News & Events

What Trial Lawyers and Consultants Can Learn From Songwriters

June 09, 2011

Tom McCarthy was invited to speak at the annual meeting of the American Society of Trial Consultants in New Orleans on June 9.

In addition to being a trial lawyer, Tom is also a guitar player and songwriter. He engaged the audience of trial lawyers and consultants by describing how the tools and techniques used by songwriters to write compelling and memorable songs – including rhythm, repetition, and theme – can be used by lawyers to prepare effective opening and closing arguments.  The audience learned a number of song writing techniques applicable to creating opening and closing arguments including:

  • Dig beneath the obvious theme of the case to find a compelling example or imagery that sums up the theme.
  • Create a hook – a memorable statement or image that represents your client’s argument – and repeat it throughout the trial.

Conference attendee, Morgan C. Smith, a San Francisco attorney and trial consultant described Tom’s presentation on his blog as “one of the best presentations I’ve seen for trial attorneys in years.”


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