Cover image for Winning every time : how to use the skills of a lawyer in the trials of your life
Winning every time : how to use the skills of a lawyer in the trials of your life
Wiehl, Lis W.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Ballantine Books, [2004]

Physical Description:
xvi, 288 pages ; 25 cm
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BF637.N4 W54 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
BF637.N4 W54 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Whether you're hoping to obtain a raise from your boss, convince an insurance claim representative to reimburse your medical treatment, or persuade your spouse into spending less time watching TV and more time with you, Winning Every Time will be your guide for truly practical and helpful advice about how to make that case effectively--and win it hands down. Too often we argue conclusions without the benefit of a premise, react from anger instead of presenting hard facts, feel defensive when sensing resistance, or fail to make calm, irrefutable counterarguments. In this dynamic, groundbreaking book, Lis Wiehl shows how to apply the skills, smarts, and strategies of a lawyer and stay in command whenever life makes you feel as though you are on trial. Writing in an engaging, accessible style, Wiehl teaches you how to become your own best advocate, so you can plead your case with precision--and win the hearts (and change the minds) of even the most recalcitrant "juror." You'll learn the eight easy-to-follow rules of persuasion to winning a case: Know What You Want: The Theory of the Case--outline your premise clearly and establish your objective accordingly Choose and Cultivate Your Audience: Voir Dire-- bring your case to the person who "calls the shots" and know the perfect time and place to do so Marshal Your Evidence: Discovery--assemble all the facts that support your cause, even information that may challenge your objective Advocate with Confidence: Making the Case--present your opening argument and offer your evidence calmly and methodically Counter the Claims: Cross-examination--challenge your opponent's allegations consistently, but gently, through a series of "yes or no" questions Stay True to Your Case: Avoid the Seven Deadly Spins--keep your argument authentic by avoiding false inferences, hearsay, and subjectivity Advocate with Heart: Let Me Tell You a Story--make your case personal with a special story that will convey your message in a memorable way Sum It Up: The Closing Argument--deliver a fervent and succinct summation of your theory and evidence . . . and close the deal Along with practical advice on how to state your case effectively and come out on top, this remarkable book features incisive stories from real people who have transformed their lives through advocacy. With amazing, result-oriented strategies, Winning Every Times will help you stay in command whenever life makes you feel as though you are on trial. From the Hardcover edition.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this very engrossing spin on a self-help tract, Wiehl, legal analyst for Fox News and cohost of a daily radio show (The Radio Factor), explains how to make use of lawyerly thinking in everyday life. Drawing on years of trial experience, she provides the means for prevailing in such situations as getting a raise, communicating better with your partner or becoming a more effective parent. Dividing case methodology into eight sections ("The Theory of the Case"; "Discovery"; "The Closing Argument"; etc.), Wiehl makes legal theory spring to life with well-written anecdotes from her professional courtroom and personal lives, along with comments on high profile trials, including O.J. Simpson's. The lesson from that trial, Wiehl argues, is that one must present a story of the case that is based on fact and reasoning, rather than appearing pushy and aggressive to a jury. And in an example of sticking to the "theory" of one's case, Wiehl details how a frustrated father got his son to complete his nightly homework by keeping his emotions under control and maintaining control of the discussion a powerful theory indeed. 6-city author tour. Agent, Todd Shuster of Zachary Shuster Harmsworth. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Who better than a leading trial lawyer to tell you how to win all those arguments? (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Introduction   Access to the law means access to the law's techniques--the strategies of making your case. Winning Every Time will demystify the jargon of the law and explain the simple truth behind its complexities so that you can relate to the law and use it. The idea of using the language and strategies of lawyers may seem off-putting, as it did for me as a young person living in eastern Washington State. It may conjure up images of stem-winding attorneys such as F. Lee Bailey, Gerry Spence, and Johnnie Cochran, or surly prosecutors who reduce witnesses to tears on the stand. But as we break down the strategies that lawyers employ, we'll see what was at first intimidating is ultimately empowering. These techniques will help us organize our logic, compose our passions, measure our arguments, and stay focused on our genuine goals.   I saw how effective legal strategies could be outside the courtroom in helping ordinary people advocate for themselves in my own home state of Washington, where I helped lead a program called LASER--Lawyers and Students Engaged in Resolution--in which lawyers trained middle and high school students to mediate disputes among their peers. I watched as students employed the skills of the law to resolve differences and conquer everyday problems.   When two male students were at each other's throats because one was accusing the other of "dissing" his girlfriend, we put to use such legal practices as challenging evidence based on hearsay ("Did you actually hear Winston dis Kyle's girlfriend, or did you just hear aboutit?"); impeaching the witness("But earlier you told me that Winston said Kyle's girlfriend was a 'hottie' at the basketball game, didn't you? And weren't they all there together?"); bias ("Oh, I see--Jenna, you're Kyle's girlfriend's sister"); and motive ("Winston was upset because Kyle got into a college that they both wanted to go to and Winston didn't").   Teaching students the legal strategies involved in conflict resolution, I was amazed how many fights we were able to avert. The material LASER presented to them produced concrete, measurable results. And I witnessed how happy and empowered they were by putting these techniques into action.   Once you get comfortable with the concepts behind hearsay, direct evidence, prejudicial evidence, direct and cross-examination--all legal terms that have valuable everyday meanings--you can conquer your fears and get the results you want and deserve. These skills will help you access your inner advocate and bring your natural skills of persuasion to the surface.   By introducing you to eight specific steps that seasoned litigators use to offer up passionate arguments, cross-examine witnesses, and win a victory from judge or jury,Winning Every Time will help you become more powerful and successful in your everyday interpersonal and work-related dealings. And you'll learn how to successfully implement these eight steps in specific areas of your life--at work and in business, as a consumer, in marriage, as a parent, and in other personal relationships.   * * *   Step 1. Know What You Want:The Theory of the Case. We'll start with the vital importance of beginning with a central thesis that you can articulate clearly and that will serve to win you the verdict you seek. Before you begin your advocacy, you need to know exactly what your case is truly about and establish your final objective accordingly.   Step 2. Choose and Cultivate Your Audience:Voir Dire. Just as lawyers work hard to choose the optimal jury during voir dire (or bring a case before the judge who would be the most sympathetic to their client), so can you figure out how to choose and best appeal to your "adversary," "jury," or "judge." This step involves making sure that you bring your case to a decision maker who really can call the shots and is open to helping you. Even the most ardent and persuasive argument may go unheard, and have little impact, if you're advocating to someone who can't render you the decision you seek--or who, for one reason or another, isn't interested in assisting you. Step 2 also often entails choosing the right time and venue in which to make your case--for instance, trying to convince your bank to increase your credit line is probably more difficult right after you've bounced a few checks or when your account is overdrawn. By thinking through whom you're advocating and the setting in which you're advocating, you'll be much more likely to be successful in your pursuit.   Step 3. Marshal Your Evidence:Discovery. You'll learn, even before you make your argument, the importance of discovery--that is, of systematically gathering all the evidence you need. Your argument will gain far greater effectiveness if, like a lawyer, you assemble, evaluate, and prepare all the data you need to make your case before launching into your opening argument, including not only facts and information that help your cause but also data that challenge what you're trying to argue or achieve. Then you'll be able to ensure that your case can withstand objections and cross-examination.   Step 4. Advocate with Confidence:Making the Case.Step 4 requires not only a change in psychological outlook--a stance of confidence rather than emotion--but also a commitment to the primary methodology of the best trial lawyers: organizing and becoming intimately familiar with all of your information before acting on it. As you begin your opening argument and offer your evidence, ideally you'll know just what you're going to say, how you're going to say it, and what you'll say or do if your opponent challenges you on any particular point.   Step 5. Counter the Claims:Cross-Examination. You'll learn, too, how to ask a series of thoughtfully prepared and presented yes-or-no questions designed to elicit only the information needed to affirm your key points and arguments. There's a significant difference between acting righteous and condescending (both of which are to be carefully avoided) and challenging your opponent's allegations gently but consistently through the art of cross-examination, pointing out hearsay, and making "objections" about the relevance of the evidence presented.   Step 6. Stay True to Your Case:Avoid the Seven Deadly Spins.Step 6 focuses on many of the manipulative techniques that creep into our relationships and negotiations. In the clutch you'll need to keep your argument authentic and avoid reacting with inappropriate emotion. You won't rely on hearsay, toss in additional charges, or make subjective characterizations. By eliminating reliance on these self-destructive techniques, you'll make room for the vastly more rational, effective strategies outlined throughout this book.   Step 7. Advocate with Heart:Let Me Tell You a Story.Step 7 focuses on humanizing your case. A good litigator knows that juries are persuaded not just by evidence but also by facts shaped into a story they can connect with emotionally. Using your own passion as a resource, you can shape your case into a story--and make it personal. Conveying your theory of the case using a powerful, relevant story can often help you win the heart--as well as the verdict--of that critical decision-making person.   Step 8. Sum It Up:The Closing Argument. Just like a lawyer speaking before a jury, once you've made your "just-the-facts" presentation and then conveyed your core message through a compelling story, you can clinch your case with a fervent and succinct closing argument. In this final step you restate your theory of the case, refer to the key evidence supporting it, remind the decision maker of the story you've related, and ask for the remedy you are seeking. If you know your theory of the case and have thoughtfully presented this theory and all your supporting evidence through the first seven steps, Step 8 will feel like a culminating moment: Having made the best possible case, you can now close the deal.   Will you have to use every step in every situation? No. But by becoming familiar with the Eight Steps, you'll find yourself reflexively using them in situations both routine and significant. Think of the steps like a well-packed suitcase--you don't wear everything you pack, every time, but if it rains you're sure glad you've got the raincoat.   The goal here isn't to teach you to become a cold, calculating legal machine who cross-examines your mother over her burned pot roast or makes "objections" to the relevance of your supervisor's requests. The goal is to help you get what you want (and still have people like you!) by providing you with the law-related tools you need to handle life's challenges, debates, and controversies rationally--and to remain, in the heat of conflict, as clear, coolheaded, and thoughtfully persuasive as the very best trial lawyers.   Excerpted from Winning Every Time: How to Use the Skills of a Lawyer in the Trials of Your Life by Lis Wiehl All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.