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Hot Coffee – Movies for Lawyers – The Act Of Communication Point Of View

26 October 2011

From Katherine:

The controversial legal documentary HOT COFFEE is gaining all kinds of momentum and it certainly bears watching by attorneys who try cases for a number of reasons. The McDonald’s Case, which launched a great cultural tidal wave in the way that Americans look at courtroom justice, is the subject matter. If you try cases you know that you deal with this case and the OJ case – and will do so into the future. It really doesn’t matter if you are a proud consumer attorney or loathe them and call them “ambulance chasers”, the movement surrounding this film is growing and real and you need to pay attention to it.

Some facts, counselor — director/producer Susan Saladoff spent 25 years as an attorney. The film was a selection at both Sundance AND at Silverdocs. It has been featured on HBO Documentaries, is coming out on DVD November 1st, and Ms. Saladoff appears on The Colbert Report October 25, 2011 in addition to her many other television and radio appearances.

Now, my opinion, counselor. If you use visuals in the courtroom – and if you don’t, then the jurors believe that you are everything from “cheesy” to “uncaring” to “unprepared” (just to quote a few) – this is the ULTIMATE courtroom storytelling video. As you watch it, please think to yourself from time to time, “I wonder if I could get away with showing something like this in court?” Challenge yourself. This is unrestricted persuasive visual courtroom storytelling. Before you say “no way can I do this with my cases!” ask someone. There are many visual consultants who do trial work – you can find a number of them on the American Society of Trial Consultants website who can help you.

TIP: Are your visuals telling a compelling story?

Movies For Lawyers

2 Comments to “Hot Coffee – Movies for Lawyers – The Act Of Communication Point Of View”

  1. Great post, Katherine–I appreciate the points you made about visual storytelling. I’d add that in addition to challenging yourself to think of what you can present visually in the courtroom, attorneys should think of how they can bring persuasive visual storytelling into mediation. “Anything goes”–almost–in mediation, and given that only a small fraction of cases make it to trial, I encourage attorneys to think of mediation as trial and to put on their best case at mediation, using visuals for optimal results. For more info if your readers are interested, I suggest my blog post “Why Attorneys Should Treat Mediation Like Trial” http://cogentlegal.com/blog/2011/06/10/why-attorneys-should-treat-mediation-like-trial/
    Morgan Smith
    owner, Cogent Legal

    • Katherine James & Alan Blumenfeld

      Thank you so much, Morgan. If you don’t mind, we can repost your blog. I think it would be of great help and value

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