Every good story has meaning!

We humans are undeniably creatures of story.  Think of how empty life would be without ever having been transfixed by images dancing before our eyes in a dark movie theatre, engrossed in an incredible page-turner, or mesmerized by a master storyteller weaving a yarn around a roaring campfire. But stories are not just for entertainment. …

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The Labor of Law – Save Yourself and You Save the World

Next month I will have officially reached my twenty-fifth year of lawyering; the majority of those years were spent slogging through the litigation trenches as a state and federal public defender.  These can be dark waters we lawyers swim in.  We confront people at their lowest moments in life.  We absorb trauma vicariously through our…

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Sorry, Narrative, you’re not nearly as cool as you think you are…

We often use the terms “narrative” and “story” interchangeably.  Screenwriting guru Robert McKee (See, Five Reasons Every Lawyer Should Study The Art of Screenwriting) tells us these terms are NOT synonymous!  All stories are narratives, but not all narratives are stories.  So, what’s the difference? Imagine us now hunkered down in our favorite local watering…

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Defense Map – The Incredible FREE Tool To Help You Unearth Your Client’s Hidden Story Treasures!

Is a plug still shameless if what the plugger is plugging is 100 percent free forever?  If so, forgive the shameless plug, but this is too important to miss. The purpose of Defense Map (www.defensemap.com) is to “uncover[] as much as possible about [your] clients’ game-changing backstories”. The creator of Defense Map is Indiana lawyer…

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“Tell me a story”, Says Former Federal Judge Nancy Gertner!

My colleague Alan Ellis travels the country interviewing judges about the most (and least) persuasive elements of sentencing advocacy.  In a recent article published in Law360, Mr. Ellis conducts an extensive interview with Judge Nancy Gertner.  It’s an essential read for all criminal law practitioners.  The full article can be accessed HERE.  The following are…

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The 3 “Rs” of Sentencing Storytelling.

No matter what the case, there are only three types of sentencing stories defense lawyers ever tell.  I call them the 3 “Rs”, and they are: REASONS, RELATIVITY and REDEMPTION.  Every case has at least one.  With a little bit of luck and whole lot of elbow grease, you may uncover all three. Understanding these…

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