ABA Journal

Advocacy

25 ABA Journal Advocacy articles.

6 more leading trial lawyers share secrets of effective opening statements

Most of us know the elements of an effective opening statement: Tell a good story, weaving the evidence with themes that will resonate with the jurors’ common sense and life experiences. But what’s the best way to do that? Bang the table or shoot the breeze? Attack immediately or hold your fire? Most important, how can you connect with the jury—a panel of strangers who can’t talk back but who will determine the fate of your case?

Legendary litigators share their advice on crafting your best opening statement

Read what the most renowned trial lawyers in the United States say are their secrets to a great opening.

Your body language during trial can be just as important as what you say

Law schools don’t have classes in body language, and a surprising number of trial lawyers never learn this lesson.

How to appear confident and self-assured, even when you’re not

Into your mind pops the image of a lawyer. Is it Atticus Finch of To Kill a Mockingbird? Is it the Atticus Finch of Go Set a Watchman? Vinny Gambini…

How clients’ backgrounds may shed light on their motivation for litigation

How should you handle a bad news client?

Is there anything you wouldn't do for a paying client? Whether you are a solo practitioner or a lawyer in a firm, the realities of the legal business cause money…

Goodwill is a precious resource for you and your clients, so follow the Golden Rule

Earning respect comes with the way you handle certain situations

The late, great Rodney Dangerfield always used to complain: "I don't get no respect." He then proceeded to make fun of himself for this little problem, like this: "When I…

Chicago lawyer pieces together a missing couple’s story to obtain a court ruling that they died

When Malaysia Airlines flight 370 vanished after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur on March 8, 2014, it never occurred to Richard Campbell that he'd be involved in some of the earliest…

Why you should do your own legwork before putting your trust in a client

I was raised to be a naive and trusting person. This is not a good mindset for a lawyer. People sometimes lie, and being cautiously skeptical is a good thing.…