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Advocacy:The Psychology Of Advocacy And How To Examine A Witness.

2162 words - 9 pages

I have read two books which deal with trial advocacy. One was "The Common Sense Rules of Trial Advocacy" by Keith Evans (224 pages) and the other was "Advocacy: Evidence, Objections and Exhibits" by Haydock and Sonsteng ( 60 pages read). I had no idea how complicated a trial could be until I started reading these books. I have watched several episodes of 'The Practice' and 'Ally McBeal' and had based my opinions of trials and courtroom behavior on shows similar to these. I know television is much more dramatized and comedic than real life, but I didn't realize how much more depth there was to a trial, though. It isn't as fun as it seems on television. I read so many fascinating things in these books and there are so many topics that I would enjoy writing about, but in this paper I will go over three things I found most interesting in the books I read. First I will discuss how advocacy is similar to theater. Then I will elaborate on the psychology of advocacy. Finally, I will talk about how complicated it can be to examine a witness.Advocacy is similar to theater in many ways. I have done a lot of acting in Utah and I have noticed several things about courtroom trials that actors could also use in their auditions. In class when we went over how to not be nervous in the courtroom and how fear is normal behavior, I just kept thinking how I could apply that to my auditions. I had an audition two days after that lesson in class and I did a lot better because I was talking myself through the nervousness I had and practiced calming myself down. Keith Evans goes over how theater is helpful in advocacy and I really liked his suggestions.In order to engage someone into a conversation they have to be intrigued by what you are saying. You have to tell a story, and not just any story. You have to be able to tell it in a way that will appeal to them, something they can listen to and end up agreeing with the outcome, or disagreeing with it. From your opening statement through your final summation, keep asking yourself whether there is an element of storytelling in whatever you are giving the jury. No one can resist listening to a well-told story, even if they've heard it dozens of times before. If a person can sense there is a story to be told, their instinct is to listen to it and let it absorb into them. This is also good because you can tell the story in a way that makes the jury believe you. You can make it a sad story or a revengeful one, or whatever you want. It's all in how you present the story.Another way in which advocacy can be compared to theater is in entertainment. You want to entertain the jury. Just as there is a magical element about the theater and acting, there's a magical element about the court and advocacy. Part of that magic is that if you are simply aware of a rule and only hope you'll be able to put it to use, you are unlikely to mess it up. You may not do it perfectly, but you'll do it. Unless you are cursed with a total lack of...

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