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Episode 118 — Litigating Legends: Lessons Learned from the Nation's Leading Trial Attorneys

When lives hang in the balance, skilled litigators tip the scales of justice. Attorneys carry an incredible opportunity to restore wrongs and shape the future. But to make the change, the battle in court must first be won. Reaching the status of elite trial attorney requires more than the “it” factor. Charisma can only take you so far — so how do you get there?

Excellence has no limit, no perfection that can be reached. You alone determine how far you'll go. Keep learning. Push to improve. Dig deep and spend time with the case. Create focus groups. Craft a more engaging story. 

From authenticity to litigation science, today we hear from some of the nation's most elite trial attorneys featured on The Game Changing Attorney Podcast. We uncover how charisma coupled with attention to detail and telling a better story, all with near-perfect execution, can help attorneys come out on top.

Go All-In

Once a decision has been made, commit to the future and put the past behind you. Set your sights on the new vision and say “no” to the rest. When Joe Fried felt the call to trucking, he heeded the signs and went all-in — overnight. He cast aside a successful practice and never looked back. His acute focus has established him as one of the most elite trucking attorneys in the country.

Know Who You Are

Take the cases that light you up — the ones that galvanize you to fight another day. Above all, remain authentic. Learn from those who came before, but adapt their wisdom to your unique style. Mark Lanier can carefully pick and choose his cases. For those who might lack the luxury of discretion, he advises attorneys to settle every case they take on justly.

"The more we understand ourselves, the more honest we'll be. All jurors seek authenticity. They sniff out the fake answers. And once they do, they discount what I say. I try to be genuine. In the process, people may not agree with everything I say — but they respect that I am giving them what I believe to be the truth." - Mark Lanier

Hall of Fame Trial Attorney Mike Papantonio sees authenticity and brand as synonymous. And while the impact of a good brand can be difficult to measure, it is one of the most important aspects of any firm. Going well beyond radio ad messaging, the brand informs how relationships are built — and maintained. This in turn drives reputation and referrals.

Level Up

Sean Claggett believes that lawyers are commodities that can be invested in — or not. But the attorneys that pour in resources and continue to improve will outshine their peers and rise through the ranks. 

Improvement is more than the work done internally. It is also improving communication — and persuasion. Through storytelling, renowned trial attorney Randi McGinn shifts jury knowledge to wisdom. She breaks down the components of what transforms linear facts into engaging and persuasive narratives.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Links & Resources

Author

Michael Mogill, Crisp, Joe Fried, Mark Lanier, Mike Papantonio, Sean Claggett, and Randi McGinn