Trial by Human

Nicholas Rowley & Steven Halteman
  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • Details
  • Editorial Reviews
  • Customer Reviews (2)

Nicholas Rowley has earned a reputation as one of the country's finest trial lawyers. His record-setting verdicts are the result of the distinctive human approach he takes with his clients, witnesses, judges, and jurors.

In this passionate and deeply personal treatise, Rowley and coauthor Steven Halteman, a jury consultant and trial strategist, candidly share their Trial by Human method, an approach that brings brutal honesty and humanity into the courtroom.

In Trial by Human, Rowley and Halteman reveal the importance of stepping out of the conference room and into the homes and lives of your clients—to share a meal, hear their stories, and experience for yourself how they live and breathe. As the authors explain, you can't expect a jury to understand and feel your clients' injustice if you haven’t taken the time to do so yourself.

With their trademark "brutal honesty," Rowley and Halteman share and dissect their methods through stories of their own trials. They explain what has worked, what hasn't, and the lessons they've learned along the way.

  1. Publisher’s Note
  2. Acknowledgements
  3. Introduction
  4. Trial by Human Starts with You
  5. Pick a Case, Find a Human, Learn a Story
  6. Chapters of the Human Story
  7. Discovering Your Clients’ Human Stories
  8. Trial and Dealing with the Worst
  9. Focus Groups
  10. Mini–Opening Statement
  11. Nick’s View of Voir Dire
  12. Steve’s View of Voir Dire
  13. Opening Statement
  14. Bring Life to the Courtroom
  15. Witness Examinations
  16. Direct Examination
  17. Cross-Examination
  18. Keeping Connected with the Jury during Trial
  19. Closing Argument
  20. Talking about Money
  21. Life Lessons
  22. Closing Thoughts
  23. Appendix: The Blunt Trial in Six Acts
  24. Index
  25. About the Authors

Additional Information

Publisher Trial Guides, LLC
Paperback 326 pages; 1st edition (2013); ISBN: 978-1934833810
  1. The Rowley/Halteman team has written a smart, exuberant book that shows how they have been able to win jaw-dropping verdicts over and over again. This is a particularly useful guide for lawyers like myself, who tend to stay too much in our heads and need help becoming ‘human’ in the courtroom. A must-read for 2013.
    —Rick Friedman, author of Rules of the Road, Polarizing the Case, and Rick Friedman on Becoming a Trial Lawyer; member of the Inner Circle of Advocates and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers; recipient of the 2004 Steven J. Sharp award

  2. In this treasure of a book, the authors offer the real secret for being a great trial lawyer with a trial track record to back it up. Out of all the books about trials, this one is revolutionary because it offers the real secrets of success with examples from actual trials. This is a book with a message every trial lawyer should read and apply.
    —Paul Luvera, member and past president of the Inner Circle of Advocates, member of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers

  3. A simple but profound formula inspires this book: courage plus compassion plus creativity equal connection to the jury. Nick Rowley and Steve Halteman prove over and over how these elements steer their cases to success, and how the rest of us can become better advocates—and better human beings—by following their signposts.
    —Patrick Malone, coauthor of Rules of the Road: A Plaintiff Lawyer’s Guide to Proving Liability and Winning Medical Malpractice Cases: With the Rules of the Road™ Technique

  4. Nick Rowley proves that some young men have old souls, and wisdom to boot!
    —Geoffrey Fieger, winner of more multimillion-dollar awards than any attorney in the country, Democratic Party nominee for governor of Michigan in 1998

  5. Brutally honest. A must read for any trial lawyer.
    —Honorable Peter J. Polos (retired)

  6. I salute Nick Rowley and Steve Halteman for their professional dedication and personal courage in the defense of their clients’ rights and to their conviction to their clients. I have had the privilege to work with both authors and can substantiate that the substance of this book is not fictional, but is, unarguably, fact.
    —Marc R. Lebed, MD, MDR; OB-GYN; visiting lecturer at Pepperdine University School of Law, UC Davis Medical School, UC San Diego Medical Center; cofounder and codirector of Medical Dispute Professionals

2 reviews for Trial by Human

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    John Heenan

    This is one of my favorite trial books. Nick contrasts so mightily with other lawyers who brag about meeting their client for the first time the day before trial. I have achieved excellent results by embracing the concepts in this book- including learning who your client is and befriending them so you can be their champion at trial. Highly recommended reading for anyone who wants to be a trial lawyer with a conscience!

  2. Rated 5 out of 5


    I will post what I personally emailed to Nicholas Rowley, regarding his book, Trial By Human:

    Hello Mr. Rowley,

    Osly Pena here (aka “Oz”). I am a recent law school graduate, passed the bar last year on my first attempt, and have worked in personal injury for less than a year.

    Today, I finished reading your book, Trial By Human.

    Although many other personal injury attorneys I have known or worked for, discouraged me to read it, I went ahead and did, and I believe it is one of the best PI books I have ever read. In fact, I would say it is my favorite one so far, because it tells us to find and expose the humanity side of the case or as I like to put it, “the heart of the case.” It also teaches us to be brutally honest because it is more beneficial than harmful, and fosters credibility, a key ingredient to success in trial.

    A case is certainly more than meds, and more than a statistical probability.

    Your book has reaffirmed my unconventional intuition and inspired me to become a relentless trial lawyer, whom tries cases in accord with two rules: (1) always be brutally honest and (2) always seek, understand, feel, and expose the plaintiff’s story and heart of the case.

    Once I am licensed, I intend to open my own firm, in order to intake and work my cases as if they are going to trial, and indeed try them at trial. I do not want to work for or become a “ settlement attorney.”

    It is certainly my duty to try all cases that can be tried, tell their unique stories, and expose the heart of the case. I will never fear going to trial, I will hope I do. Also, it is my obligation to open up all policies. Anything less, to me, is malpractice.

    Thank you for writing this book. We need more attorneys like you. Most attorneys these days are castrated. I have emancipated myself from that curse.

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