My wife Lita and I practiced together as plaintiff trial lawyers for over forty years. We’ve written a book about plaintiff trial advocacy which is being published by Trial Guides, a legal media company that focuses on civil plaintiff publications. In addition to the nation’s leading trial lawyers its products are used by the U.S. Department of Justice, the ACLU, the AAJ and multiple law schools. We are pleased to have them as our publisher.

TRIAL GUIDES______________________________________________________

This book is about winning cases. Written by Paul Luvera and Lita Barnett Luvera, two highly successful and experienced plaintiffs’ lawyers, this book offers a bounty of insight and advice on how to successfully represent injured clients.

The authors offer a vast wealth of knowledge, including lessons from their own careers, examples from great attorneys of the past, and discussions of modern research and how it applies to the practice of law. Inside you will find lessons and explorations on the following and more:


 ten basic rules for winning cases
 persuasion, neuroscience, and effective communication
 lessons from great trial lawyers of the past
 authenticity, credibility, and trust worthiness
 case evaluation and analysis
 case frames and themes
 settlement discussions
 jury decision-making
 preparing clients for deposition and testimony
 opening statement
 direct examination & witness testimony
 common cross-examination problems
 difficult opponents and judges
 damages arguments
 questions regarding life expectancy and future damages

Paul and Lita offer you a collection of distilled wisdom, earned from decades of successfully representing clients. Don’t miss out on your chance to learn from two of the top trial lawyers in America.


What Legal Leaders Are Saying

Paul Luvera has been recognized as one of America’s most skilled trial lawyers for many years. For the last twenty, I have had the opportunity and pleasure of learning from Paul about trial practice because of our association in the Inner Circle of Advocates. Now, Paul and Lita have written Luvera on Advocacy, which allows anyone who is interested in trial work, whether a beginner or a seasoned veteran, to learn from them as I have. Reading and, more importantly, studying this book can do nothing but enhance your trial skills.

— Alexander Blewett III, member of the Inner Circle of Advocates and fellow in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, the American College of Trial Lawyers, and the International Society of Barristers

In forty-four years of trial practice representing injured clients, I have devoured numerous books on how to ply our trade. Never have I read a jewel like Luvera on Advocacy. It covers our craft from the moment the client knocks on our door to the verdict and beyond with priceless insight and wisdom. This book holds magic for new and seasoned lawyers alike. I sincerely wish I’d had it decades ago.

— Mark R Bocci, member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, American College of Trial Lawyers, and International Academy of Trial Lawyers

An absolute must read for any trial lawyer! Paul and Lita have a decades long jury record of success that is unmatched. Few, if any, trial lawyers can demonstrate Paul’s devotion to the art of jury trial advocacy. The uniqueness of Paul Luvera is his continual search and personal work to be a better trial lawyer, in spite of being one of the best of all time. This book shares a lifetime of experience while applying the latest learning and research. Paul’s life’s work is here to make us all better and motivate us to continue the rare art of jury trials.

— Jude Basille, member of the Inner Circle of Advocates and past president of Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College

Paul Luvera and Lita Barnett Luvera’s Luvera on Advocacy is the most comprehensive and information-filled book on how to try and win a case I have ever read. The book has everything from determining whether to take a case to pretrial preparation and trial (voir dire through final argument). The Luveras effectively use excerpts from trial testimony and quotes from great trial lawyers and public figures throughout history. If there is one book that should be on the desk of trial lawyers, regardless of experience levels, it is Luvera on Advocacy.

— James S. Rogers, fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, the International Society of Barristers, and a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates


Paul and Lita Luvera’s book, Luvera on Advocacy is a must-read and keepsake for any seasoned or aspiring plaintiffs’ trial lawyer. In this book, they explain how psychology and neuroscience research helps us decipher human decision-making and communicate our message persuasively. The book runs the gamut from case evaluation and screening, witness preparation, deposing defense experts, performing opening statements, and improving cross-examination techniques while utilizing cross-examinations in historic cases by legendary trial lawyers. In addition, the book covers how to develop simple themes and frames drawn from focus groups as an effective tool in obtaining successful jury verdicts for our clients. It further discusses how to make a powerful closing argument, as well as effectively arguing damages. It is a virtual “how to” handle a personal injury case from opening to closing your file. I highly recommend this excellent book by two of the most-highly regarded plaintiffs’


Luvera on Advocacy

Paul Luvera & Lita Barnett Luvera

$125.00   new paperback


This item is currently on pre-order and will ship on or before December 1st, 2020. pre order from   Trial Guides Contact Us. Our mailing address is 2350 NW York St, Portland, OR 97210. You can reach us via phone 9am-5pm PST at (800) 309-6845. Messages are usually returned within 24 hours.




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Recently an outstanding plaintiff’s attorney shared the report of an obituary about a talented reporter and writer Pete Hamill. The key to Hamill’s writing skill was noted in the obituary where it reported: “He idolized Hemingway.” Hemmingway’s writing style was brevity and simplicity with powerful words that dispensed with adjectives and got straight to the point.


There is much lawyers can learn from Hemingway’s writing style. Lawyers are afflicted with the curse of lacking an awareness of the difference between the important and relevant from the unimportant and irrelevant. They either lack the skill to do so or are too lazy to make the effort.


One of the most fundamental differences between journalism and other forms of writing is the way journalists obtain the information they write about. Journalists obtain information through a variety of reporting techniques, which can include interviewing sources, looking through government documents, researching old articles, and observing events firsthand.

Good news writing begins with good, accurate reporting. Journalists perform a public service for citizens by presenting truthful facts in honest, straight-forward articles. In a blog regarding news reporting, First News Education,, there is an excellent outline about how to correctly and properly write a news report. The instructions are very relevant to the rules for lawyers in advocacy either an argument or in writing. These rules are:

1.Choose an interesting event or happening to write about

A news report should be about something that is happening now or recently occurred. Current issues, key events and crimes make good subjects for news reports.

2.Tell the whole story in the first paragraph

The opening paragraph should be concise and explain the full story in as few words as possible. Even if someone reads no further, they should know what has happened.

3.Put the most important information at the top

Newspaper articles are written so the information is given in order of importance with each preceding paragraph including more detail. This style of writing is called The Inverted Pyramid where the most important information is in the lead paragraph. If reports end up being too long for the newspaper, they should always be able to be cut from the bottom.

Inverted Pyramid

4.Make sure that the report answers the five “Ws”

Have they answered WHAT happened? WHEN did it happen? WHY did it happen? WHERE did it happen? WHO did it happen to? HOW did it happen?

5.Make Use of Quotes

Including quotes is a useful way of bringing opinion and expertise into your article and will make the story more interesting. Quotations don’t have to be long to be powerful.

6.Don’t waffle or make the report too long

Sentences should be short and punchy. This is a good opportunity for students to practice changing vocabulary, grammar and punctuation to enhance effects and clarify meaning.

7.Read back over your report

Reading out loud will help determine that it all makes sense.

8.Check the facts

A news report is characterised by its use of facts, this is what differentiates it from an opinion piece. Anyone can create an internet page, so it is essential to use reliable sources of information and double-check your facts. Some sources can be trusted more than others, but all facts should be checked in two different places. Which of the sources to the right do you think are the most trustworthy? Where would you place them on the scale to the right? The exercise of writing a news report should help pupils in understanding to distinguish between fact and opinion.

9.Check the spelling and grammar

Make sure to proofread for spelling and punctuation errors using a thesaurus and dictionary to check the spelling and meaning of words. Reports should be written in the third person and past tense; check for consistent and correct use of tense.

10.Finally think of a good headline for the report. A headline should be short and snappy and grab the attention of readers making them want to read more.


That’s how lawyers should write and advocate. Here is an exercise for learning how to properly write a report. It equally applies to how lawyers should learn to describe the essence of their case.


1.Find a piece of content 500 words or greater.
2.Take that content and identify what you believe to be its most important component—not necessarily the lead, but what journalists call the Nut Graph.
3.Re-write the story at 1/4 of its original length. So for a 500 word piece around 100-125 words or about a paragraph.
4.Now re-write your 100-125 word story at 1/4 of its length, around 30 words or about a sentence or two.
5.Finally, take your one or two-sentence story and bring it down to 10 words or less.




We live in a world of “Twitter” long communication. Our television news stories, with video, according to detailed studies is 41 seconds. The median length of a network TV news package was 2 minutes and 23 seconds. The majority of TV commercials during the Super Bowl are 30 seconds long. In 2019 the average cost of a 30 second ad was $5.25 million.


In 2000, Microsoft conducted a study measuring how long people can focus on one thing for a specific amount of time. The results showed the average person’s attention span was 12 seconds. About 15 years later, it dropped to 8 seconds. That’s why trial lawyers need to learn simplicity, clarity and brevity in their advocacy, both written and verbal. In addition, this is why storytelling is more critical than ever. We need to understand what truly influences attention, quality, and engagement. Focusing on these signals will help them better connect with our audience and make their persuasion more effective.


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I recently read two books on persuasion and communication. Thank You for Arguing by Jay Heinrichs and Lawyers, Judges and Semi Rational Beasts by Daniel Holloway. They both had excellent advice for trial lawyers. Here is a summary of ideas from both books

As we all know, an essential part of persuasion is showing you share your audience’s values. We divide the world into US and THEM, and reserve good feeling and thinking for the former. We are tribal creatures, and tribal affiliations exert profound influence on our feeling. Tribalism raises the importance of presenting yourself and your client in a way that allows judges, law clerks, and jurors to relate to you and your client. We need to demonstrate our membership in their “tribe” through common values and beliefs. Persuasion works by accommodating the decision-maker’s existing values, attitudes, and beliefs. But, sharing your audience’s values alone is not sufficient. They also must believe that you know what you are talking about and are qualified as well as trustworthy. We tend to trust those who trust us. Integrity and competence serve as general markers of trustworthiness. We think well of people who think well of us. Respect and value the person you are talking to. We give respect and generosity to those who give it to us. We give what we get, and so does most everyone else.

When people show no commitment to accuracy, fairness, or reasonableness, you cannot rely on them to tell you the full truth, to interpret things fairly, to make reasonable requests. Tell the truth — including the essential bad parts. We trust people who clearly care about accuracy, fairness, and reasonableness. As an example one book author says: “While an evangelical Christian will respect you for trying to do what Jesus would do, he still won’t let you remove his appendix.” The audience must consider you a sensible person, as well as sufficiently knowledgeable and trustworthy before they will follow you.

We know emotion plays a role in every decision we make. When we communicate emotionally we should always speak simply. The most emotional words of all have just four letters. Less is more, and in pathetic terms, less evokes more. In general we should always use simple speech, but do not use fancy language when you get emotional. Instead, keep everything simple. The moment you begin to confuse someone, to make him think, the frown deepens, the arms cross. Make everything as simple and concrete as possible (while maintaining accuracy). Use language, voice, and body to help the jurors follow, understand, and engage. Make the words no longer than it needs to be. Develop these skills because there is no time or mental space to think about technique during trial. Use simple language and avoid jargon. Make it interesting, clear, and easy.

Try to make your audience feel powerful. Give them a sense of self-control. Research shows that people who feel powerless tend to lash out more.

As you know, how you describe or frame an issue is important. Here are framing techniques: First, find audience commonplace words that favor you. Next, define the issue in the broadest context—one that appeals to the values of the widest audience. Then deal with the specific problem or choice, making sure you speak in the future tense.

We make moral judgments intuitively and automatically. Only then do we rationalize them. The unconscious feeds snap judgments to the conscious. Snap judgments come from the interplay of (a) the feelings and thoughts active in our minds, (b) trust or distrust in the source of the new information, and (c) the new information itself. Snap judgments are usually final judgments. If a judge or juror has already figured a thing out in the past, it is going to take some doing to move them off their pre-written answer. If you have already committed to an idea, hearing strong arguments against it can deepen your commitment to the idea. The emotional tail wags the rational dog. Or, in Jonathan Haidt’s metaphor, emotion is an untrained elephant, and the rational mind is a rider. The rider mostly just goes along for the rids but comes up with reasons to justify what the elephant is doing.

The progressive view is that democracy depends on citizens caring about each other and taking responsibility both for themselves and for others. This yields a view of government with a moral mission: to protect and empower all citizens equally. Conservatives hold the opposite view: that democracy exists to provide citizens with the maximum liberty to pursue their self-interest with little or no commitment to the interests of others. Under this view, there should be as little of the public involved as possible. Instead, as much as possible should be relegated to what we call the private self-interest. Whatever our moral sensibilities, we take pleasure in altruistic punishment. When someone breaks the rules in a way that threatens to harm others, we enjoy punishing the rule-breaker.


These are a few of the ideas from these two excellent books worth considering.


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