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Trial Guides Author Interview with John Romano

The following is an interview conducted with John Romano, Past-President of the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, and editor of the Trial Guides / AAJ two volume set The Anatomy of a Personal Injury Lawsuit, 4th Edition.  The book set contains content from over 60 leading lawyers including Gerry Spence, Bill Barton, Lisa Blue, Frank Branson, Virginia Buchanan, Michael Burg, Dr. Arthur Croft, Aaron DeShaw, Joe Fried, Robert Habush, Robert Hirschhorn, Mark Lanier, Judith Livingston, Patrick Malone, Randi McGinn, Peter Perlman, David Wenner and many more.  In this interview, John provides advice for both new and experienced plaintiff lawyers.

Advice for Young Trial Lawyers How to Approach Their Practice

Romano: In speaking to, especially young lawyers, if I were to give any advice on how a young lawyer might approach the practice of law, I would say give it everything you’ve got every day. Going back to when I was sworn in, I can tell you that on that day I thought I was the most enthusiastic, energetic, fired up lawyer in America about practicing law. And now if you fast- forward 40 years later, I’m more excited, more enthusiastic, more fired up. And I believe part of the reason is because I have given everything that I have to the practice of law. And the practice of law has, in essence, given everything it has back to me and to my wife and children and that has been the most extraordinary part about practicing law. I will never retire; I will practice law until the day I die, and I hope to be 150.

What Makes Trial Guides Products Unlike Other Law Books and Videos

Romano: Trial Guides came into the lives of litigation and trial lawyers many years ago and I must say, I have never seen a firm, a book company, a publishing company developing and creating books and teaching materials that are even close to what Trial Guides has been doing. The young lawyers in our office, we purchase one after another of the Trial Guides books. The seasoned veteran lawyers, one after another. We want them to have these books. If you purchase the Trial Guides books and materials, you will learn more and know more about a given area of practice than getting it from any other source imaginable. Now what I really love about it, it’s not just how to give an opening statement with Trial Guides, how to cross-examine a witness, it’s about the philosophy of what we do as lawyers. I am totally sold on Trial Guides and I want us to be a part of having one after another of the Trial Guides publications.

John F. Romano Introduces the 4th Edition of the Anatomy of a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Romano: This 4th edition of the Anatomy of a Personal Injury Lawsuit is meant to take a seasoned veteran lawyer to new levels in his or her practice. And at the same time, it is meant to take a younger or newer lawyer to where he or she becomes a visionary where they can see what the practice of law is all about; the good that can be done for clients, the good that can be done for the system of justice. This 4th edition contains everything in the way of steps on how to handle our cases from voir dire to expert witness to opening statements, examination of witnesses and to just a thinking through of what we are as trial lawyers. In fact, the foreword by Gerry Spence is meant to be a very proactive inspirational take on what we’re all about as trial lawyers.

John Romano on Being a Trial Lawyer 

Romano: Being a trial lawyer means I have the opportunity to be involved in one of the most exciting day in and day out experiences that anyone could imagine. I will say that my take on being a trial lawyer has made it a part of my life. No question that I, as well as my wife and kids, we are, in a sense, soulmates with the law. I’ve always felt that there are three agendas in the handling of every case. Agenda number one: the agenda of the client. Number two: the agenda of the client. Number three: the agenda of the client. And when you see the good you can do for clients and then the rewards it brings to your law firm, your family, your staff, and the system of justice, it is just so extraordinary day in and day out to see it happen.

I was sworn in on Friday May 10, 1974. That’s the day I became a lawyer. And Al J. Cone, who was a former president of ATLA now AAJ, came walking in and he had me sign up for then what was ATLA, for the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, and he handed me a book: The Anatomy of a Personal Injury Lawsuit. And then it was just almost like a pamphlet it was such a small type of a book and it was something that I read, and it became part of my trial preparation and the actual handling of trials. It to me is like a bible for the work of a trial lawyer.

The Anatomy of a Personal Injury Lawsuit came out with a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd edition and it seems like every decade or so it just has to be updated because strategies change, tactics change, the way that we handle cases change, the way we pick juries and give opening statements it adjusts and changes and we have to change with that. When we thought about The Anatomy of a Personal Injury Lawsuit 4th edition, we decided we have got to update it so that all lawyers not just new lawyers and younger lawyers but also seasoned veterans so that they will have at their disposal a step-by-step guidebook to teach them  how to handle every aspect of a jury trial.

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