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How to Use the Skills of a Lawyer in the Trials of Your Life

Written by Lis WiehlAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Lis Wiehl


List Price: $13.99


On Sale: April 27, 2004
Pages: 0 | ISBN: 978-0-345-47831-3
Published by : Ballantine Books Ballantine Group

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Whether you’re hoping to obtain a raise from your boss, convince an insurance claim representative to reimburse your medical treatment, or persuade your spouse into spending less time watching TV and more time with you, Winning Every Time will be your guide for truly practical and helpful advice about how to make that case effectively—and win it hands down. Too often we argue conclusions without the benefit of a premise, react from anger instead of presenting hard facts, feel defensive when sensing resistance, or fail to make calm, irrefutable counterarguments. In this dynamic, groundbreaking book, Lis Wiehl shows how to apply the skills, smarts, and strategies of a lawyer and stay in command whenever life makes you feel as though you are on trial.

Writing in an engaging, accessible style, Wiehl teaches you how to become your own best advocate, so you can plead your case with precision—and win the hearts (and change the minds) of even the most recalcitrant “juror.” You’ll learn the eight easy-to-follow rules of persuasion to winning a case:

Know What You Want: The Theory of the Case—outline your premise clearly and establish your objective accordingly
Choose and Cultivate Your Audience: Voir Dire— bring your case to the person who “calls the shots” and know the perfect time and place to do so
Marshal Your Evidence: Discovery—assemble all the facts that support your cause, even information that may challenge your objective
Advocate with Confidence: Making the Case—present your opening argument and offer your evidence calmly and methodically
Counter the Claims: Cross-examination—challenge your opponent’s allegations consistently, but gently, through a series of “yes or no” questions
Stay True to Your Case: Avoid the Seven Deadly Spins—keep your argument authentic by avoiding false inferences, hearsay, and subjectivity
Advocate with Heart: Let Me Tell You a Story—make your case personal with a special story that will convey your message in a memorable way
Sum It Up: The Closing Argument—deliver a fervent and succinct summation of your theory and evidence . . . and close the deal

Along with practical advice on how to state your case effectively and come out on top, this remarkable book features incisive stories from real people who have transformed their lives through advocacy. With amazing, result-oriented strategies, Winning Every Times will help you stay in command whenever life makes you feel as though you are on trial.

From the Hardcover edition.
Lis Wiehl|Author Q&A

About Lis Wiehl

Lis Wiehl - Winning Every Time
Lis Wiehl is one of the nation’s most prominent trial lawyers and highly regarded commentators. The author of Winning Every Time, she is also the legal analyst on the Fox News Channel and Bill O’Reilly’s co-host and sparring partner on Radio Factor. A graduate of Harvard Law, Wiehl has never lost a case. She lives with her husband and two children in Westchester County, New York.
To schedule a speaking engagement, please contact American Program Bureau at www.apbspeakers.com  

Author Q&A

A Conversation with Lis Wiehl,

Author of

How to Use the Skills of a Lawyer
in the Trials of Your Life

What prompted you to write WINNING VERY TIME?
A paralegal came into my office in tears one day asking for advice about a conflict in the office. She had received a negative review for the first time in the ten years she had worked with us and was worried about her job. Drawing on my legal training, I coached her as she formulated her case, gathered her evidence, and honed her arguments. Ultimately she won–her supervisor agreed to amend the review. It was then that I realized that the logical and rational techniques I had learned in law school could be applied not only to legal problems but to the difficulties everyone experiences in everyday life.

Can non-lawyers really use legal techniques to win confrontations?
All of us have to stand up for ourselves every day, but too often our personal insecurities, weaknesses and hang-ups make it difficult to express–and attain–what we really want. In WINNING EVERY TIME I explain how anyone can take advantage of the valuable set of practices and strategies lawyers use to win their cases in the courtroom in order to rise above the helplessness they feel in conflicts at work, at home, and in life. And as I break down the strategies that lawyers employ, I show that the skills of a lawyer are empowering, not intimidating. These skills help organize logic, compose passions, measure arguments, and stay focused on genuine goals.

But legal strategies seem to be all about winning at all costs. How can they assist in resolving conflicts satisfactorily for both sides?
Let’s be clear. I’m not out to make a litigious society more litigious, telling you how to take your neighbor to court because his fence is too high. My book tells you how to solve problems–everyday problems–using the language, skills, and techniques lawyers employ during conflict resolution. Sometimes this means discovering you’re wrong. If the facts and the morality of the situation are not really in your favor, you have to get off your high horse and admit you’re wrong. Happiness is a by-product of achieving a just result, not achieving the result at the cost of all others.

What are the most important skills you have learned as a lawyer?
The most important skills are the Eight Steps I outline in this book. And they start with perhaps the most important skill–knowing your theory of the case. If you don’t figure out what it is you want before you start, you’re like a ship without a rudder–off course from the moment you leave the dock.

Can you explain the Eight Steps to winning a case?
Step 1. Know Your Theory of the Case. What is it you want?
Step 2. Voir Dire. Who can give you what you want? And where and when are you going to talk to that "juror?"
Step 3. Discovery. Find the facts to support your case and find what the other side might use to destroy it.
Step 4. Make Your Case. Confidently state your theory, demonstrate the facts that will entitle you to a favorable verdict, and request the outcome you want.
Step 5. Cross-examination. Get the other side to agree to evidence that supports your case.
Step 6. Avoid the Spins. Stay true to your case by avoiding hearsay, last minute charges, and resorting to emotion.
Step 7. Tell a Story. Advocate with heart by telling a relevant story that humanizes what you want and wins the heart of your decision maker.
And Step 8. Sum It Up. Having made the best possible case, close the deal by restating what you want–your theory of the case–and asking your juror to give it to you.

What mistakes do most people typically make while pleading their cases?
Perhaps the biggest mistake is allowing manipulative techniques to creep into relationships and negotiations. In the clutch is the most important time to keep the argument authentic and avoid reacting with inappropriate emotion. If you’re using the Eight Steps, you won’t rely on hearsay, toss in additional charges, or make subjective characterizations. By eliminating reliance on these self-destructive techniques, you’ll be using the vastly more rational, effective strategies outlined throughout the book.

Can these techniques be used with family members?
Absolutely. I dedicate an entire chapter to advocating with loved ones and another chapter on effective parenting. While I was writing the book, I coached more than fifty people on how to use the Eight Steps to better their lives. I helped them improve their relationships, convince their kids to do their homework, negotiate family vacations without hurting feelings, and even, have a better sex life.

Have these skills helped you in your life?
I would never have gotten the job at Fox without using these skills and discovering my “inner advocate.” And I draw on these skills as I handle the stress of being a single mom, a commuter, a sister, a friend, a chauffeur, a tutor, a handywoman, a bookkeeper. I’ve used the Eight Steps everywhere from the Stop & Shop when I had groceries but no wallet…to dealing with the cable company….to dealing with Bill O’Reilly on air.

What is it like going up against Bill O’Reilly?
He’s the toughest defense attorney, judge, and prosecutor combined. I stay calm, and when I get his goat–I know I’m winning.

Do you use these steps to discipline your kids?
Yes. The Eight Steps provide the structure that child psychologists recommend, and I’ve found they’re useful in many kinds of parent-child interactions. Not long ago I had a touchy incident with one of my children–and found myself in the kind of situation a lot of parents might find familiar. Preparing to do a load of laundry, I found several candy wrappers in my son Jacob’s jeans. I knew I hadn’t bought him the candy, and thinking back over his activities over the last couple of days, I had an unsettling idea of where he had gotten it. Because ten-year-old Jacob prides himself on being a good kid, I knew that it would be of limited value to accuse him directly. He would clam up and deny everything, then agonize about his lying in a way that would ultimately be counterproductive. Instead, when he came in from playing that afternoon, I showed him the candy wrappers and asked him if we could figure out together where they had come from. We did, and he willingly went to the store and paid the manager for the candy he had shoplifted.

Your father is an attorney. Did he make you go to law school?
Absolutely not. In fact, my family was surprised both that I wanted to go to law school and that I got into Harvard. I had been offered a job with Ladies’ Home Journal as an assistant editor when I received my acceptance letter from Harvard. But the editor there encouraged me to go to Harvard. She said, “We’ll be here when you finish.”

From the Hardcover edition.



“This book will jump start your life immediately!”

“This practical and very entertaining book isn’t really about law at all, but about how to even the playing field—about how everyone else can use legal thinking to have that edge in life.”
—DAN ABRAMS, chief legal correspondent for NBC

“With humor and insight, Wiehl effectively translates the best talents of a trial lawyer into tools anyone can use. Win—at work, at home, and, ultimately, in life itself.”
—CATHERINE CRIER, Court TV anchor, former judge
and author of The Case Against Lawyers

“Finally—there is something Conservatives and Liberals can agree on! Lis Wiehl’s book will make you a winner!”
—SEAN HANNITY, Fox News Channel anchor, Hannity & Colmes

“Don’t give this book to your friends, colleagues, [or] loved ones. If you do, then they’ll know the special techniques necessary to continually win arguments and convince you they’re right.”
—ALAN COLMES, Fox News Channel anchor, Hannity & Colmes

“This is a terrific, useful, and usable guide to help us find our way around the roadblocks in life.”
—GERALDO RIVERA, Fox News Channel anchor,
At Large with Geraldo Rivera

“I can’t believe I wasted all that money on law school. For twenty-five bucks, Lis Wiehl taught me all I need to know and more!”
—MICKEY SHERMAN, CBS News legal analyst and criminal-defense attorney

“From my heart and head I love this book. It’s fun, practical, and very real. With intelligence and humor, Lis Wiehl shows us how everyone can tackle life’s challenges.
—RIKKI KLIEMAN, legal analyst for Today, NBC-TV

“Lis Wiehl has done a terrific job of applying the best of legal professionalism to everyone’s life. She tells about individuals with real problems, and then shows you how to solve your problems with a lawyer’s techniques.”
—ANTHONY LEWIS, New York Times columnist
and Pultizer Prize–winning author

From the Hardcover edition.

  • Winning Every Time by Lis Wiehl
  • April 26, 2005
  • Self Help - Success; Self Help
  • Ballantine Books
  • $14.95
  • 9780345469205

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