Want To Learn to Talk Better? Check Out What We Have on Oral Advocacy

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oraladvBy Ken Fox

Planning on attending the CBA Seminar on Successful Oral Advocacy on May 13 in Saskatoon or May 14 in Regina? Well, whether you are or not, you may want to check out what the Law Society Library has on oral advocacy.

The great thing about books on oral argument is that they never really become out of date, except for certain peculiarities like what titles to call folks and how to pronounce the word “err.” All of the titles listed below share a few common themes on how to present and project yourself in court and convince others that you are right, but each also has its own unique flavour.

Come to the library in Regina, or give us a call, and pick your brand of poison.   


Adair, Geoffrey DE & Geoffrey Douglas Egon. On Trial: Advocacy Skills Law and Practice, 2nd ed (Toronto: LexisNexis Butterworths, 2004).
KF 8915 .A19 2004
Preparation is the emphasis here, but includes tips on oral presentation throughout. See chapters 3 to 5 on direct examination, chapters 6 to 15 on cross-examination, and 17 to 20 on opening address and final argument.

Canadian Bar Association – Ontario Branch. Advocacy: A Symposium Presented by the Canadian Bar Association-Ontario in Collaboration with the Law Society of Upper Canada Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Osgoode Hall 1982 (Don Mills, ON: Richard De Boo, 1982).
KF 8915 .A244 1982
This historic symposium includes papers on “The Art of Non-Verbal and Verbal Communications”, “The Art of Persuading a Jury”, “Advocacy Before Discipline Tribunals”, “The Opening Statement”, “Advocacy in the Criminal Courts”, “Ethics and General Conduct of Counsel as Techniques of Persuasion”, “Preparation and Presentation of the Argument”, “Demonstration of the Cross-Examination of a Forensic Expert”, and many others, as well as “Demonstrations” of good oral advocacy in various forums.

Berg, David. The Trial Lawyer: What it Takes to Win (Chicago: American Bar Association, Section of Litigation, 2003).
KF 8915 .B49 2003
A 300-page hardcover from the ABA with chapters on persuasion, opening argument, presenting witnesses, and the ominously titled sixth chapter—Killer Cross.

Continuing Professional Development. Chambers Advocacy (Regina: Law Society of Saskatchewan, 2012).
KF 8876 .C58 2012
A Saskatchewan CPD seminar on advocacy —see individual papers listed under Saskatchewan Articles below.

Dahl, Richard C & Robert Davis. Effective Speaking for Lawyers (Buffalo, NY: William S. Hein, 1969).
KF 8915 .D13 1969
The title (effectively) speaks for itself!

Decof, Leonard. Art of Advocacy: Opening Statement (New York: Matthew Bender, 1986).
KF 8915 .D29 1986
An entire looseleaf binder devoted just to opening statements, with subject-based chapters. A 36-page chapter on how to make the opening statement in an aviation accident claim? Yep, here it is.

DeCaro, Lisa L & Leonard Matheo. The Lawyer’s Winning Edge: Exceptional Courtroom Performance (Denver, CO: Bradford Publishing, 2004).
KF 8915 .D291 2004
This one really foregrounds the ART of Advocacy, with headings like: How to Use Your Voice to Create Vocal Thunder in the Courtroom; Why Your Body Sometimes Feels Like it is Working Against You; Using Eye Contact to Build Relationships; Captivate the Jury through the Power of Storytelling; Painting a Clear Picture; Your Story: Building a Strong House; How to Rehearse Your Story; Stage Presence: It’s All in the Listening; What to Wear; Using Props and Visual Aids to Enhance Your Argument; Stage Fright; and On-Camera Presentation Skills.

Dworsky, Alan L. The Little Book on Oral Argument (Littleton, CO: F.B. Rothman, 1991).
KF 8870 .D98 1991
A compact 77 pages all about oral argument, with chapters on Nervousness, Style, Delivery, Substance, Structure, and others.

Evans, Keith. Advocacy at the Bar: A Beginner’s Guide (London: Financial Training, 1983).
KF 8915 .E92 1983
Although perhaps a bit dated and geographically removed with regard to court etiquette, this handbook has many good tips for beginning litigators on how to prepare and speeches and examinations and in general how to present yourself in court.

Evans, Keith. The Language of Advocacy: What to Say and How to Say It in the Courts of the English-Speaking Peoples (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998).
KF 8915 .E922 1998
What more can an advocate ask for than a book that tells them what to say in court? This tiny 95-page handbook covers the entire English-speaking world, emphasizing on international variations as it goes.

Fine, Ralph Adam. The How-To-Win Trial Manual: Winning Trial-Advocacy in a Nutshell, 5th ed (Huntington, NY: Juris, 2011).
KF 8915 .F49 2011
Actually, this one wouldn’t quite fit in a nutshell, with over 500 pages on the art and tools of persuasion, building a winning theme, opening and closing arguments, not sounding like a lawyer, direct examination, cross-examination, and a complete transcript of the Lee Harvey Oswald trial with running commentary on what works and what doesn’t.

Fradsham, Allan A. Chambers Advocacy 1997 (Scarborough, ON: Carswell, 1997).
KF 8840 ZA3 .F81 1997
See Oral Arguments in Court (pages 39 to 43).

Greenspan, Edward L, Sydney Kentridge & Ian W Binnie. The Dubin Lectures on Advocacy, 1998-2002 (Aurora, ON: Canada Law Book, 2004).
KF 8915 .D83 2004
An elegant hardcover pocketbook with three speeches on advocacy. See especially Justice Binnie’s talk In Praise of Oral Advocacy on pages 73 to 127.

Lubet, Steven, Cynthia Tape & Lisa Talbot. Modern Trial Advocacy: Canada, 3rd ed (Louisville, CO: National Institute for Trial Advocacy, 2010).
KF 8915 .L92 2010
A 481-page comprehensive account of trial practice and oral pleading with a Canadian emphasis, with everything from storytelling to electronic trials.

Mauet, Thomas A & Les A McCrimmon. Fundamentals of Trial Technique, 3rd ed (Pyrmont, NSW: Thomson Reuters, 2011).
KF 8915 .M44 2011
Peppered with example transcripts, this current 285-page Australian paperback shows that the art of speaking in court and examining witnesses at the bottom of the world shares much how things are done up on top.

McCallum, Margaret E, Deborah A Schmedemann & Christina L Kunz. Synthesis: Legal Reading, Reasoning and Writing in Canada, 3rd ed (Toronto: CCH Canadian, 2012).
KF 250 .M33 2012
Check out especially chapter 19 on Oral Advocacy.

Moskoff, Franklin R. Advocacy in Court: A Tribute to Arthur Maloney, QC (Toronto: Canada Law Book, 1986).
KF 8915 .A24 1986
Includes papers on examination-in-chief, cross-examination, opening and closing to the jury in criminal cases, opening and closing arguments in civil cases, and others. 

Napley, Sir David. The technique of persuasion, 3rd ed (London: Sweet & Maxwell, 1983).
KF 8915 .N19 1983
One of the first of its kind, Napley’s little handbook proves that while some aspects of oral advocacy may change over time and place, most of the basics apply everywhere. And this one wins the award for the most high-quality substance in the tiniest package.

Olah, John A. The Art and Science of Advocacy (Toronto: Carswell, 1990).
KF 8915 .O42 1990
Some books say advocacy is an art, others insist it’s a science, but this massive, two-volume looseleaf wants to have it both ways. Hundreds of pages on every aspect of arguing your case.

Re, Edward Domenic & Joseph R Re. Brief Writing & Oral Argument, 8th ed (Dobbs Ferry, NY: Oceana Publications, 1999).
KF 251 .R28 1999
See Part Four (pages 155 to 192) on Oral Argument.

Stuesser, Lee. An Advocacy Primer, 3rd ed (Toronto: Thomson Carswell, 2005).
KF 8915 .S93 2005
A complete Canadian text on oral advocacy, including chapters on examination for discovery, court etiquette, opening statements, direct examination, cross-examination, objections, closing arguments, and appellate advocacy.

Saskatchewan Articles

Doty, Cleve, Prerak Shah & Nick Tarasen. “Edward W. Hinton Moot Court Competition: Tips for Successful Oral Advocacy” in Continuing Professional Development, Chambers Advocacy (Regina: Law Society of Saskatchewan, 2012).
KF 8876 .C58 2012

Megaw, Michael T. “Oral Advocacy in 2012: Necessity or Nuisance?” in Continuing Professional Development,  Chambers Advocacy (Regina: Law Society of Saskatchewan, 2012).
KF 8876 .C58 2012

Popescul, Martel D. “Chambers Basics” in Continuing Professional Development, Chambers Advocacy (Regina: Law Society of Saskatchewan, 2012).
KF 8876 .C58 2012

Scherman, Brian J. “Advocacy on Chambers Motions” in Continuing Professional Development, Chambers Advocacy (Regina: Law Society of Saskatchewan, 2012).
KF 8876 .C58 2012

Tallis, Mr. Justice CF. “Oral Arguments in Civil and Criminal Appeals” iIn Civil and Criminal Advocacy (Regina: Law Society of Saskatchewan, Continuing Professional Development, 1980).
KF 8915 .C58 1980

Wakeling, Thomas W. “Reflections on Oral Advocacy” (1982) 46 Sask Law Rev 163.

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