Eight Traits of Great Trial Lawyers: A Federal Judge’s View on How to Shed the Moniker “I Am a Litigator” by Judge Mark Bennett is an excellent overview of the skills necessary for effective trial practice. He covers eight topics: spellbinding raconteur, grit, virtuoso cross-examiner, preparation, unfailing courtesy, great listener, unsurpassed judgment, and reasonableness. And in each section he recommends a number of great resources to rely on. But more than that, it’s just good, grounded writing from a seasoned District Court Judge.
I particularly like how he ended the article with the following quote from President John Calvin Coolidge, Jr.:
“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”