Category: books

  • Meditations

    I had a jury trial in Midland County last week. ((Not guilty, thank you very much.)) The jury panel was very authoritarian — the prosecutor asked a Likert-Scaled (Strongly Agree — Agree — Disagree — Strongly Disagree) question: “Better that 100 guilty people go free than that one innocent person be punished?” Almost every member […]

  • Desert-Island Book

    Old-time West Texas judges used to travel the circuit with a single law book (and they were still better-read than most modern Texas judges. . .). If you had to preserve a single criminal-law volume so that the American criminal justice system would survive, what would you choose? If civilization were crumbling around our ears […]

  • Fifteen Books for Becoming a Better Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer

    At Illinois and Missouri lawyer Evan Schaeffer’s Trial Practice Tips Weblog, Evan has a link to an Amazon list of 16 Books to Read if You Want to Become a Better Trial Lawyer by Dallas Government lawyer Shane Read. Shane’s list includes Gerry Spence’s How to Argue and Win Every Time, Posner’s How Judges Think, […]

  • My Latest Non-Lawyering Project

    Jen got me a Kindle for our anniversary. I am highly impressed. I still have a stack of dead-tree books to work through before I can start going crazy buying eBooks, but I’m enjoying reading the International Herald Tribune for world news. Being able to carry a huge amount of text in a format the […]

  • Bravest of All at 451 Degrees

    When I was learning to read, my favorite book was Bravest of All, by Kate Emery Pogue. This was a Little Golden Book about an old firefighter who, when all the young firefighters and shiny new equipment were out putting out a big fire, sprang into action with his old fire truck to save a […]

  • About Thinking

    When lawyers start talking about The Art of War, I sometimes suggest that they should first read and grok — or at least understand — Lao Tse. My thinking is that without recognizing the philosophical pilings beneath The Art of War a lawyer can reach only a superficial understanding of Sun Tzu’s precepts. There are […]

  • Naptime in the Courtroom

    Last weekend I read Brain Rules, by John Medina. It’s a slender book concisely describing 12 of the principles that govern how our brains work, and suggesting ways that businesses and schools might take advantage of these principles to help employees and students perform and learn better. As knowledge workers and creative workers, we should […]

  • Read this Book

    If you’re a criminal-defense lawyer interested in the art of criminal defense trial lawyering, order Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art and read it now.

  • The Scavenging Thread

    I like to read about fields other than law (improvisational theatre, comedy, chaos studies, interrogation, acting, survival, hypnosis, the Tao, NLP, aikido, etc.) that I think might be relevant to the practice of criminal trial law. I’m always looking for more suggestions — for example, when Western Justice wrote about Statement Analysis, I ordered the […]

  • Book Review: Your Witness

    Richard “Racehorse” Haynes is the only person I know who has a nickname for his nickname. He’s “Racehorse” to the world and “Race” (or just “Richard”) to the his “brothers and sisters of the bar”. I mention Richard because there are a very few lawyers — and Richard is one of them — whose tales […]