©2005 Gerry Spence; (P)2005 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
I have been a prosecutor for the last 7 years in the SF Bay Area, and Gerry Spence in "How to Win Your Case" has given me even more confidence in trying my cases through his methods of persuasion. At the start, it comes out elementary, but as it progresses the book literally gives you power to make an argument for what you believe in. And everything he talks about can be applied to any situation you may find yourself having to argue an idea or a case to another person or group of persons. He keeps it simple and commonsensical. I play it in my car while going to my next day of trial. Each time you listen, you come up with new ideas on how you tailor your arguments through your own life experiences.
The beginning talks a lot about who you are and getting to know your inner voice... I almost thought it was a self help book for a little bit.
Then it picked up drastically by dealing with situations a trial lawyer will encounter, such as: empathizng with the client, appearing as a truly honest person, and other entities to sway the jury. He hits on many key points that seem obvious but truly aren't.
As a future lawyer I found many key points that were not explicit in most legal books. There are no break throughs but this is definitely a solid read and gives you something more to measure a yourself and a lawyer by.
What a fantastic book for lawyers and nonlawyers alike! This guy has forgotten more than we'll ever know about trying a case. Brilliantly written and read by the author himself. It doesn't get any better.
I'm not sure that this book would be particularly meaningful to non-lawyers. It does, however, contain some interesting insights into trial practice, particularly his discussion about cross examination techniques. Those thoughts could have been expressed in half of its 4 plus hour length. If a voice alone can be called charismatic, Spence's voice qualifies.
Spence delivers his general ideas about the practice and offers insight into how he does what he does. While at times he reduces his opponents --insurance companies, the police, judges-- to straw dogs, he delivers the work with the same verve and creativity he brings to his cases. This book is not just about trials; Spence is advocating as if it were a trial. It makes for a fascinating and exciting listen.
You could easily re-name the title to "How to appear legit and disguise the condescending silver-spoon-fed dandy that you really are to the simpletons that constitute your clients and the jury". The disturbing part is that in our 'surface appearance is everything' society it actually works (AKA George W Bush). People who might further their career by reading this book would be better served by abandoning their trust fund lifestyle and getting a real job. Then you might be able to TRULY empathize with the rest of humanity. There is plenty of wonderful things about America, but scratching the surface of this book exposes everything that is wrong with it.
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