News — Book Review

The Plaintiff Lawyer’s Playbook

Reviewed by Nicole Gainey Originally published in the September 2020 issue of Trial News, the monthly publication from the Washington State Association for Justice.  Elden Rosenthal is a Pacific Northwest treasure and his Playbook—a succinct yet compassionate beginner’s treatise on the practice of plaintiff’s law—is a bountiful gift to our bar.  Rosenthal is a long-time Portland, Oregon attorney and an avid fly-fisherman. He claims inspiration for The Plaintiffs’ Playbook was derived from two sources, one being The Curtis Creek Manifesto, An Introduction and Guide to Fly Fishing by Sheridan Anderson. In the introduction to his book, Rosenthal states that for him, The Curtis Creek Manifesto was a principle source of guidance...

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A ‘Brutally Honest’ Approach to Voir Dire and Opening Statements

Reviewed by J. Nate Bingham Originally published in the June 2020 issue of Trial News, the monthly publication from the Washington State Association for Justice.  I will never forget my first time conducting voir dire as a Rule 9 intern. Although I Googled "voir dire" the night before, I had never seen it happen until I had to get up and do it. It went just as poorly as you would expect—I awkwardly asked a bunch of questions while the jurors avoided making eye contact and did their best not to get called on. When it was finally time to exercise peremptory challenges, I had lost track...

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From Hostage to Hero Book Review

Reviewed by Jason Skuda Originally published in the July/August 2020 issue of Trial News, the monthly publication from the Washington State Association for Justice.  “Jurors are, for all intents and purposes, hostages.” This concept begins Sari de la Motte’s advice on approaching jury trials. As hostages, jurors are the trial’s first of two “victims.” They arrive unhappy, discombobulated, and, more often than not, scared. The plaintiff’s lawyer must free the jurors by creating a safe space for jurors to express themselves in voir dire and to act on the plaintiff’s behalf when they deliberate. To do this, Mr. or Ms. Lawyer, you...

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Book Review: The Plaintiff Lawyer’s Playbook by Elden Rosenthal

Reviewed by Anna Burr Originally published in the Aug/Sept 2019 issue of Trial Talk, the bi-monthly magazine of the Colorado State Trial Lawyer's Association. Becoming a lawyer—especially a trial lawyer—is no easy feat. It requires four years of undergraduate education, three years of law school education, six months or more of bar exam and Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) prep, and successful passage of those two tests. And yet, after all the money, time, study, and stress, one thing is clear after we emerge, blurry-eyed and exhausted on the other side: we still know nothing about how to practice law. Some new attorneys obtain positions...

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Demand Letters Review

Review By: Justin Zachary Esq originally published in the Summer 2019 issue of the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association's publication The Docket.  So often, CLEs, Trial Guides and workshops are geared toward trial skills. How often have you seen a CLE or speaker discuss cross-examination or closing? While those skills are admittedly vital, I was excited to sit down and dive into a different aspect of a trial lawyer’s practice that does not quite get as much attention: Demand Letters. One of Trial Guides newest products is an eight (8) disc collection of some of Trial Guides top speakers discussing in-depth their thoughts on Demand...

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