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In Deeper Cuts: Systems that Simply Work from Winning Workups to Thumbs-Up Verdicts, trial lawyer Keith Mitnik breaks down the processes he uses to try and win cases. Mitnik takes you past the strategies he teaches in Don’t Eat the Bruises and brings you behind the scenes to teach you how you can create and adapt your own winning approaches to trying a personal injury case.
Mitnik begins part one, “The Process beneath the Systems,” of the book by discussing the process he uses to create all of his strategies and approaches to trying a case, empowering you to expand Keith’s systems into new territories. Perhaps even more importantly, he also delves into why “it’s not about beings pretty” and how you can successfully try a winning case while still honing your craft.
In part two, “Powerful New Tools for Trial,” Mitnik discusses how to establish the true value of your cases where forever suffering has been thrust into your client’s life. These chapters provide a framework for damages in all kinds of cases, including steps that will put an end to defenses that belittle your client’s pain just because no one can see it. Equally important is a chapter on “Creating the Language of your Case,” where Mitnik shares a sure-fire process for finding the right words quickly and precisely to help you frame and persuasively argue your cases. Part two concludes with a focus on new strategies that can be plugged into methods from Don’t Eat the Bruises and includes pieces on medical malpractice, voir dire, opening, and closing.
Part three, “Winning before Beginning,” takes a step back and focuses on case preparation. Mitnik shows how many of the problems you think you have in your cases aren’t actually problems—just matters of framing and perspective. The chapters on “wannabe problems” will systematically prove to you that many of the concerns in car crash, herniated disc cases—such as priors, not going to the doctor right away, putting off surgery, not a lot of visible property damage, and treatment gaps—are simply not reasons to see your case as compromised or to shun taking it to trial. Mitnik shows you how cases with those typical facts are often really good cases, worthy of your commitment. In the chapters on false framing, you will see how to spot and stop universal defense strategies to make your cases look like a mess when they are good cases that deserve full justice, and your full attention. This part of the book ends with a focus on depositions, where cases are often won or lost. Mitnik lays out systems and deposition checklists to make sure you win the case preparation “workup wars,” and as he puts it, “have a blast in the process.”
Part four of the book, “Medical Malpractice—Breaking Down Barriers,” addresses how to try some of the most difficult cases a plaintiff’s lawyer can take on: medical malpractice. Here, Mitnik discusses the unique issues these cases present and divides them into four categories:
- The bias/sympathy barrier
- The standard of care nightmare
- The not so good Samaritan
- The medical maze hiding place
Mitnik then devotes the rest of part four to teaching you counterstrategies to knock down every one of these issues that prevent just results for your clients.
Lastly, part five, “Silver Linings,” is on trials in a post-COVID world. Here, Mitnik looks to past circumstances where there have been reasons for jurors to turn their backs on individual suffering to guide his opinions about what he expects will happen. He argues that plaintiff’s lawyers may need to take new approaches in jury selection or make adjustments to how they frame cases, and he offers insights and examples from different trials to demonstrate how to look for common ground and themes going forward.
From bias-busting systems for voir dire, new ways to get maximum value on your cases, illustrative case examples, and winning case preparation strategies, this is not a book you want to miss.
This set contains a free 30-minute sample from Mitnik’s Trial Methods.
- Publisher’s Note
- Chapter 1: Wisdom of the Whys
- Chapter 2: The Maximum Justice Matrix, Section One
- Chapter 3: The Maximum Justice Matrix, Sections Two & Three
- Chapter 4: Rounding Out the Maximum Justice Matrix
- Chapter 5: WOWing the Maximum Justice Matrix
- Chapter 6: Trial Transcript of the Maximum Justice Matrix
- Chapter 7: Creating the Language of Your Case
- Chapter 8: The Latest Voir Dire Components
- Chapter 9: Closing: Understanding It So You Can Master It
- Chapter 10: Wannabe Problems: Overview & Gaps in Treatment
- Chapter 11: Wannabe Problems: Not a Lot of Property Damage & Delayed Surgery
- Chapter 12: Wannabe Problems: Prior Injuries & Aggravations
- Chapter 13: False Framing: Spotting & Stopping
- Chapter 14: False Framing: Blaming the Plaintiff or Others
- Chapter 15: False Framing: Painting Your Client in a False Light
- Chapter 16: Winning Depositions of Defense Witnesses
- Chapter 17: Winning when Your Client Is Being Deposed
- Chapter 18: Deposing Defense Accident Reconstruction Experts
- Chapter 19: Potholes & the Path to Justice
- Chapter 20: The Standard of Care Nightmare
- Chapter 21: Ending High Horse & Hiding Defenses
- Chapter 22: Thoughts on Trials in the Times of COVID-19
- Chapter 23: Guiding Lights: Three Trials
- About the Author
- Free Excerpt from Mitnik’s Trial Methods
What Legal Leaders Are Saying
— Steve Yerrid, member of the Inner Circle of Advocates
I thoroughly enjoyed the valuable insights and proven approaches contained in this excellent read. I believe Keith offers advice, guidance, and a roadmap to success that will greatly benefit dedicated trial lawyers, regardless of age or years of experience, who seek justice for worthy causes and deserving clients.