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What To Read This Week

The Jury Expert, the publication of the American Society of Trial Consultants, just issued its third edition. It is, as they say, bigger and better than ever. There are eleven different articles by leading trial consultants, all offering practical insights for practical lawyers.

The three lead articles are getting the most attention, because they deal with a challenge most of us have struggled with: preparing a narcissistic witness to testify. Each of the three authors takes the problem from a different perspective. Douglas Keene of Keene Trial Consulting is a psychologist, and teaches how to tell what kind of narcissism you're dealing with, and how to respond to it. Charlotte Morris thinks first in terms of persuasion, and approaches the problem from there. Lisa DeCaro's background is in theatre and performance, and so she starts with posture, a fundamental and often forgotten form of communication. Each article is good; together, they're really good.

And there's lots more. Edward Burkley of Oklahoma State University and his student Darshon Anderson have an article on how scientific studies on persuasion translate to real-life courtrooms. It's so clear and practical it's hard to believe they're social scientists. David Illig completes his three-part series on false assumptions in witness preparation, yours and theirs. There are articles on using technology for clear communication; venue and buffer statutes; how jurors make damages decisions; solution-focused mediation; a very cool new program at DePaul University Law School; and links to two great resources.

You can download the issue in pieces (the way I've linked to it here), or in one huge file.

Most important, you can subscribe by E-mail, and you really should.

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