The Winning Argument

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Three experienced trial lawyers examine twelve characteristics of a winning argument and present the rudiments and sophisticated levels of persuasion based upon ancient and modern techniques. An understanding of these basic principles will help you develop and present an effective argument before a judge, jury, a colleague or in mediation.

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Contents

Winning Arguments Are GoalDirected
1
101 Understand the Purpose of Argument
2
Choose a realistic goal
3
Identify other supporting objectives
4
106 Follow a Brief Outline to Stay on Course
5
Develop transitions to your main points
6
Identify what you can and cannot concede
7
109 When Your Point Is Made Stop Talking
8
Be alert to feelings as well as thoughts
89
Avoid obvious manipulation of the jurys feelings
90
Balance logic and emotion
91
Winning Arguments Use the Best Medium for the Message
93
701 Use a Variety of Methods to Communicate Your Message
94
Determine the appropriate demonstrative aid
95
Use variety
96
Discourage your opponents use of your exhibits
97

110 Avoid Quarreling
9
Winning Arguments Are Tailored to the DecisionMaker
11
201 Understand Your Audience
12
Tailor your argument
13
Consider how audiences differ
14
Consider human nature
15
Consider the receivers beliefs
16
Use care in expressing divergent attitudes and beliefs
17
Consider filtering effects
18
Consider personality and psychological differences
19
204 Investigate the DecisionMaker
20
Contact people familiar with the judge
21
Observe the judge in other proceedings
23
206 Investigate Jurors
24
Submit jury questions
25
Use jury consultants
26
Conduct a mock trial
27
207 Focus on the Most Persuadable DecisionMakers
28
Respond to your listeners cues
29
Avoid overinterpreting
30
209 Find a Higher Level Issue That Appeals to Your Listener
31
Frame issues in emotionally compelling terms
32
Winning Arguments Are Strengthened by the Speakers Ethos
33
The Perceived Character of the Speaker
34
302 Create the Impression of Honesty and Integrity
35
Minimize references to your role as a lawyer
36
Avoid asserting facts that your listener is unlikely to believe
37
Prepare Prepare Prepare
38
Corroborate what you say
39
Be courteous and civil at all times
40
Engage in friendly conversation
41
State only what you believe
42
Show emotion
43
Winning Arguments Are Founded on Reasons
45
401 Understand the Logical Basis of Your Argument
47
In inductive arguments focus on the inference
48
403 Use Inductive Reasoning to Draw Conclusions from Particulars
49
Use a sufficient number of examples
50
405 Use Analogy When Two Instances Are Similar
51
Identify your point of comparison
52
Be aware that figurative analogies do not have the force of logic
53
407 Use Deductive Reasoning to Reach a Conclusion That Is Certain
54
Use hypothetical syllogism to resolve uncertainty in the premise
55
408 Use Enthymeme When Your Listener Already Believes a Premise
56
Use terms consistently
57
411 Begging the Question
58
412 Ad Hominem
59
Attack the credibility of your opponents authority
60
415 Slippery Slope
61
416 Compound Questions
62
418 Composition and Division
63
Test whether what is true of the whole is also true of the parts
64
Winning Arguments Are Built with Evidence Law and Policy
65
501 Develop Your Substantive Case
67
Consider the classical concept of invention
68
Consider undertaking a burden of proof not legally yours
69
Use information as the ammunition of argument
70
505 Select Key Persuasive Points as Themes
71
Employ memorable themes
72
506 Identify Theories and Themes in Arguments of Others
73
507 Emphasize Your Theme
74
Beware of theme overuse
75
On issues of law apply standard legal criteria
76
509 Evaluate Evidence in Relation to the Audience
77
Direct Circumstantial or Real
78
Use real evidence for impact
79
Consider acquisition retention retrieval and communication
80
Determine whether there is a bias issue
81
Are the statistics based on a representative sample?
82
Is the source of the information trustworthy?
83
Winning Arguments Appeal to Emotion
85
601 Use Emotion to Persuade
86
Appeal to the heart
87
603 Feel the Emotion Yourself
88
Be prepared for technical difficulties
98
Create a time line with PowerPoint
99
Use motion visuals
100
Balance the media
101
Winning Arguments Are Arranged Strategically
103
801 Plan Your Argument
104
Divide your argument into three parts
105
Get your listeners attention
106
Grab the listener from the beginning
107
Ingratiate yourself with your listener
108
Introduce your theory or theme
109
803 Develop Your Evidence in the Body of Your Argument
110
Use an assertion presentation and conclusion approach
111
Present a problem and suggest a solution
112
Consider a reflective thought pattern
113
Use an approach based on relative familiarity
114
Use a parallel pattern for independent points
115
Use frequency to emphasize key points
116
Rarely adopt your opponents order
117
Strike an emotional chord
118
End on a strong note
119
Winning Arguments Have an Appealing Style
121
901 Find a Style That Is Natural for You
122
Use wit judiciously
123
Choose an appropriate response
124
Use concrete rather than abstract words
125
Be sensitive to the communitys sensibilities
126
Use idiom for clarity
127
Improve your vocabulary
128
905 Consider Classical Rhetorical Schemes to Arrange Words
129
Use parenthesis to insert a thought
130
Use successive conjunctions polysyndeton for effect
131
Repeat initial words anaphora
132
907 Use Metaphors Analogies and Similes Tropes
133
Use extended metaphors allegories for clarity and atmosphere
134
Avoid mixed metaphors
135
908 Use a Part to Represent the Whole Synecdoche
136
910 Combine Contradictory Terms Oxymoron
137
Winning Arguments Use Delivery to Enhance Communication
139
1001 Use Delivery to Instruct Delight and Move Your Listener
140
Consider the response you seek
141
Be courteous and professional at all times
142
1003 Use Facial Expressions to Convey Thoughts and Feelings
143
Use eye contact to establish rapport
144
Consider your own natural proclivities
145
1006 Use Your Voice for Impact
146
1007 Use Touch to Show Sincerity
147
Consider where to stand
148
1010 Consider the Effect of Your Appearance
149
Appear well organized
150
Winning Arguments Engage the Listener
151
Avoid demands or pleas
152
Pace to create a receptive environment
153
1103 Allow Your Listener to Participate in the Solution
154
1104 Ask Rhetorical Questions
155
Use thoughtprovoking questions with care
156
1105 Use Embedded Commands to Communicate
157
Winning Arguments Refute Opposing Points
159
1201 Use Refutation to Undermine Your Opponents Case
160
Be selective as to which points to refute
161
Forewarn your listener about what your opponent will argue
162
Be selective as to points to immunize
163
Develop your own positive theory of the case
164
Refute only significant facts
165
Indirectly argue that testimony is improbable
166
Point out irrelevancies
167
Look for broad generalities
168
1208 Argue That Your Opponents Argument Contravenes Public Policy
169
Break your opponents emotional hold on your listener
170
1211 Make the Most of Having the Last Word
171
Deliver a strong conclusion in your refutation
172
Index
173
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