In the Interest of Justice: Great Opening and Closing Arguments of the Last 100 Years

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Harper Collins, Sep 28, 2004 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 373 pages
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Drawing from some of the most well-known courtroom cases of our time, this rich and rewarding volume collects more than two dozen of the most memorable opening and closing arguments made by top prosecutors and defense attorneys in the last 100 years. Carefully selected to explore every major aspect and challenge of the legal process, the speeches showcased here highlight the tactics and strategies, colorful language, and stirring rhetoric that lawyers use to win judge and jury to their side.

With a shrewd eye for courtroom stratagems and a keen understanding of the social currents that shape them, Manhattan assistant district attorney Joel Seidemann introduces and illuminates each speech from an insider's perspective. From an Israeli prosecutor's heart-wrenching speech against Adolf Eichmann to the chilling reenactment of Timothy McVeigh's meticulous planning of the Oklahoma City bombing, we witness the power of an impassioned presentation to tip the scales toward the fulfillment of justice.

Arguments from other landmark trials are included to reveal the smartest tricks of the trial lawyer's trade. Why did O.J. win the criminal case and lose the civil one? Why did the jury acquit the cops who shot Amadou Diallo, even though they fired forty-one shots at an unarmed man? Why was Sean "Puffy" Combs acquitted of all charges after that mysterious shootout in a NYC nightclub? In the Interest of Justice sheds light on such questions and celebrates the fascinating art of courtroom persuasion.

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About the author (2004)

Joel J. Seidemann has been assistant district attorney for New York County since May 1982.

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