Domestic Diversions

How to try a case, presidentially

CNN looks at the recent Republican primary debate and, in the process, offers several good trial advocacy principles.

Todd Graham, Southern Illinois University’s director of debate, writes (excerpt):
[On the “less is more” technique]
Sometimes, you make your arguments weaker by talking about them until you’ve confused people. When debaters forgot the “less is more” concept, their arguments spin around and around so much that they lose points.
[On the echo effect]
Begin and end on the same idea. . . . “Go back to your major premise.”
[On picking your battles and not being dragged down]
My advice is always to rise above it. But — and this is important — there is a time and place to fight the good fight.


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