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Ken Levinson Reviews: On Becoming a Trial Lawyer by Rick Friedman

July 1, 2015

“There are a plethora of books and resources to improve your technical skills. But among the countless tomes and guides on shelves these days, Rick Friedman’s On Becoming a Trial Lawyer provides a decidedly fresh perspective on the mechanics and traits necessary to become an effective trial lawyer. Perhaps the fact that Friedman admits he isn’t a “naturally” gifted trial lawyer helps us to feel this way. It’s this encouraging sense of honesty that gives him credibility; a candid approach for the newly minted—even veteran—attorneys who might feel discouraged by recent shortcomings. His insights are often an invigorating reminder of why lawyers fight so hard for their clients. By book’s end, your instinct is to put his ideas into action. Divided into three sections, On Becoming a Trial Lawyer offers step-by-step analyses, tutorials, and anecdotes that provide helpful insight into our chosen profession. He doles out practical advice: watch trials, volunteer, try cases despite monetary incentives to settle, and bring in co-counsel. He dispels all-too-common myths: trial lawyers are born, not made; it’s too late to start learning; and the most well-suited trial lawyers never fall on hard times. As much as it is a book about self-improvement, Friedman’s book .. Read more

Trial Guides Customer Wins $32.5M Verdict using Rules of the Road

June 1, 2015

Mr. Friedman, I once wrote you about the successes my brother and I have enjoyed using the information we learned in Rules of the Road and Polarizing the Case. Well, on Wednesday the Rules prevailed again—this time for $32.5 million. To begin with, my co-counsel initially had the case and took it to trial; but it resulted in a mistrial, which the defense had requested. The defendant’s final offer before the mistrial was $100,000. I enjoy pondering about how much the defense regrets the decision to move for a mistrial, because upon having the mistrial granted our soon to be co-counsel drove to our office and asked for our help. I took it upon myself to go through every page of documentation he had accumulated and apply the Rules technique to the case. What resulted was an entirely different way of presenting the case. I then took the 30(B)(6) deposition of J.B. Hunt’s corporate representative and locked him into the Rules, all of which he agreed with. The panic on the defense lawyer’s face as his witness continued to agree with the Rules was comical. The defense lawyer knew what was happening was bad, but as you know, there is .. Read more