Theater for Trial

Incorporating the Fourth Edition of Theater Tips and Strategies for Jury Trials

David Ball & Joshua Karton
Theater for Trial
Theater for Trial

Theater for Trial

Incorporating the Fourth Edition of Theater Tips and Strategies for Jury Trials

David Ball & Joshua Karton
$147.00

In Theater for Trial, David Ball and Joshua Karton use their extensive professional theater experience to give you practical exercises and strategies for connecting yourself, your case, and your witnesses with the jury. They provide tools available to any attorney—such as voice, presentation, and story structure—and show how to empower juries to take responsibility for righting a wrong. This book teaches you how to turn every trial into a powerful production that authentically calls forth your best asset: the simple truth, clearly and effectively communicated.

Ball and Karton also teach you how to arm jurors to fight for you in deliberations. They offer techniques to improve how you prepare witnesses, create exhibits, present your client, select jurors, and conduct yourself in ways that frame the facts and the law to best engage your audience: the jury. Ball and Karton combine decades of intensive trial experience with cases from the smallest counties to the halls of the Supreme Court, with lessons from the stage and screen to optimize every moment you’re in trial.

  • Authors

  • Details

    Hardcover: 400 pages; First edition (2017); ISBN: 978-1941007716
    Publisher: Trial Guides, LLC
  • Table of Contents

    1. Author's Note from David Ball
    2. Typography Note
    3. Publisher's Note
    4. Foreword to the Fourth Edition
    5. Acknowledgments
    6. Introduction
    7. Curtain Raiser
    8. How You Talk: The Sound of Your Voice
    9. How You Talk: Words
    10. How You Talk: Sentences and Beyond
    11. How You Look
    12. What You Do
    13. Cast Your Best Self
    14. Story
    15. Casting the Jury
    16. Rehearsal
    17. Opening Statement
    18. Arming the Jurors Throughout Trial
    19. Audience Skills
    20. Direct and Cross
    21. Closing—A Reorientation
    22. Appendix A: Your Trial Team
    23. Appendix B: Demonstrative Exhibits
    24. Appendix C: HEIDI
    25. Appendix D: Secrets
    26. Appendix E: The Song Exercise
    27. Appendix F: Zen and the Art of Trial Advocacy
    28. Index
    29. About the Authors
  • Look Inside the Book

In Theater for Trial, David Ball and Joshua Karton use their extensive professional theater experience to give you practical exercises and strategies for connecting yourself, your case, and your witnesses with the jury. They provide tools available to any attorney—such as voice, presentation, and story structure—and show how to empower juries to take responsibility for righting a wrong. This book teaches you how to turn every trial into a powerful production that authentically calls forth your best asset: the simple truth, clearly and effectively communicated.

Ball and Karton also teach you how to arm jurors to fight for you in deliberations. They offer techniques to improve how you prepare witnesses, create exhibits, present your client, select jurors, and conduct yourself in ways that frame the facts and the law to best engage your audience: the jury. Ball and Karton combine decades of intensive trial experience with cases from the smallest counties to the halls of the Supreme Court, with lessons from the stage and screen to optimize every moment you’re in trial.

What Legal Leaders Are Saying

A modern human’s greatest terror is not snakes or plane crashes, but public speaking. The advice contained in Josh Karton and David Ball’s extraordinary collaboration helps you go from terror to triumph in the courtroom. By studying the techniques actors have known since ancient times, you will become comfortable enough to become your authentic self before the jury.

— Randi McGinn, past president of the Inner Circle of Advocates, author of Changing Laws, Saving Lives

When two great minds get together magic happens, and that is definitely the case in Theater for Trial by David Ball and Joshua Karton. Both of these authors have made an incredible impact on the ability of lawyers to persuade juries through the power of narrative, and their combined efforts are a treat for the senses. Regardless of your level of experience, there is something in their work that will make your heart sing, and juries weep.

— Charlie H. Rose, director of the Center for Excellence in Advocacy, Stetson University College of Law

With Damages and Reptile, Ball revolutionized trial strategy in personal injury cases. In Theater for Trial, he, along with the brilliant Joshua Karton, takes on the other critical piece of winning a case—how to connect with a jury. Without that connection, even the most cutting-edge arguments will fail. If plaintiffs’ lawyers want to be truly effective at trial, they need to have this book in their arsenal.

— Bryan Slaughter, president-elect of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, faculty member of the National Trial Advocacy College

This is a very helpful book. We forget that ‘people in any particular demographic group are not all similar.’ There are some very valuable lessons here. For example, as the book bluntly points out, ‘fairness questions are pointless.’ I found it very helpful to learn to ask about the folks who make up the norms in the ‘research’ dealing with jury studies. I’d never gone that extra step, which means I’ve been the victim of some very bad data. Finally, the ‘identifying leaders’ section was very practical. I recommend this book.

— Dorothy Clay Sims, author of Exposing Deceptive Defense Doctors

Think Reptile meets Sir Laurence Olivier. It’s a recipe to humanize lawyering with a pinch of ‘reptile’ and a sprinkling of ‘damages.’ This book rounds out your education and insight as to what it means to be a lawyer and be human … a perfect storm of all the tools it takes to make a total and great lawyer. Great tips on witness prep, jury selection, and advocacy. This book is a compilation of all the things you never learned in law school (but need to in order to grow as a lawyer). It’s required reading no matter what stage of your law career you are at. Reading this book is like listening at the table of two masters sharing their best-kept secrets.

— Lisa Blue, past president of the AAJ, has earned over $350 million in verdicts for injured clients. Author of Jury Selection: Strategy and Science, Blue’s Guide to Jury Selection, Preparing for Voir Dire, and Conducting Voir Dire

I am privileged to have worked with David as my trial consultant on several cases where our trial team received multimillion-dollar jury verdicts. For all of us who get in the arena and try cases, Theater for Trial is a must read. This book provides practical guidance on how to use theater techniques to assist in telling your client’s story in the most compelling and captivating way. I love the way the book teaches practical techniques that we can easily implement daily to assist us in becoming better communicators. I have started implementing many of the techniques taught in the book and can already see an improvement in my ability to communicate more effectively. I have no doubt in my mind that implementing and practicing the techniques taught in the book will make us all better trial lawyers!

— Darryl Lewis, named in Best Lawyers in America, recognized in Florida Trends as one of the “legal elite,” and named by the South Florida Legal Guide as one of Florida’s top lawyers

Great trial lawyers from all over the nation routinely travel thousands of miles to consult with David Ball and Joshua Karton on trial strategy and communication skills because David and Joshua are the best at what they do. In Theater for Trial, David and Joshua unselfishly share their collective experience and insight to help trial lawyers make the most of each precious moment with the jury. Read it and you will improve as a trial lawyer. Master the lessons David Ball and Joshua Karton share and you will be unbeatable in the courtroom.

— Rob Ammons, founder of the Ammons Law Firm, editor of Tire Defect Litigation

This book is a game changer for trial lawyers. Readers not only learn the theater-based strategies that will help them motivate and persuade juries, but also are given specific training methods to develop their individual advocacy skills. It’s a must-read for young trial lawyers, law students, and even the most experienced lawyers looking to take their trial skills to the next level.

— Susan Poehls, director of trial advocacy at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in teaching from Stetson University College of Law’s Educating Advocates Conference

Outstanding advice from outstanding communication experts. Here in one volume, you get counsel from the nation’s best-known teachers of communication and trial.

— Paul Luvera, past president of the Inner Circle of Advocates and the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association

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