Friday, September 30, 2011


A Critique of the Prosecution of Jesus

It’s an understatement to say that our co-author Bob Dekle is a prolific writer. Within the last couple years, he has co-authored Cross-Examination Handbook, authored his Bundy book, and now his book on the prosecution of Jesus has just been published and is available on The following is what his publisher, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, says about the book:

“Some two thousand years ago, in a small province of the Roman Empire, an obscure Roman governor ordered the execution of a peasant leader. It went virtually unnoticed at the time. No official report of the event has survived, and we would have no memory at all of it except for the efforts of a handful of followers of the condemned man. Those followers who kept that memory alive changed the course of history, and the results of their efforts continue to reverberate to this day.

“Conventional interpretation says that the execution of Jesus of Nazareth came on the heels of a series illegal trials before a number of different tribunals, and at the culmination of that series of trials a moral coward by the name of Pontius Pilate ordered Jesus’ execution despite being satisfied that he was innocent. Revisionist interpretation says that there was no trial at all, that Pilate simply executed Jesus because he was a nuisance, and that Jesus’ followers invented the story of his execution as a means of shifting the blame from the Roman government to a group of people whom they despised – the Jews.

“Are the Gospels good history or bad propaganda? Does a fair reading of the Gospel accounts support either the conventional or the revisionist interpretation of the trial of Jesus? Who, if anyone, should shoulder the blame for the crucifixion of Jesus? The Case against Christ seeks to answer these questions by treating the matter as a forensic death investigation and answering the questions as they might be answered by a prosecutor attempting to determine who should be held criminally responsible for the death of Jesus.”

Friday, September 23, 2011


Bailey Brothers Illustrate the Contradiction Technique

SHOW THE STORY: The Power of Visual Advocacy, Trial Guides (2011) by William and Robert Bailey offers a superb example of the cross-examination contradiction technique. The essence of the technique is to lock the witness into testimony that can be proven false.

SHOW THE STORY explains how trial lawyers can tell the story of the case powerfully with visuals. To illustrate the importance of visual persuasion, the Baileys use an Everett, Washington murder case. In 1917, members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW - a labor movement organization) aboard the ferry Verona sailed into an Everett dock on their way to a demonstration. Sheriff’s deputies and citizens were there to greet them. Shots were exchanged and five IWW members and two deputy Sheriffs were killed.

SHOW THE STORY tells how George Vanderveer, who represented accused murderer Tom Tracy, employed visuals to contradict the witnesses. At the time of the shooting, the bow of the boat was at almost a ninety degree angle to the dock. The only evidence that Tracy had shot the deputy was the eyewitness testimony of witness who claimed they could see him shooting from a port side window.

SHOW THE STORY contains archival photos, diagrams and charts to tell the story that it was impossible for the witnesses to see Tracy shooting from the port window. The book describes what happened at trial:

“When the trial began, one after another prosecution witness got on the stand and identified Tom Tracy as having fired a gun from a window on the port side of the Verona. Sheriff McRae was first up, and Vanderveer eagerly pounced on him when it came time for cross-examination. He staged the scene in the courtroom with a physical demonstration showing that the sheriff’s view was completely cut off. Confidence shaken, backpedaling, Sheriff McRae left the stand with his credibility in ruins.

“Deputy Sheriffs William Bridge and “Honest” John Hogan did no better than their boss. Using a scale model of the Verona, Vanderveer proved that it would have been physically impossible for either deputy to have seen the deputy’s face.”

SHOW THE STORY contains a treasure trove of ideas and illustrations that will enable trial lawyers to visually tell a persuasive story of the case. The book can be obtained at the Trial Guide Publishers website. Learn more about the cross-examination confrontation technique in Cross-Examination Handbook.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Give Punch to Impeachment with Visuals

Our co-author Bill Bailey and his brother Robert have just had their book SHOW THE STORY: The Power of Visual Advocacy published by Trial Guides. This is the quintessential trial advocacy guidebook on how to bring the trial story alive in the courtroom through visuals.

This includes cross-examination. One example of how visuals can have impact during cross is offered during Bill Bailey’s informative interview of Federal Court Judge Marsha Peckman, as follows:

“WB (William Bailey): Have you seen any effective impeachments in trial by video-deposition excerpts?

“MP (Marsha Pechman): Only one time, in a patent case. One of the key issues was who designed the invention first. At trial, the lawyer put up the video clip of the same question being asked in the deposition, along with the transcript. I got to see not only the words but, side by side, what the witness looked like the first time the question was posed.

“WB: That must have been devastating.

“MP: It was, absolutely convincing me that this witness was lying about when it was that he invented this thing. He was rolling back the clock to try and beat the other guy’s invention.”

Show the Story has drawn praise from many of the best:

“It’s easy to convince lawyers that visuals are important. It’s not easy to teach lawyers how to create and use visuals well. Show the Story is the fix. This book is beautifully designed and written, and teeming with essential guidance. In the best tradition of Trial Guides, it is a crucial read.”
David Ball, author of Reptile and David Ball on Damages 3

“If lawyers employ the sophisticated visual strategies presented in this book, they will have a distinct advantage over those who do not. All will benefit greatly from this text. Bravo!”
Kathleen Flynn Peterson, fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, past president of the American Association for Justice

The authors certainly know their subject. Bill Bailey is an outstanding trial lawyer in Seattle, author of articles on trial techniques and adjunct professor at Seattle University Law School. His numerous awards include Best Lawyers in America, WSAJ Trial Lawyer of the Year, and National Law Journal Litigator of the Month. Bill teamed with his brother, Robert, to produce the book. Robert, who lives and operates his consulting business Trial by Design ( in the San Francisco Bay Area, is a nationally recognized trial consultant who concentrates on story development and visual communication.

Show the Story can be obtained by clicking here for Trial Guides.


Part I: Visual Learning
1. Our Visual World
2. Communicating Visually

Part II: Show the Story
3. Thinking Like a Film Director
4. Establishing the Story’s Settings
5. Introducing Characters Visually
6. Presenting the Story’s Rule of Theme
7. Setting Up the Conflict
8. Showing the Standards
9. Identifying Character Choices and Actions
10. Re-creating Climactic Moments
11. Seeing the Big Picture

Part III: Visual Tools and Techniques
12. Making Your Case Stick
13. How Tech Savvy Should I Be?
14. Employing the Locus in Quo
15. Building the Theme
16. Creating Computer Illustrations and Animations
17. Working with Computer-Graphics Specialists
18. Avoiding the Pitfalls
19. Exmaining Computer-Illustration Case Studies
20. Creating Illustrations from Source Material
21. Using Google Earth

Part IV: Visual Foundation
22. Hearing a Judge’s Perspective
23. Dealing with Evidentiary and Ethical Issues
24. Enhancing Reality
25. Expanding Traditional Evidence Rules
26. Winning an Admissibility Knife Fight
27. Turning the Weapon Around: Defense into Offense
28. The Future Is Now

A. Defending with Visuals
B. The Defense Playbook