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Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin Fall 2015

Mastering the Mechanics of Civil Jury Trials: A Strategic Guide Outlining the Anatomy of a Trial by Tyler G. Draa, with Doris Cheng, Maureen Harrington, and The Honorable Franklin G. Bondonno Balcony 7 Media & Publishing 2015 This paperback published this year is a valuable guide to all lawyers who aspire to become experienced trial lawyers and covers such subjects as identifying your judge, a possible peremptory challenge of the judge, court room presence, technical and trial graphics, introducing evidence, crossexamination, settlement during trial, argument and deliberations. It has some valuable tidbits of information that even experienced trial lawyers could learn from, inasmuch as the beginning of wisdom is the recognition of ignorance. This book has been written by a civil defense lawyer and an accomplished plaintiff ’s lawyer. There are also contributions in the book from a commercial attorney and a judge. The author, Draa, states that “we are dedicated to preserving our 7th Amendment right to adjudicate civil issues through trials by jury. Our legal system is ceding that right through attrition, disinterest, and to the dwindling Editor Robert R. Kracke Book Reviews was operating, but suffice it to say, it became a cloak and dagger operation. Ultimately, Zemurray became “the fish that ate the whale,” United Fruit Company. As Cohen puts it, “in 1913 Congress proposed a tax on bananas, which had already become the most widely consumed fruit in America, an astonishing fact considering that not a single banana is grown here.” Zemurray had become so rich that after owning what would become the home of the Tulane University President, he bought a 25,000 acre plantation near Hammond, LA, 58 miles north of New Orleans, which was his “summer place.” He also began to give away his money anonymously. Maimonides, a Jewish philosopher, once said that the highest form of giving is where the recipient does not know who the donor is and the donor does not know who the recipient is. A certain Jewish custom says that to give anonymously is to do so “in a way that does not disgrace the person in need.” Zemurray quietly funded “the first City of New Orleans Hospital for ‘Negro’ women and, at the urging of his daughter, made a $250,000.00 gift to Radcliff College to endow a professorship at Harvard, an endowment which resulted in the first woman professor on the Arts & Sciences faculty of the university.” This book is entertaining and goes to show that America is still the place where everyone wants to get in and no one wants to leave. This reviewer once traveled to the Berlin Wall in 1971. It was duly noted that no one was trying to cross into East Germany through the Wall. They were all trying to escape from East Germany into West Germany. Many were killed trying. Reading this book generates pride in American citizenship. It is in paperback form and can be purchased at most book stores for $16.00. G number of trial lawyers who know how to try cases. The number of cases tried before juries is plummeting. ... fewer jury trials mean fewer trial lawyers. ... Our book was written to help and nurture aspiring trial lawyers before the art of trial advocacy is completely lost.” It is brought to your attention as a possible learning tool. G Birmingham Bar Bulletin/ Fall 2015 19


Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin Fall 2015
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