I believe that our mission as lawyers is to present a fact-neutral values-based story, which at the very least will not offend - and at the very best will be consistent with - the values of those who have entered the jury box holding pre-sets against us. If I am correct then a monumental amount of effort must go into presenting a values-based trial story. The key to all of this is simplicity. As Einstein said, if you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. But achieving simplicity is by far and away the most difficult task within the entire process. Why? Because simplicity comes only as a result of distillation. Dictionary.com defines distill as: to extract the essential elements of; to refine. Before being properly distilled for clarity, the loads of facts that make up your trial story are similar in number and form to the kernels of grain that are stockpiled and dumped into the hopper at a world-class distillery. The smooth, aged, intoxicating product will not be realized independent of a distillation process. As I understand it, the makers of such product often boast that the longer the distillation process, the better the product. Makes sense, doesn’t it.
Simplicity. As John Maeda says in his awesome little book, The Laws of Simplicity, the simplest way to achieve simplicity is through thoughtful reduction. That is how this process of what we do is accomplished. If you take nothing else away from the reading of this book, please take with you the formula for simplification of case preparation: Think. Then reduce. Then think again, harder. Reduce some more. Repeat process again. Repeat. Again. It takes time to do this. Lots of time. If you don’t have the time to dedicate to this process, or, if you are unwilling to appropriate sufficient amounts of time to this process, then please discard this book and go your own way. We do not need each other. Neither of us can help the other. If you are willing, then please read on.