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Trial Practice

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An Introduction to Storytelling in a Family Law Case

Stories are Lies! But not in a Courtroom. Authors of fiction can write a story as they see fit, constrained only by their imagination. Lawyer story tellers, on the other hand, are confined to the facts of their case. From time to time all lawyers want to stray from our case facts to tell a better story, but we can’t. Instead, we must arrange the given facts, emphasizing the good and explaining away the bad. While some unethical lawyers blur the line between fact and fiction, most lawyers don’t deliberately fudge the facts to gain an edge. Skilled lawyers do, however, effectively package those immutable (and sometimes pesky) facts. This is the essence of storytelling in court. Shape the facts–both good and bad–into an interesting and believable narrative. Then use the story to sell your client’s case to the judge. And the lawyer with the better story is usually the one who wins.

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Notes on the Practice of Law

In honor of the 209th birthday of the great Illinois lawyer and President, here are Mr. Lincoln’s notes found by his secretaries, Hay and Nicolay, after his death. These notes are thought to have been written in 1850. Despite his modesty, this great lawyer’s advice on the practice demonstrates that good ethics, integrity, and honor in the practice are timeless.

About the author

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Steven N.Peskind

Principal Attorney

To be successful, a lawyer must have insight into the whole human catastrophe and be able to effectively traverse the legal system. It is the intersection of these two disciplines that fascinate me. I have been a lifelong student of both human nature and the law, and have created this blog to help others following my path.

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