In Theater for Trial, David Ball (Damages 3 and Reptile Theory) and Joshua Karton use their extensive professional theater experience to give you practical exercises and strategies for connecting yourself, your case, and your witnesses with the jury. They provide tools available to any attorney—such as voice, presentation, and story structure—and show how to empower juries to take responsibility for righting a wrong.
This book teaches you how to turn every trial into a powerful production that authentically calls forth your best asset: the simple truth, clearly and effectively communicated. Ball and Karton also teach you how to arm jurors to fight for you in deliberations. They offer techniques to improve how you prepare witnesses, create exhibits, present your client, select jurors, and conduct yourself in ways that frame the facts and the law to best engage your audience: the jury.
Ball and Karton combine decades of intensive trial experience with cases from the smallest counties to the halls of the Supreme Court, with lessons from stage and screen to optimize every moment you’re in trial.
David Ball is widely regarded as America’s most productive and influential trial consultant and teacher. He’s a partner in Malekpour & Ball Consulting in North Carolina, and a fifty-year veteran of professional theater and film/video, including his rivetingly awful cult-film classic, Hard Rock Zombies. He was literary director and writer at Minneapolis’s Guthrie and Guthrie 2 theaters, as well as at the Pittsburgh Public Theater; and artistic director of the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Stage Company and Duke Stage Company.
A founder of Reptilian Trial Advocacy, he has written several best-selling trial and theater books, including the theater and film world’s standard classic Backwards and Forwards. He has directed off-Broadway as well as in regional theaters such as Minneapolis’s Guthrie and North Carolina’s Duke Stage Company, where he was artistic and producing director.
His plays have been staged in professional theaters off-Broadway and across the nation, as well as in Canada, Hungary, and Scotland. He taught theater at the University of Minnesota, Lawrence University, and Carnegie- Mellon’s world-renowned drama conservatory, and ran the theater department at Duke University during that department’s golden years. His theater students hold Oscars, Emmys, and Obies; and his Civil-War novel, Swamp Outlaw, is in the top few percent of Amazon Kindle sellers.
He’s perennially in high demand across the country as a CLE speaker. David was trained in psychology and small-group dynamics, science and electrical engineering, literature, and theater, and he was a training counselor at the Minnesota Academy for Seizure Rehabilitation. He was born in the hills of Catskill, New York, and his daddy was an honest-to-God bootlegger. David’s favorite job ever was taxi driver. He no longer wants to be an astronaut when he grows up.
Joshua Karton is the president of Communication Arts and specializes in the application of the communication techniques of theater, film, and television to the art of trial advocacy. Television writing and acting credits range from Forever Fernwood to Beverly Hills 90210. Having trained as an actor at San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater, he returned there to teach after writing and directing the film and video exhibits of Theatrical Evolution, winner of the New York Drama Desk Award.
The creator of Bantam Books’ Film Scenes for Actors series, his museum education programs and installations have been the recipient of grants from the Arco Foundation, the Ford Motor Company Fund, the California Arts Council, and the Kellogg Foundation. He serves on the faculties and develops curriculum for the American Association for Justice, the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyer’s College, the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, the United States Judge Advocate General’s Corps, the American Bar Association, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the National Criminal Defense College, Loyola and California Western Schools of Law, numerous state trial lawyer associations and criminal defense associations, as well as maintaining a professional practice of individual case consultation and witness preparation.
His thirty years of work in this field culminated in his participation in the preparation of the winning oral argument to the United States Supreme Court in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. He is the recipient of the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Advocacy from Stetson University College of Law’s Center for Excellence in Advocacy.