill that can be mastered just like so many other aspects […]

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Deon Meyer

I love thrillers. My only dangerous addiction. When I find a new thriller writer it makes my day. A couple of months ago I read a review of Deon Meyer’s Trackers in some off-beat on-line magazine. I took a flyer and ordered the book. It is a gem. I immediately bought every one of his other books (you have to love Amazon!) and now have exhausted the available supply. I am undergoing withdrawal symptoms and have to wait for a new Meyer book. My experience is that the great thriller writers only publish one a year at best.

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June 16th

Last Saturday was Bloom’s day. Yes, I bet some of you missed it, so mark it on your calendar for next year. I took the day off to celebrate the vivid and seemingly limitless imagination of James Joyce. Anyone who has struggled to interpret Ulysses knows whereof I speak. Joyce was one of a kind; obscure, maddening, complex yet brilliant.

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Storytelling: Part 2

here is a good lesson detailed by Janet Maslin in her review of “Bed” by David Whitehouse. In the New York Times, Maslin, one of our more perceptive book reviewers, skewers Whitehouse for his inability to write convincing narrative. The book is about an extremely obese man from his younger brother’s point of view. Maslin points out that Whitehorse has a great talent for dazzling description, but almost none for storytelling, and thus the book is largely unsuccessful.

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Observing People

Yogi Berra allegedly said: “You can observe a lot just by watching.” Brilliant, if he said that intentionally. Once the quote became famous, he embraced it and wrote a book called “You Can Observe A Lot By Watching: What I’ve Learned About Teamwork From the Yankees and Life.”

I always suggest to my law students that they practice people-watching as a method of learning how to select a jury and size up witnesses. If I were running a school of litigation, there would be a required course in the art of watching people. Nothing fancy as an academic course in human psychology; more like a practical course on reading people. It would not be taught by lawyers, but by those who do it for a living. I would hire agents skilled in counter-intelligence and interrogation.

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