The classic advocacy guide for trial lawyers, Common Sense Rules of Advocacy for Lawyers has been hailed by attorneys, mediators and professors nationwide. It's the practical advocacy guide designed for anyone who must persuade others including attorneys, lobbyists, negotiators, account executives, law students, sales professionals, and parents.
I wrote this book in the first place as a kind of guidebook for young lawyers who had to do a trial in court. And I have been pleased over the years to hear from people who claimed they had won a verdict because they used one of the techniques I suggested. I have been told as well that these practical rules are as useful outside the courtroom as they are in it. And I do agree that if you have to make a presentation or negotiate a deal, these rules will undoubtedly help you.
But I don't want to re-write the book so as to point out that this or that rule is of particular importance in any kind of negotiation or alternative dispute resolution, or that an account executive making a pitch should pay special attention to this one or that one. You are intelligent enough to see how a rule lifts out of the courtroom and can be used in negotiations and presentations, and, indeed, in every kind of relationship. My second wife complained, «I wish you'd use your advocacy on me," and looking back on it I should have done.
And it is in the framework of a trial in court that the rules can be most easily explained. So although I have been persuaded to adopt a new title, what you are getting here is more or less the original advice for the brave young lawyers who dare to do a case in court. You'll find it quite funny in places, and you'll easily decide which rules you want to take with you into your daily life and into your work.
I think the central rule of this whole book is Newton's Rule, as I have called it. «You can't possibly convict my client on this evidence," says the lawyer, and although the jury don't move a muscle you can see them all thinking, «Oh no? You wanna bet?» Every action has its equal and opposite reaction, and this rule is working all the time when people are communicating or trying to communicate.
But we'll come to Newton's Rule, as we will to the Rule of the Honest Guide. When you've familiarized yourself with all the rules you'll even find it easier to fix a date.
If a new rule occurs to you and you are willing to share it, please get in touch and tell me about it. I can be contacted through my Publisher, Chug Roberts, at TheCapitol.Net, PO Box 25706, Alexandria, VA 22313–5706 www.TheCapitol.Net, 202–678–1600, and I very much look forward to seeing this collection added to.
Here, then, apart from the occasional footnote, is the book as it was designed for the lawyers. Enjoy – as they intransitively say in California.