In previous posts we have made it clear that civil litigation attorneys of various stripes need to develop a “trial edge” if they want to be taken seriously by opponents. Insurance companies and defense attorneys keep score on plaintiff attorneys and whether they are willing to go to trial. They know when they are dealing with gun shy lawyers unwilling to be more than “super-adjusters”. Clearly, lawyers with a trial edge garner more respect and recover more for their clients. Having a trial edge often means being able to settle cases within the range of the real case value.
But how does one gain a “trial edge” in an era when fewer and fewer cases are tried? We believe the skill set requires a combination of book smarts and practical experience or a close substitute for that experience.
Without question the foundation of a trial lawyer’s book knowledge should be a working familiarity with the rules of evidence. We have created an admissibility logic flowchart that can help you think through the admission of virtually any type of evidence be it lay or expert testimony, documentary evidence or tangible items. We are happy to share it without charge. You can view it and the explanatory comments in our inaugural eBook: “Simplifying Evidence: A Quick Guide for Civil Trial Lawyers”. Be sure to check out the hyperlinks within the eBook, for example a link to our chart entitled “Simplifying Impeachment”. It is free to view without obligation, sign up or a login. It is the first in a series of longer content pieces we hope will raise the bar for trial lawyers, whether novice or experienced.
Read what our peers have to say…
“Having reviewed your eBook entitled “Simplifying Evidence: A Quick Guide for Civil Trial Lawyers,” I believe that it is a useful, well-organized presentation of fundamental principles governing the admissibility of evidence at trial. It would be particularly useful to attorneys commencing trial practice in federal courts or refreshing their knowledge concerning the Federal Rules of Evidence.”
H. Dennis Rogers, P.A.