Ten 50-55 minute videos
These timeless classic videos are an incredible blend of legal knowledge and legal history as told by one of the greatest trial lawyers in American history. This ten-volume series packaged in five remastered digital DVDs incudes these 50-55 minute programs: I. ACCEPTING A CASE; II. PRE-TRIAL PREPARATION; III. PRESENTING THE CASE; IV. OPENINGS & CLOSINGS; V. DEMONSTRATIVE EVIDENCE; VI. COURTROOM TACTICS; VII. CRIMINAL DEFENSES; VII. WINNING ON APPEAL; IX. AWARDS AND SETTLEMENTS; X. LEGAL ETHICS. Melvin Belli arguably raised more award ceilings and set more legal precedents than any lawyer in American History. His work in representing victims of personal injury and in raising personal injury awards to then-unprecedented heights earned him the title of "The King of Torts" by Life Magazine. He has also been called the "Father of Demonstrative Evidence" for his pioneering work in illustrating in court the nature of his clients' injuries. His early use of photographs, movies, scale models, human skeletons, animals, prostheses, and other devices was dramatic, riveting and highly effective. High profile clients of Melvin Belli's law firm have included Mae West, Errol Flynn, Tony Curtis, Lenny Bruce, Zsa Zsa Gabor, The Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, Muhammad Ali, Alex Haley, Nick Nolte, Mickey Cohen and the criminal defense of Jack Ruby, on trial for the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin of President John F. Kennedy; the shooting of Korean Air Line Flight 0007 by a Soviet jet fighter; torture and beating cases against the late Philippine President, Ferdinand Marcos; MGM Grand Hotel fire in Las Vegas; Union Carbide chemical disaster in Bhopal, India; Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska; defective silicone gel breast implants, etc.. This timeless series of videos captures the essence of Dr. Belli's legal acumen that has been seen by thousands of lawyers, judges, law students and laymen around the world as the strategies and principles he discusses are more relevant today than ever before.
Attributes of a good trial lawyer; Why to accept a case; Why not to take a case; A lawyer’s duty; Liability and damages; What a case is worth; The Gluckstein case; Trial lawyers and insurance company lawyers; Purpose of the initial client interview; Cases to avoid; Jurisdiction questions; Statutes of limitation; Accepting criminal cases; The Jack Ruby Case; The lying client; The role of your investigator; Setting legal precedents; Determining compensation; Stare decisis; Res Ipsa Loquitur; Libel and slander cases; Dramshop liability; Divorce cases; The Frank Sullivan case; Personal injury cases; Other kinds of cases; Contributory negligence; Contingency basis and fees; Referring cases to other lawyers; “Captain of the Ship”; A lawyer’s responsibility to his client; Avoiding legal malpractice errors; and more.
Organizing client files; Assembling the trial team; How and where to do research; “A good investigator is worth his weight in gold”; Locating witnesses; Deposing witnesses; The Irene Kincaid case; The race of disclosure; Key elements of discovery; Checking and rechecking documents; Why to always examine evidence and check police reports yourself; Preparing case law; “Trial by brochure”; Capt. Fred Rickenbeil case; Visiting the scene of the accident; Preliminary hearings; Maintaining good calendar; Preparing civil and criminal cases; “Take nothing for granted”; Errors in preparation; The Alaskan Twins case; Producing the “Day in the life of” films; The Case of the Reluctant Stud; selecting expert witnesses; handling clients’ emotional demands; Avoiding mistakes; Pre-trial settlement talks; and more.
Preliminary hearings; Exemptions from discovery; Counteracting your opponent’s deceptiveness; Protecting your plaintiff; Picking the jury; Voir Dire strategies; the “fat juror”; Learning about an unfamiliar community; Preceded by reputation; Preparing your witnesses for the stand; Purpose of exclusionary hearing; Motions: to quash, dismiss, demur, lack of jurisdiction by grand jury, improper form, misjoinder of offenses, insufficiency of facts, consolidation, severance, sequestration of witnesses; “Trial by ambush”; When to object; Overruled objections; How objections can hurt you; How to “read” a witness; “Educating” the jury; The jury’s view of the lawyer / client relationship; Dismissing a witness; Motions during trial; The “Texas objection”; San Francisco Giants breach of warranty case; Making case weaknesses into strengths; Handling medical experts; The chess game of courtroom procedure; and more.
The excitement of trying a new case; Purpose of the opening statement; Developing the case theme or sobriquet; Why to prepare your closing statement first; The Escola v. Coca-Cola case; The use of parables and analogies; Use of the “Golden Rule” when educating the jury; The Victor Hungerford case; The lawyer’s attitude toward a judge; Brevity and succinctness; Reading the jury while orating; The Reckenbeil closing; Attacking the opponents’ arguments; “Speaking objections”; Flukes and luck; Special issues and instructions; The most effective closing words ever used; How much to allow for rebuttal; “When the doves fly”; The danger of overconfidence; Use of demonstration evidence; Key mistakes to avoid in summation; and more.
Original use in criminal trials; “Father of demonstrative evidence”; Ernie Smith case and the drawer of shivs; Words vs. pictures - show rather than tell; Use of aerial photographs; Blow-up documents; Models and exhibits; “Day in the life of” films; “Elmer” the skeleton; X-rays; The plaintiff’s physical body; The Chester Bryant case against the cable car company; Using a blackboard to compute awards; The Katherine Jeffers case and the artificial leg; The crushed urethra rod; “The Adequate Award”; The case of Wimbledon champion Maureen Connolly; “A Day in the Life of Brian May”; Experiments outside the courtroom; Ways to use computer animation; Medical chart, anatomical drawings and micro photography; Microbiological forensics; Use of common objects; Videotaped depositions; and more.
“The courtroom is a theatre”; How to enter the courtroom; Using your physical tools - hands, eyes, voice, pacing, etc.; How to best display your witness; The Gertrude Jenkins case; Waiting for and recognizing opportunities during trial; The Maggot Therapy case; The Salk Polio Vaccine case; Tricks to get evidence introduced; John Knight in the Judge’s chambers; “Be yourself”; “Last clear chance”; The use of silence; The power of tears; Candor, frankness and sincerity; The best way to use the transcript; Trial delays; Cross-examining witnesses and experts; Discrepancies in the dispositions; Hearing “The angels sing and the cash register ring”; Gluckstein disrobes in chambers; Things lawyers should never do in trial; and more.
“Client is not guilty until proven guilty”; Lawyer’s job is to find that “little bit of goodness”; Bail options; Problems imposed on a lawyer by the criminal justice system; The Soledad Brothers case; Picking the jury; Defending Mickey Cohen; The Jack Ruby case and Texas justice; Lawyer’s instructions to his criminal client; Criminal trial notebook; Addressing indictment charges; Discovery process; Plea-bargaining; Grooming defendant for the stand; How the jury views your defendant; How the defendant can best help his attorney; Military justice; Grounds for dismissal; How to handle improper matters - go sidebar; Motion for acquittal; Making white collar cases simple; Cases at San Quentin; Death penalty cases; Pros and cons of the insanity defense; Drunk driving cases; “Summation is not an argument”; and more.
Trying a case on appeal; The appeal record; Motion for a new trial; Classic grounds for appeal; Essential elements in the appeal brief; Role of the court record; How court reporters, record clerks, and transcribers can help or hurt you; The timeliness factor; The Cutter case - negligence and breech of warranty; The Major Victor Hungerford case - statute precedent; The Jack Ruby case; Geographical differences in the court system; Certiorari; Stays and injunctions; Preserving demonstrative evidence for the record; The Simon case - last fair chance; Settling using high/low; Criminal appeal in the Sylvio Tosi case; Dealing with the client relationship through the appeal process; When a lawyer should not represent his client on appeal; Protecting against malpractice errors; Preparation for the U.S. Supreme Court; and more.
“The Adequate Award”; Progression of awards; Re-establishing award ceilings; How awards vary by geography; Computing damages - extent of injury, pain and suffering, medical bills, loss of earnings, profits or enjoyment, computing inflation, other damages; The Cutter Case; Big money cases; Adequate award and justice; Key elements of good settlement brochures; Dealing with insurance settlers; The Japanese case; Pre-trial settlement evidence and conferences; When to opt for structured settlements; Constructing accurate economic reports; Knowing when to settle; Computing damages before the jury; The jury’s role in awards; Punitive damages; How a simple letter can bring swift settlement; Awards in personal injury, product liability, breach of warranty, medical malpractice, the future of awards; and more.
Why people come to lawyers; The true purpose of law; The lawyer’s role as a citizen; The lawyer’s obligation to his client; Dealing with publicity and fame; Within the boundaries of good taste and judgement; “Ringing the bells”; Why to always defend “the little guy”; Recognizing the right causes; The ethics of self-promotion; Balancing flamboyance and legal acumen; Advantages of membership in legal groups; The lawyer’s role in community service; When to decline a case because of bad ethics; When ethics supersedes profit; Dealing with ethics boards; The value of good media relations; Ethics of the attorney-client relationship; Unethical things a lawyer should never do; Ethical traps to be aware of; Ethics and legal malpractice; How a lawyer can best serve the legal profession; The flowering of American jurisprudence; and more.