What litigators and broadcast journalists have in common

AuthorScott Arnold
g Winer 2015
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hether you’re standing in front of a judge, 12 jurors
or the business end of a TV camera, you’re working to com-
municate in the most eective way possible. Regardless of
whether your viewers are in the same room or in another country, the best
way to make your points involves doing a lot of the same things, including
speaking in a conversational way, simplifying and bottom-lining things as
much as you reasonably can, recognizing and addressing what the crux
of the issue actually is, and putting yourself in the shoes of those who are
listening to you.
Before becoming a lawyer who spends most of my days on my feet in
court, I spent nearly a decade as a TV news reporter covering everything
from crime to politics to groundhog activity on February 2. In both lines
of work, I’ve also had a front row seat to watch others on the job and have
seen the full quality-range of advocacy and oral communication– from
the masterful to the gruesome.
In my experience, the most eective litigators and most eective broadcast
journalists have a number of qualities in common. Here are a few of them.
“Ocer Chan, did you have occasion to make observations with respect to the
accused’s attire while conducting the initial stages of your surveillance on the

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