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Winning at Trial (Winner of ACLEA's Highest Award for Professional Excellence) [Paperback]

D. Shane Read
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 11, 2007 160156001X 978-1601560018 1st
Winning at Trial uses innovative techniques to teach students and experienced lawyers alike the art of presenting a clear and compelling case in order to win at trial. These skills are gained first by observing then by doing, and in Winning at Trial the reader is enabled to do just that by analyzing transcripts and viewing almost four hours of footage from the O. J. Simpson trial and a focus group deliberating a civil trial. This book is one of the most comprehensive trial advocacy resources published in recent years. Students, lawyers, judges, and librarians alike will benefit from Read's wisdom. Winner of the international Association for Continuing Legal Education (ACLEA) 2008 Award for Professional Excellence.

Frequently Bought Together

Winning at Trial (Winner of ACLEA's Highest Award for Professional Excellence) + Winning at Deposition: (Winner of ACLEA's Highest Award for Professional Excellence) + Cross Examination Handbook: Persuasion Strategies & Techniques (Aspen Coursebook)
Price for all three: $167.72

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Editorial Reviews


Shane Read has written an excellent book that will be most helpful to the bench and bar for many years to come. I wish he had produced this gem 50 years ago so I could have used it when I was a trial lawyer. It would have also made easier my job as a trial judge if the attorneys had the benefit of Winning at Trial when preparing their cases. Shane draws upon his unique experiences as a civil trial lawyer, prosecutor and law professor to set forth in an original and practical way the skills needed to win in the courtroom. --Robert F. Chapman, former U.S. District Judge, retired U.S. Circuit Judge

Shane Read takes a fresh view of the art of persuasion at trial and challenges some of the basic assumptions about what is effective advocacy. Mr. Read s text is a refreshing and thought-provoking analysis that is bound to change the thinking of lawyers and teachers about the art of trial advocacy. The book contains analysis of transcripts of the Timothy McVeigh trial and includes over three hours of video (DVD) of the Simpson trial. --Frederick C. Moss, Assoc. Prof. of Law, Dedman School of Law

Shane Read takes the mystery out of learning trial skills in this unique book, sure to revolutionize the way trial skills are taught. . . . In Winning at Trial, readers study actual trials where techniques are either executed at such a high level of excellence or so badly demonstrated that those skills needed to master winning techniques will never be forgotten. --Eric H. Holder, Jr., former U.S. Deputy Attorney General

About the Author

Shane Read is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Texas School of Law. He began his legal career in 1989 at Akin Gump in Dallas, Texas, before joining the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington, D.C. from 1992-1998. Since 1998, he has worked at the U.S. Attorney s Office in Dallas. He has been lead counsel on countless civil and criminal trials over the past eighteen years. In addition, he has served as lead counsel for numerous oral arguments before appellate courts. He has also held a wide variety of teaching positions during his career. He is currently an adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. Here he has taught Trial Advocacy, coached mock trial teams, and currently is teaching a unique seminar on trial strategies. He has also taught both new and experienced lawyers at NITAs seminars on trial skills and at the Department of Justice's National Advocacy Center.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: LexisNexis / National Institute for Trial Advocacy; 1st edition (June 11, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160156001X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601560018
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 7.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

My latest book, Winning at Deposition, has been reviewed by judges as a "cutting-edge litigation masterpiece." I am also the author of the best selling textbook, Winning at Trial. Both of my books have won the prestigious Association for Continuing Legal Education's (ACLEA) top award for Professional Excellence. ACLEA is the largest association of continuing legal education professionals and its award is the highest award available for law books.

I graduated with a B.A. in political science from Yale University in 1986 and graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 1989. I began my career at Akin Gump in Dallas. Since 1992, I have been both a criminal prosecutor and civil attorney for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington, D.C. and Dallas.

I have been an adjunct professor at S.M.U. School of Law since 1998 where I currently teach Trial Advocacy. I also teach at the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and at seminars throughout the country. The views in my books are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Justice.

In my spare time, I enjoy traveling with my family, playing the guitar and singing country music, and jogging with two not so well-behaved Shetland Sheepdogs.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The DVDs included with the Book are Amazing October 22, 2007
I have been a trial lawyer for 18 years and have tried numerous cases to verdict. I like this book so much because it is the first trial advocacy book that contains video of trial skills as seen in a real trial. The book has almost 4 hours of video from the O.J. Simpson trial to compliment the author's analysis of transcripts of actual trials to teach trial skills. Also, the DVDs are extremely easy to navigate.

So, instead of using hypothetical scenarios to teach lawyers like other textbooks (such as Mauet's Trial Techniques) which are often unrealistic, the author draws on countless examples from real trials. For example, in Chapter 5, the author teaches how to cross-examine a witness by giving a detailed analysis of a cross-examination used in a civil trial. Then, the author provides study questions for you to consider as you watch six video excerpts from four different attorneys conducting cross-examinations in the Simpson trial. The video clips for cross-examination alone total over 35 minutes. You must read this book before your next trial.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
D. Shane Read, an experienced legal professional and adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, commits his wisdom to paper in Winning at Trial, a text ideal for legal courses and self-study alike. Chapters cover basic trial strategies, Voir Dire, tips tricks and techniques for the phases of the trial (opening statements, direct examination, cross examination, and closing arguments), exhibits and objections, and much more. Numerous examples illustrate Read's practical and experience-tested recommendations. "If your case has many witnesses, take a digital photograph of each witness when she is in the witness room before she testifies. Having the photograph will help you immensely in closing argument. When you summarize an important part of a witness' testimony, you can project the photograph on your screen in the courtroom. This will aid the jury in recalling exactly which witness you are referring to and help you refresh the jurors' memory regarding her testimony." An accompanying DVD rounds out this highly recommended text for legal professionals of all skill and experience levels - even courtroom veterans are sure to discover a useful tidbit.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT BOOK ON TRIAL TECHNIQUES July 19, 2007
I am a third year law student whose team has won a Regional Mock Trial Championship and competed in a National Competition. I have read several books on trial techniques that have proven to be disappointing. Winning at Trial is an excellent and practical guide written by an experienced and insightful trial attorney. In a clear and straightforward manner, Shane Read takes you through each major stage of the trial and provides helpful examples and spot-on analysis. Not only does Winning at Trial concisely instruct an attorney on how to litigate a case, it teaches how to win as well.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A journeyman knows the mechanics of his trade where a master craftsman knows not only the mechanics, but the theory behind his trade. It is easy to see that the author of this work is a master craftsman as well as a master teacher.

"Winning at Trial" gives clear, concise guidance on how to navigate the turbulent waters of a trial without running aground. Mr. Read teaches not only the basics, but also the nuances of courtroom performance, and does so with concrete, real-world examples from actual cases. The information is presented within the National Institute for Trial Advocacy's model for trial advocacy, and that model is an excellent one.

I particularly liked Mr. Read's handling of cross examination. His description of the objectives of cross examination was very good, his instruction on how to impeach by prior inconsistent statement was sound, and he gave an excellent analysis of when and how to ask the ultimate question.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Classic on Trial Techniques November 9, 2007
By Atom
Finally, a trial advocacy book that teaches skills by looking at video and transcripts of actual trials! This book contains almost 4 hours of video from the O.J. Simpson trial and transcripts from other famous civil and criminal trials.

In the chapter on Opening Statements, the author (a seasoned trial attorney and law professor) takes you through all the steps on how to prepare an opening statement. He gives you a checklist of things you should and shouldn't do. Then, he critiques the opening statements of the Oklahoma City bombing trial. He points out in detail why the prosecution's opening is one of the best ever given (the prosecutor tells a powerful story by using memorable themes such as the innocence of the children who died and McVeigh's cowardice) and why the defense's needed a lot of improvement (a weak start and a forgettable ending).

For opening statements alone there are about 45 minutes of video of the O.J. trial, including Darden fumbling, Cochran shining, and Clark being consumed by boring details. There are also plenty of examples from civil trials, and every chapter - whether it is direct, cross, closing, or jury selection - has transcripts and accompanying video.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Experienced Assist. U.S. Attorney Shows How to Win October 19, 2007
A graduate of Yale University and University of Texas Law School, the author is an Assistant U.S. Attorney who, as lead counsel for the past 16 years, has tried more than 100 civil and criminal jury trials.
He shows his readers successful trial strategies that make the book interesting and entertaining to read. Who says learning can't be fun?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
This is a great resource! It provides insightful examples of famous trials. It is very helpful and it is an interesting read. I highly recommend this book for lawyers. Read more
Published 4 months ago by hokie fan
5.0 out of 5 stars Clarity is power!
D. Shane Read has a gift to teach with text. His writing is so clear and his points so logical that this book is totally accessible to lay readers like me. Read more
Published 5 months ago by A. Veal
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the $$
Well done. All the checklists are valuable and can be used to create your own quick reference guide/outline. Read more
Published 7 months ago by R. Butler
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best in trial advocacy
The best of its kind. This book is a good investment. Worth it. Very scholarly written. The author knows what he is talking. Read more
Published 14 months ago by oliver
5.0 out of 5 stars Years of experience compressed
For several years I thought "Trial Techniques" by Thomas Mauet was so helpful in trial work that it was the only real book on the subject. How wrong I was. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Stanley P. Santire
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, highly useful
I am a litigator in general practice. Winning at Trial is a great resource as well as an easy read. Using the knowledge in the book as a guide, you are able to critique the... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Lawyermoore
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Handy Guide
As a law student, I used this book as a supplement in my trial advocacy class. The book was concise, easy to refer to, and the DVDs were very helpful. Read more
Published on July 26, 2010 by M Motta
5.0 out of 5 stars Winning at Trial is a must read
This is absolutely one of the best books written on trial advocacy. It is a must for any serious trial lawyer. Read more
Published on January 10, 2010 by Patrick E. Beasley
4.0 out of 5 stars How to learn from the lawyers
I think the book it is useful and very interesting, but the better are the DVD of trials. The only fault is that it would have been better wether the examples were more.
Published on December 6, 2009 by Igor Yáńez Velasco
5.0 out of 5 stars Great practice tool
I am a former student from Mr. Read's Trial Techniques Course at SMU, and I can say without hesitation that this book was the most helpful tool I received in law school (aside... Read more
Published on October 2, 2009 by Amber
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