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11 William Mitchell Law Review 775 (1985)


Knowing how a judge will react to certain trial techniques in a trial can greatly enhance an attorney's effectiveness in the courtroom. This article contains and explains the results of the authors' empirical survey. Fifty-nine judges serving in both criminal and civil court in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area were surveyed, with each judge responding to thirty-eight questions designed to obtain objective information concerning their experiences and views on effective trial advocacy. The survey covered eight topics: (1) trial briefs; (2) pretrial chambers discussions; (3) opening statements; (4) direct and cross-examinations; (5) evidentiary matters; (6) closing arguments; (7) findings of fact and conclusions of law; and (8) quality of lawyer presentations. This article contains eight topic sections, each section containing a concise analysis of the respective topic and specific survey findings including tabulations of specific answers and listings of narrative explanatory responses.


This article is co-authored with Elizabeth Shields, James Schaps, Roman Kozak, Joan Wandke Nelson, Dani Shimon, Joan Kaufhold, Walter Krebsbach, Joan Tietjen & Carla Wacker.