Cardinal Rules of Advocacy: Understanding and Mastering Fundamental Principles of Persuasion

  • Publish Date: 2002-05-01
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Author: Douglas S. Lavine

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In this compelling new book, Judge Lavine claims there are certain recurring, core principles of persuasion that can be studied and when mastered lead to successful advocacy. Lavines unique interdisciplinary approach draws from history, literature, psychology, drama, religion, and the law to discuss the fundamental principles of effective persuasion that will help all lawyers win cases and avoid serious errors.

Cardinal Rules of Advocacy begins by discussing the need to properly identify your audience and tailor your arguments to its needs. The book then examines the importance of establishing integrity and credibility in the courtroom. Chapter 3, which explores the necessity to think creatively and rigorously in advance of trial, is a provocative essay on barriers to creative legal thinking and advances simple strategies for promoting inventive thought. Lavine then turns to the importance of preparation. Chapter 5, how to frame issues compellingly in favor of your client, is a tour de force on the key elements of the ideal issue statement. Chapters 6, 7, and 8 stress the need to effectively answer questions from the bench, develop a central theme, and use words precisely and persuasively. Lavine concludes the book by discussing the importance of behaving professionally and civilly in court.

Throughout the book, Lavine teaches lawyers to think about advocacy in more creative, effective, and systematic ways while stressing the ethical aspects of effective advocacy. Each chapter is followed by exercises that promote discussion and provide hands-on instruction methods. This book will be of great interest to practitioners, and will also be useful in law schools, seminars, and in-house training programs. Any lawyer-trying cases in court, arguing appeals, counseling clients, or negotiating deals-can learn from and replicate the persuasive techniques found in Cardinal Rules of Advocacy.

Whether just starting to practice law, or a practitioner of many years, you will find Cardinal Rules of Advocacy to be a thought-provoking exploration that will reignite the recognition that advocacy has a noble history and is, at its highest and best, not just a job-but an art form.

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