National Institute for Trial Advocacy Publishes Facts Can’t Speak for Themselves

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An invitation to book reviewers.

The National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA), recognized for more than 35 years as the nation’s leading provider of litigation skills training, invites you to review Facts Can’t Speak for Themselves: Reveal the Stories That Give Facts Their Meaning, by Eric Oliver, the complete lawyer’s guide to crafting effective case stories for juries and judges. The response to the book from many of the nation’s top litigators has been enthusiastic: on October 13, NITA will present its material as a one-day continuing legal education course.

“What could be more fundamental to those of us who are in the profession of trial litigation than an accurate understanding about how people process information? Eric Oliver's book clears away…mistaken beliefs and provides a correct explanation about how judges and juries really utilize our communications. Applying his knowledge and understanding in this book will improve every lawyer's skill and ability… This is a book every trial lawyer should own.”—Paul Luvera, The Luvera Law Firm, Seattle

“I was not at all surprised at the superior quality of Eric’s new book…His book achieves a daunting goal - codification of his creative and powerful cutting-edge techniques for communicating with jurors…This may be the most important book a lawyer will ever read.”—Keith Hebiesen, Clifford Law Offices, Chicago

Judges and juries construct and reconstruct their view of the reality surrounding a case many times before arriving at their final version of the “truth.” The stories these decision-makers tell themselves affect a verdict as strongly as their own life histories or the trial attorney’s demeanor in court. This groundbreaking book offers straightforward steps for trial professionals to identify and use these stories to persuade the decision-maker to adopt their client’s account of what happened.

Readers will learn:

  • How and why legal decision-makers construct their own case stories and use them to decide a case
  • Why it’s essential to communicate a case to decision-makers as a story
  • Which focus groups best reveal the range of story versions listeners can build from a case
  • How to run voir dire like focus groups and focus groups like voir dire
  • Why never to ask focus group members which side of a case they like
  • Why to think twice before ever again asking a “why” question in voir dire or focus groups

About the Author

For more than 20 years, Eric Oliver has taught nonverbal, verbal, and implicit communication to litigators, helping them to prepare and present more listener-friendly cases in court and in settlement negotiations. In trainings at major law firms and bar associations, he shows lawyers how to build a presentation plan for each case that integrates the verbal, visual, and personal parts of the trial based on jurors’ needs and expectations as uncovered in focus groups and voir dire. His work has been the subject of feature articles in Lawyers Weekly and ABA Journal. Oliver is founder of the communications consulting firm MetaSystems, Ltd.

About the Book

Published January 2006, $60.00, 564 pp., ISBN 1-55681-790-8

Books can be purchased by calling (800) 225-6482 or by visiting

Note to editors: Please send two copies of tear sheets to the address below. If you would like a complimentary review copy of Facts Can’t Speak for Themselves, or would like to arrange an interview with the author, please contact:

Sara Musfeldt

Publications Marketing Manager

National Institute for Trial Advocacy

361 Centennial Parkway, Suite 220

Louisville, CO 80027-1284

Phone: (877) 648-2632; Fax: (720) 890-7069

About NITA

The National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) is the nation’s leading provider of litigation skills training. A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization based in Louisville, Colorado, NITA pioneered its unique learn-by-doing methodology over 35 years ago and has remained the gold standard in continuing legal education ever since. With an average student/faculty ratio of 4:1 and an all-volunteer faculty drawn from a cadre of judges, law professors and practicing attorneys, attendees at NITA’s week-long basic trial skills “boot camps” experience significant improvement in their ability to advocate for their clients. NITA places a special emphasis on training lawyers who work in child advocacy, tribal law, death penalty defense and violence against women. NITA is also the nation’s third largest publisher of legal texts, many of which are used by renowned law schools.

For more information, visit


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