Friday, January 23, 2015

Trial Lawyers Stealing Stories from Movies

In case you missed it, here is Phil Meyer’s piece from the August 2014 issue of the ABA Journal, Stealing Stories from the Movies. In it, he focuses on the Karen Silkwood case and shows how Jerry Spence told a story connecting Karen Silkwood’s story with stories in “Shane,” “High Noon,” “Jaws,” “Star Wars,” “The  Hero with a Thousand Faces,” and “The China Syndrome.” Remarkable.

Phil has recently authored Storytelling for Lawyers (Oxford University Press). From the publisher’s blurb:

But what is a narrative, and how can lawyers go about constructing one? How does one transform a cold presentation of facts into a seamless story that clearly and compellingly takes readers not only from point A to point B, but to points C, D, E, F, and G as well? In Storytelling for Lawyers, Phil Meyer explains how. He begins with a pragmatic theory of the narrative foundations of litigation practice and then applies it to a range of practical illustrative examples: briefs, judicial opinions and oral arguments. Intended for legal practitioners, teachers, law students, and even interdisciplinary academics, the book offers a basic yet comprehensive explanation of the central role of narrative in litigation. The book also offers a narrative tool kit that supplements the analytical skills traditionally emphasized in law school as well as practical tips for practicing attorneys that will help them craft their own legal stories.


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