"Like in your deposition, the facts you provide are the most important. However, your demeanor on the stand comes a close second."

In connecting his cognitive and behavioral perspectives centered around a career in psychiatry, Curtis provides a nuanced and insightful understanding of the dos and don’ts to succeed in court. However, what separates his work from countless other technically dense literature is his ability to weave the plethora of case studies within a storytelling concept. There’s just the right amount of humor and personality to keep the book from turning into a “Who’s Who” of criminal law.

From ingraining themes like “defend against the defense” to highlighting iconic presidential one-liners like Nixon’s “I’m not a crook,” audiences are in for an entertaining treat as they gain a greater understanding of the anatomy of a trial. Citing Sun Tzu’s definition of the greatest victory, one “which requires no battle,” the author delves into notorious cases like the O.J. Simpson trial, where the mounting evidence against the defendant was tossed out because the LAPD furnishing the evidence was discredited.

As the work progresses, a weird sort of trip down memory lane unfolds. Names prominent in the media over the last two decades are brought back into the limelight with an analytical zeal that is undeniably thought-provoking. Jodi Arias’ lies, Lance Armstrong’s unyielding proclamation of his innocence, and much more are featured as they each come crumbling down. Others getting a shoutout in Curtis’ work include Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh, and, of course, President Trump.

Through it all, readers will understand what a good witness looks like, what a bad one looks like, and how to identify the essence of the case that can break it wide open. Beyond the intrigue of recognizable names, however, the author delivers clear instruction on complex terms like depositions and discovery in ways that even a layperson can grasp and apply.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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