The Elements of Trial

Rick Friedman & Bill Cummings

10 Reviews
Format: Paperback
Condition: New
Sale price$95.00


One of America's leading litigators, and Trial Guides' bestselling author, Rick Friedman brings you the first practical text on the fundamental skills you need to know when handling a trial. With trial experience increasingly rare, The Elements of Trial provides a concise guide for law professors, law students, and every lawyer preparing for trial.

This book offers invaluable advice on the following aspects of trial:

  • Investigating your case
  • Interviewing and preparing witnesses
  • Organizing trial notebooks, discovery information, trial briefs, and exhibits
  • Creating a theme
  • Choosing or drafting jury instructions
  • Asking questions of the court clerk and judicial assistant
  • Framing your case-in-chief
  • Filing motions in limine
  • Pretrial hearings
  • Making objections and understanding juror perceptions about the use of objections in trial
  • Bench conferences
  • Moving exhibits into evidence
  • Voir dire (including your purpose beyond cause and peremptory challenges)
  • Opening statement (structure, themes, establishing credibility, and what you should never do)
  • Direct examination
  • Cross-examination (constructive and destructive)
  • Making a record
  • Directed verdict/motion for judgment as a matter of law
  • Rebuttal case
  • Charging conference
  • Closing argument
  • Taking the verdict and polling the jury
  • Posttrial motions
  • Your impact on the trial

The book also explains the applicable law related to each part of trial and offers ways to effectively implement the techniques and methods that Friedman and Cummings present.

*This book is available for $45 for New Lawyers and Law Students who have been accepted into our New Lawyers Program. Please call our office at 800-309-6845 to receive this exclusive discount.



Paperback: 272 pages; 1st edition (2013); ISBN: 978-1934833889
Publisher: Trial Guides, LLC
  1. Publisher's Note
  2. Acknowledgement
  3. Introduction
  4. An Overview
  5. Jury Instructions
  6. Investigation
  7. Fighting Chaos
  8. Assessing Your Case-in-Chief
  9. Trial Briefs and Motions in Limine
  10. The Pretrial Hearing
  11. Jury Selection (Voir Dire)
  12. Opening Statement
  13. Presenting Your Case-in-Chief: Direct Examination
  14. Cross-Examination
  15. Making a Record
  16. Directed Verdict
  17. Rebuttal Case
  18. The Charging Conference
  19. Closing Argument
  20. Jury Questions and Taking the Verdict
  21. Posttrial Motions
  22. You
  23. Conclusion
  24. Index
  25. About the Authors

What Legal Leaders Are Saying

From all that law-school stuff, this nifty book distills the essentials (and adds to them) that new trial attorneys need before their first cases begin. A clear, concise checklist organized for every stage of trial, and quickly read, Friedman and Cummings’s fundamentals and wisdoms start new lawyers off in the right direction and help keep them there. I suggest a triple reading before your first case and thorough reviews before your next half dozen. You’ll learn how to be professional when you’d otherwise still be an amateur.

— David Ball, author of David Ball on Damages 3 and Reptile
4.4 out of 5 stars Based on 10 reviews
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Lyaman K.
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Very informative and easy to
Very informative and easy to follow.
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I recommend this book as an early read for any young lawyer interested in trying cases. Easy to read and lots of excellent teaching points.
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Joerika S.
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Great for New Trial Attorneys
I haven't completed the book, but so far, it's a great resource for a new trial attorney. The book is organized and so far the writer doesn't ramble or get off topic easily. The book is organized, focused, and includes advice from seasoned attorneys.
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Eva C.
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The Elements of Trial
This book gives you the fundamentals of trial practice. It was just what I was looking for and just what I needed
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Terence W.
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Solid review of trial.
This is a great primer and overview of trial, from start to finish. It is probably especially valuable for newer attorneys and those who didn't have a clerkship experience to see these techniques done for one or more years.
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