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The Power of Practicing the Litigation Fundamentals

Professional musicians still play the scales. Major league baseball players regularly hit baseballs off tees. Yet when trial lawyers think about “practice,” we generally associate it with full rehearsals of opening and closing statements, or as scrimmages staged for mock juries and focus groups. While doing a full-blown dry run is obviously a useful exercise, there is a more elementary type of practice that is also effective—both for the novice and the seasoned trial lawyer—which involves practicing the fundamentals. Not unlike playing the scales or hitting off the tee, practicing basic phrases, techniques, and key portions of presentations will create the muscle memory that will not only polish your performance but also help you think more quickly under fire.

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This article first appeared in the October 2013 issue of the Michigan Bar Journal.

© 2020 Varnum LLPNational Law Review, Volume III, Number 288


About this Author

Ron Dewaard, Varnum, litigation attorney

Ron is a trial lawyer and former federal prosecutor who concentrates his practice in civil and white collar litigation, as well as internal investigations. He is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and has been recognized as one of Michigan's top lawyers by Best Lawyers®Super Lawyers®, Benchmark Litigation© and by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as a Leader in the Law. Ron is also chair of the firm's Litigation Practice Team.

Before joining the firm, Ron served as an Assistant United States...