Personal Thoughts

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Use Stories to Create a Great Opening Statement in Court

This video explains why you should use stories to create a great opening statement in court. Since the opening statement is your first opportunity to tell the jury about your case, use stories to help them process and remember the evidence. In this video, defense attorney Stephen Gustitis describes why using stories is the best [...]

By | June 12th, 2019|Courtroom Trial Practice, Personal Thoughts|Comments Off on Use Stories to Create a Great Opening Statement in Court

Secret Ingredient for a Great Cross Examination is Revealed!

This video explains the secret ingredient for preparing a great cross examination. It avoids cross examination techniques, rather the video explains how deep creative thought is the key to developing a great cross examination in court. Visit https://www.gustitislaw.com for more information about cross examination and the best criminal defense attorney in Bryan-College Station, TX. In [...]

“Safeguarding the Great American Experiment”

I've been remiss. Like my fellow defense attorneys I habitually keep my head buried in court appearances, case law and statutes, cross examination preparation, closing arguments, and customer service. I've been remiss because the daily grind has so easily diverted me from reflecting on a deeper meaning in this work. Namely, safeguarding the great American [...]

By | February 15th, 2016|"Off The Back", Personal Thoughts|Comments Off on “Safeguarding the Great American Experiment”

“Forging Fear Into a Constructive Edge”

When I was prosecuting habitually barking dog cases on a 3rd-year bar card, I wondered when my fear of jury trials would ever end. That was 1989. To this day I remain uneasy and agitated the morning a trial begins. In fact, I'm miserable. Until I speak my first words during voir dire, I'm frightened. I fear [...]

By | November 21st, 2015|"Off The Back", Personal Thoughts|Comments Off on “Forging Fear Into a Constructive Edge”

“A Dark Side of Practicing Law”

Trial lawyers are masters of disguise. They learn to shroud fear, surprise, uncertainty, and a plethora of other emotions that might damage their credibility with jurors or belie a position of strength with an adversary. Similarly, those same skills enable them to conceal the repercussions of a dark side of practicing law. Stress, depression, mental [...]

By | May 20th, 2015|"Off The Back", Personal Thoughts|Comments Off on “A Dark Side of Practicing Law”

“On Choosing the Right Law Partner”

Joining forces. Teaming up. Going partners. Whatever you call it, choosing a law partner can be a pivotal decision in one's career. Most criminal defense attorneys practice solo, enjoying the "lone-wolf" style of life. However, a well working partnership can enhance the lives of each partner in ways that one lawyer working alone cannot. Conversely, [...]

By | March 5th, 2015|"Off The Back", Personal Thoughts|Comments Off on “On Choosing the Right Law Partner”

Your Word Is Your Bond

Trey Apffel, President of the State Bar of Texas, wrote a stirring opinion column last month in the Texas Bar Journal. It was an introspective piece on the significance of humility in the practice of law. Trey's "Little Advice" was  offered to the new lawyers entering the Bar this year. He shared his father's counsel [...]

By | January 7th, 2015|Personal Thoughts|Comments Off on Your Word Is Your Bond

“Never Give Up”

"Off the Back" is a phrase used in competitive road cycling describing a rider dropped by the lead group who, consequently, has lost the energy saving benefit of riding in the group's slipstream. Once off the back the rider struggles alone in the wind to catch up. It's difficult and lonely. Often you feel as [...]

By | August 26th, 2014|"Off The Back", Personal Thoughts|3 Comments

Good Things DO Happen When We Try More Cases

I've tried my share of jury trials, especially those trials which went terribly bad. I've been disgusted with the jury system. I've found myself, sometimes, doubting my judgment. But as time passes I've notice that good things DO happen when we try more cases . . . the right kind of cases, that is. And [...]

By | August 8th, 2014|Courtroom Trial Practice, Personal Thoughts|Comments Off on Good Things DO Happen When We Try More Cases

Over The Top and Against the Odds . . . GINOBILI!

Manu Ginobili's monster slam in game 5 of the 2014 NBA Finals this week reminded me of practicing criminal defense work. Ginobli is old in professional basketball terms - 36 years. He's on the downhill side of his 19 year professional career and must work harder than younger, more talented players. In recent years he's [...]

By | June 18th, 2014|Personal Thoughts|Comments Off on Over The Top and Against the Odds . . . GINOBILI!