Don’t Eat the Bruises

How to Foil Their Plans to Spoil Your Case

Keith Mitnik
  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • Details
  • Editorial Reviews
  • Customer Reviews (7)

Up to 70 percent of jurors will have made their decision by the end of opening statements. Attorney Keith Mitnik has developed a successful method to show you how win at the start and dismantle the defense’s case while trying yours.

Keith Mitnik lives in courtrooms. When he’s not in trial, the senior trial counsel for Morgan & Morgan, the largest personal injury law firm in America, spends his time mentoring his firm's younger lawyers and inventing cutting-edge courtroom strategies. In Don’t Eat the Bruises, Mitnik reveals his result-producing methods for the first time in print. Drawing from the hard-won experience of his prolific and innovative career, Mitnik offers an approachable and proven system for trying and winning cases.

Exploiting juror bias, taking things out of context, and overemphasizing imperfections at trial are all “bruises”—cheap tricks that the defense uses to distract from facts and well-constructed cases. Mitnik offers strategies for dealing with these issues in jury selection, opening statement, and beyond, with a heavy focus on dismantling defenses based on bias, sympathy, and prejudice at the very beginning of your case.

Don't Eat the Bruises is an easy to read book that provides you with practical advice on effective legal skills. Whether you’re a new lawyer seeking guidance for your first auto case or a seasoned advocate looking for a fresh approach to your upcoming medical malpractice trial, Mitnik’s framework provides you with practical tools for winning.

Dont Eat the Bruises will give you the skill and confidence to get out of your office and into the courtroom to seek full justice on your next case.

  1. Introduction
  2. Part I Jury Selection: Cutting Out Bias
  3. Getting Rid of Bias Lightning-Quick
  4. Educating Jurors about Bias
  5. Identify Those at Risk for Bias
  6. Establishing, Expanding, and Fortifying Cause
  7. Nuances and Common Complications
  8. Identification and Cause Questions for Car Crash Cases
  9. More Identification and Cause Questions
  10. Identification and Cause Questions for Medical Negligence Cases
  11. Wrapping Up Bias
  12. Completing the System after Bias
  13. Putting It All Together
  14. Part II The Untapped Power of Opening Statements
  15. Getting Ready to Give and Take
  16. Owning Their Favorite Facts
  17. In Context versus Out of Context
  18. The Language of the Case
  19. Rounding Out the Untapped Power of Opening
  20. Part III The Evidence Phase: Keeping the Lead
  21. Direct-Exam: Building on Opening
  22. Cross-Examination: Holding Your Ground
  23. Part IV Closing: Bearing Fruit to the End
  24. Finishing in Full Stride
  25. Holding All the Cards
  26. The Dignity of Damages
  27. Damages Models
  28. The If-It-Was-Only Damages Model
  29. The Power of Analogy
  30. Part V Burden of Proof: A Brand-New Way
  31. The Civil Burden of Proof
  32. Conclusion

Additional Information

Publisher Trial Guides, LLC
Paperback 335 pages; 1st edition (2015); ISBN: 978-1941007402
  1. Don’t Eat the Bruises offers trial attorneys the fruits of Keith’s spectacular career. Full of great analogies and helpful tips, this tasty treat will ensure that you remove all the spoiled and bruised parts of your next case—leaving you with a case that is fresh, crisp, and deliciously effective.
    —Brian Panish, member of the Inner Circle of Advocates
  2. He got seven-figure verdicts, then eight-figure verdicts. They just keep coming, and I have had a front row seat for twenty years. He has a secret sauce that he has bottled just for us with this book. Try it. You’ll like it.
    —John Morgan, founder of Morgan & Morgan
  3. Keith Mitnik’s Don’t Eat the Bruises is destined to be a masterwork in the pantheon of trial practice literature. It’s a must-read, must-use, must-reread manual on the righteous fight!
    —Russ Herman, past president of the American Association for Justice and past president of the Roscoe Pound Foundation
  4. This book is a must-read for anyone who aspires to be a real trial lawyer.
    —Geoffrey Fieger, legal defense for Dr. Jack Kevorkian, star of the Fox series Power of Attorney, winner of the largest single-injury verdict in the country
  5. Keith Mitnik’s book is a must-read for any aspiring personal injury attorney and for more experienced trial lawyers. Mitnik is the finest civil trial lawyer to present cases to the jury in trials over which I have presided.
    —Judge Alan Dickey, retired circuit judge of the 18th Circuit of Florida
  6. Don’t Eat the Bruises is the best book on trial advocacy you will read this year.
    —Charles H. Rose, III, professor of excellence in trial advocacy, director of the Center for Excellence in Trial Advocacy, Stetson University School of Law
  7. Keith is a lawyer who can try any case, big or small. He got on my radar screen by being cutting edge. He’s smarter than the average bear.
    —Don Keenan, author of Reptile
  8. Keith’s ideas are fresh, exciting, and powerful. This is a truly exceptional book for trial lawyers of all skill levels. People will be talking about this book for a long time.
    —Lisa Blue, past president of the American Association for Justice
  9. I clerked for Keith while I was in law school. Listening to him lit a fire in me that will never be extinguished. Reading this book is the greatest gift young lawyers will ever give themselves.
    —Alex Brown, attorney at Morgan & Morgan
  10. Unlike approaches that require attorneys to cram evidence into a one-size-fits-all template, Mr. Mitnik’s framework can be integrated with any case’s nuances. This innovative approach will change the way you try cases.
    —Brad Bradshaw, Ph.D., jury consultant and author of The Science of Persuasion: A Litigator’s Guide to Juror Decision-Making
  11. Warning—reading this book will make you want to try more cases! Mitnik has shoehorned decades of experience into deceptively simple strategies for any personal injury case—big or small. This book is for any lawyer ready to turn down the insurance company’s next low-ball settlement offer and seek justice in a courtroom.
    —Tim Semelroth, past president of the Iowa Association for Justice and president-elect of the Iowa chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates
  12. Keith Mitnik is an ‘in the courtroom’ trial lawyer. He is encouraging us all to realize we can be the same. This is going to be my firm’s new handbook!
    —Paul Byrd, past president of the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association
  13. Don’t Eat The Bruises is the A-to-Z guide on selecting a jury and trying a case. After reading this book, I incorporated Keith’s strategies into my practice and I will never pick a jury the same way again.
    —Jon Peeler, 2014–2015 president of the Tennessee Association for Justice
  14. Keith lives in courtrooms. His ideas on jury selection, opening, and burden of proof are original, practical, and usable in your next trial.
    —John Edwards, Inner Circle of Advocates, US senator, presidential candidate, Democratic vice-presidential nominee
  15. I have known Keith Mitnik for one thing—going to trial. Keith has condensed his years of experience into a readable and informative book that will benefit every trial lawyer.
    —Ronald E. Johnson, Jr., president of the Kentucky Justice Association
  16. Keith is a killer, and his book is a compendium of killer concepts. There are brand-new ideas borne of painstaking devotion and remakes of tried and true techniques that shine as new. For years I’ve sought and used his guidance at trial, now you can too.
    —Scott P. Schlesinger
  17. Keith Mitnik is the kind of down-home trial lawyer who comes along once in a lifetime. He doesn’t just try cases, he knows how to teach trial lawyers to win.
    —Bob Kelley, member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and listed in Best Lawyers in America
  18. I was fortunate to learn Keith’s techniques right out of law school. I went from a ‘baby lawyer’ to a real threat. I’ve tried eighteen cases to verdict in four years and only lost one. I credit much of my success to Keith’s systems. The best part is it works on all cases, not just the big ones.
    —Matt Morgan, attorney for Morgan & Morgan
  19. After seven years of practicing law without Keith’s concepts, I began learning and implementing them. Shortly thereafter, I obtained a $2.9 million verdict that would not have been possible without Keith’s teachings.
    —Alan Stagmeier, attorney for Morgan & Morgan
  20. As a jury consultant who works all over the country with some of the best lawyers in the business, I can tell you Keith Mitnik is one of those rare talents that comes along every decade or so. If Mitnik wrote it, you would be wise to read it.
    —Dr. David Illig, litigation consult and witness communication specialist, Portland, Oregon
  21. I was lucky enough to have Keith teach me how to become a lawyer right out of law school. The lessons in this book armed me with the confidence to try any case. His methods allowed me to become one of the youngest board-certified civil trial lawyers in the history of Florida.
    —Mike Morgan, attorney for Morgan & Morgan

7 reviews for Don’t Eat the Bruises

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Andres Hermida

    I am a second year law student at the University of Florida and am passionate about trial advocacy. As a member of the Trial Team I am always looking for new ideas and ways of doing things in order to better myself as a future advocate. I got that and much, much more with Mr. Mitnik’s book. I was fortunate enough to have been told about the book by a friend and saying that it is a “must read” for any trial lawyer does not do this book justice.

    You’re probably thinking, this kid isn’t even out of law school, what does he know? I’ve been fortunate enough to be around brilliant trial lawyers and future advocates and have learned a great deal in the past year. Mr. Mitnik grabbed everything I knew and explained how to deliver it to a jury. The ideas, methods, and models that Mr. Mitnik writes about in Don’t Eat The Bruises is trial lawyer gold.

    Thank you for sharing your brilliance, Mr. Mitnik.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    John Kinney

    I’ve read many books on trial advocacy. Don’t Eat the Bruises is – by far – the best. Keith’s method of eliminating biased jurors and foiling the Defense’s plans to sabotage your case is nothing short of revolutionary. If you are a Plaintiff’s trial lawyer, Don’t Eat the Bruises is a must read.

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    Rob Piering

    Keith Mitnik is a true warrior for justice and his willingness to share his “secret sauce” in Don’t Eat the Bruises is incredible. If you do plaintiff’s work and want to win, win, and win again, buy the book and put the powerful and straightforward concepts in action in every case in your file drawer. You will never regret it!

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    Patrick Silva

    As a dui trial lawyer many times I have had potential jurors that have real contempt for dui drivers, based on either religious or personal reasons such as losing the life of a close friend due to a drunk driver.

    Recently in California our cause challenges were reduced from 12 to 6 on misdemeanor cases. Now our challenges for cause become even more important.

    In this current trial I had 8 potential jury in the box who had strong negative feelings against folks who drink alcohol and later decide to drive. Of course the judge got them all to say they could be fair and impartial and follow the law as he instructs them.

    I decided to try Keith’s system, albeit I was skeptical. Well, it was like magic, I struck all 8 for cause plus 2 more. I ended up only having to use 1 peremptory challenge.

    Tort reforming loving jurors might be tough but jurors who have had their life turned upside down because of a drunk driver are even a tougher bunch to deal with.

    Bottom line , if Don’t Eat the Bruises can work in a dui trial case where the jurors can have true heartfelt distain for a defendant it can work in any type of trial.

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    Justin Swaim

    I attended Keith Mitnik’s “Don’t Eat the Bruises” seminar put on through our state’s trial lawyers association. It was the best, most practical and useful seminar I have attended. It kept me up almost all night thinking of my life experiences and analogies that I could use at trial that incorporate those life experiences. It felt like Keith was throwing out nuggets of great wisdom the entire day-long seminar. I know his words were wise because of how simple his trial ideas seemed after hearing them. As Albert Einstein said, “The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple.” And, as Robert Brault said, “The average teacher explains complexity; the gifted teacher reveals simplicity.” “Don’t Eat the Bruises” is genius, and Keith Mitnik is a gifted teacher.

  6. Rated 5 out of 5

    Robert Soloman

    First and foremost I wanted to thank Mr. Mitnik for writing such an amazing book, Don’t Eat the Bruises. I have read it a few times and it has become a huge asset for me in trial. My last two trials have been big victories due to his trial strategies.

  7. Rated 5 out of 5

    Tim Garvey

    One of my favorite Trial Guides titles. Don’t Eat the Bruises is full of easily digestible information that will make any Plaintiff’s lawyer better. Mitnik has a unique talent for distilling complex matters to their essence and turning the defense’s favorite tactics against them. His willingness to openly share those talents with others shows he is unique in other ways, too. My copy is now heavily tabbed and I find myself retuning to its wisdom often.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *