Bisel Logo Pennsylvania Trial Advocacy Handbook

A HANDBOOK FOR TRIAL LAWYERS EVERYWHERE

ORIGINAL AUTHOR: MILFORD J. MEYER, J.D., LL.D. (Dec'd)
Current supplementation and revisions by DANIEL E. CUMMINS
    (Member of the Lackawanna County Bar)

Published: 1976
Most recent supplement/update: 2013 supplement, released 11/12; $109.00
(Current Subscriber's Price: $96.50)
ISBN: 1-887024-65-4

1 VOLUME, HARD-BOUND, 281 PAGES, PRICE: $109.00

THE ART OF ADVOCACY — A VERY PERSONAL, PRACTICAL PRESENTATION OF THE ESSENTIAL SKILLS, TECHNIQUES AND TACTICAL JUDGMENTS, BY A SEASONED TRIAL LAWYER

The primary concern of the trial lawyer is people: the witnesses, the adversary, the judge, principally the jurors, and how to effectively interact with them as an advocate for your client. Thorough preparation and competent technique and strategy are essential. That this has not always been the case is now well documented, ever since Chief Justice Burger's charge that possibly as high as 75% of the lawyers who try cases are unqualified. Lawyers today know the law and how to apply it, but are weak in the knowledge of how to ascertain and develop facts and in the skills necessary to advocate competently from the factual posture of the case. In view of this new recognition of an old weakness, Mr. Meyer has emphasized the critical areas of preparation, technique and strategy in his new Pennsylvania book on The Art of Advocacy. It is the craftsman, revealing the "art" of his trade, with over 45 years at the trial bar. This is not another book on procedure, but a thoroughly modern treatment of trial technique and strategy-the missing ingredients in so many earlier books..."I look upon it as a series of personal conversations with one or two students or lawyers who believe they have the talent and ability to develop the art of advocacy. I believe sincerely that if each of the conversations is followed by a court room visit to observe and criticize, it can be done." The accumulated wisdom between the covers of this book, although Pennsylvania oriented, actually transcends state boundaries, for it is quite simply the art of dealing with people.

NECESSARY TOOL FOR ALL WHO PRACTICE TRIAL ADVOCACY OR INTEND TO

The burden of the Pennsylvania trial lawyer has recently been increased by the abolition of the doctrine of "fundamental error" in order, as the Court has said, to encourage alert professional representation at trial. The ill-prepared or poorly schooled attorney no longer can turn a badly tried case over to a competent appellate

lawyer and seek a new trial on the basis of "patent" error which he did not recognize and object to. The task is now clear that the time to master the necessary technical knowledge for a competent presentation at trial, and the persistent application essential for effective preparation, is at the outset-and that is where this book is designed to help: to offer guidelines to competence, to help teach the art of advocacy. This is an instructive manual for the fledgling trial lawyer and a finishing school for the accomplished advocate.

Of particular aid to the bar is the thorough treatment of the jury selection process, a part of the trial too often treated lightly. Careful attention has been paid to the opening statement, which is also given little attention by the inexperienced trial lawyer. The coverage of cross-examination is incisive with a wonderful emphasis on restraint, and the author has stressed throughout the crucial importance of thorough fact-finding.

You have been entrusted with the task of advocating your client's cause, and unless you do the best job of advocacy you can, that trust is betrayed; your client's rights and obligations depend on it. The basic art and tactics can be taught. As every lawyer seeks to emulate such tactics, he can approach, if not achieve, superior skill as an advocate. We offer this new book to the profession with great pride as an aid to this end. The following is an outline of coverage. The book is amply supported by footnotes and a cross-reference index.

SUMMARY OF CONTENTS

Foreword
 
1. Training For Advocacy
2. The Advocate
3. The Trial Brief
4. The Witnesses
5. Documents
6. The Trial Judge
7. The Jury
8. The Opening Statement
9. Direct Examination
10. Cross-Examination
11. Further Examination
12. Expert Testimony
13. Admissions
14. Prior Judicial Testimony
15. Demonstrative Evidence
16. Objections And Offers
17. Motions
18. Summation
19. Jury Instructions
20. The Verdict
21. Post-Trial Motions
22. Trial Without Jury

Index

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