• Publication Date: July 8, 2009
  • EAN: 9781862877443
  • 216 pages; 6" x 8⅝"
Filed Under: Legal Profession


Preparation and performance


Product Description

Persuasive questioning and argument in our courts and tribunals need skills in case preparation and techniques of presentation. Those skills and techniques are gained by a combination of understanding and practice.

This book explains the ‘what’, the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of basic skills and techniques. The reader is then ready to practice.

Knowing the needs and wants of the audience, identifying the links among legal concepts, facts and witnesses, are at the heart of case preparation. That knowledge guides the content and tone of both argument and opening address.

Of course the advocate must also be able to ask questions that both bring out the evidence in an acceptable manner and keep the right level of control over each witness.

Advocacy is a skill that can always be improved, whether the practitioner is renowned or a novice. This is a book for the new comer, an explanation and illustration of the essential first steps along the road to renown.

Knowing the Audience and Planning the Case

Just another shoplifting case

Knowing your audience

Developing your law and fact case ‘step by step’

Mastery of both sides of the case: good facts, bad facts, and priorities

Illustrative cases and a procedural template

What is your Game Plan?

Developing a plan

The tenant’s game plan

The renovation game plan

The shopper’s game plan

Mastering the Facts

The nature of the interview

The scene

A report from an expert

Do not ask ‘Did you do it?’, but…

Setting an agenda of topics for the interview

Types of questions

Asking open questions

Demonstrative aids



Interlocutory applications procedure

Argument for a plea-in-mitigation

Closing address

The Advocate as Conductor

Painting the picture

What is my position in court?

Where do I look?

Masking my anxiety?

What do I call people in court?

Opening statements

AgendasHow to use the circles method for an agenda and questioning

Questioning my witnesses Using a written statementEstablishing a base point

Explaining distancesDescribing the lightingExplaining time

Describing a person

The Performing Witness

Preparing the witness

Giving evidence

To Do or Not to Do

Should I cross-examine?

How do I cross-examine?Exploit your nice sideThe importance of gate-closingAvoid being argumentativeInquisitiveness invites disasterExploiting the failure to explainPotting

The too-talkative witness

Leading questions

The rule of fairness

Making and responding to objections


Credibility matters


An Advocacy Dictionary


…Expect an insightful introduction to the practice and principles of good advocacy from a well-published academic. The beginner advocate (like me) will find some very useful ways of understanding some of the rules of evidence and a solid grounding in how to properly prepare a case for trial. Selby provides tips about some of nuances of advocacy, such as ways of effectively having a witness describe lighting and dealing with one’s own anxiety. He also offers the reader the use of mind-mapping (or circles method) and shows how this method can be applied through all stages of preparation for trial.This fairly short book is littered with practical examples and is thus quite easy to digest. I can recommend it as a useful reference tool. – ACT Law Society Newsletter, Ethos, March 2010

Scroll to Top