Lawyers: How to Win Cases with Storytelling

  Remember being a child and having your favorite book read to you by a parent? Or hearing someone tell a funny family story that is often repeated? How about telling your friends about something great that happened over the weekend? Storytelling is the oldest form of narrative communication by humans. It’s wired into our DNA. Every human culture uses stories in an attempt to explain and make sense of the universe. The fastest way to connect to a juryRead more

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE and THE BLAME GAME

Right now, the media is in an uproar over the case of Ray Rice, the NFL Football player who knocked his wife, Janay, out with a punch to the head in an elevator. He’s been suspended. http://deadspin.com/heres-video-of-ray-rice-knocking-out-his-fiancee-in-an-1631864196 The front page of CNN.com has Janay making a statement that “To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass off for all his life just to gain ratings is a horrific. (sic)”  Will the media nowRead more

Prosecutors and Sex Crimes: What Year Are We In?

The other day I was reading the Huffington Post and came across an article titled “Prosecutors Rarely Bring Charges in College Rape Cases.” It detailed how an LA County prosecutor informed a victim that he wasn’t going to proceed with her case because jurors “have no experience in any kind of sex crimes occurring in their life” and would have problems convicting beyond a reasonable doubt. Sound plausible to you? Well, the offender confessed. CONFESSED. Read the full article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/17/college-rape-prosecutors-press-charges_n_5500432.html?utm_hp_ref=email_shareRead more

DEATH BY POWERPOINT

As a speaker, Toastmaster and public speaking/trial skills coach, I get to see lots of presentations. What’s the one thing that makes me want to put my head in my hands? POWERPOINT This product should come with a warning label: IF MISUSED WILL PUT AUDIENCES TO SLEEP OR MAKE THEM WANT TO KILL THEMSELVES. Think back to when you were (or maybe still are) trapped in a classroom at the mercy of a teacher who drones on while pointing toRead more

Adventures In Restraining Order Land

Recently I decided to go to court to watch civil harassment restraining order hearings before a judge I hadn’t appeared before. I have a case in front of him soon and wanted to see if his judicial temperament was  reasoned jurist or screaming maniacal behemoth. A civil harassment order is something you obtain when someone harasses, threatens, stalks, assaults or engages in similar unacceptable behavior. It enables you to call the police and have them arrested if they come nearRead more

DEALING WITH WORKPLACE TROLLS

The word “troll” is used to describe people who sow discord on the Internet, start arguments, cause uproars and foment general discontent. In 2014, Zelda Williams, the daughter of the late comedian Robin Williams, was driven off Twitter after receiving menacing and abusive messages from trolls. In February 2015, the Washington Post published an article by Michelle Goldberg about trolls who have caused many feminist writers to stop writing. Many other these women had received threats of physical harm andRead more

The Tale of a Bad Case

This week I had a friend ask me to write about my worst legal experience. I immediately said NO. There have been a lot of gut-wrenching, nightmare making, soul searching cases that I choose not to relive. The more I thought about this, I did recall one I don’t mind sharing. I had been a prosecutor for about three years and was assigned to do misdemeanor trials. Today, prosecutors are assigned their cases ahead of time and have a chanceRead more