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Book Details

Paperback: 202 Pages and Kindle Edition

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July, 2013)

ISBN: 1481246380

ISBN 13: 9781481246385

Point: You have violated the rules.

Counterpoint: I may have violated that set of rules, considered alone, but when you consider another applicable set of rules, my action was permitted, or even required.

Throughout the book are Point/Counterpoints – succinct synopses of how the tools may be articulated.


1.     Introduction

2.     Legal Thinking

3.     Arguing in a Legal System: Procedure

4.     Arguing About the Meaning of Texts: Interpretation

5.     Argument From Precedent

6.     Arguing About Facts

7.     Rhetorical Tricks

8.     Arguing About Substantive Responsibility

9.     Who Knows What Lurks in the Minds of Lawyers?

10.   Winning Arguments with Reasoned Persuasion

Each chapter has multiple subsections, each of which focuses on a specific topic or tool of argument.  Some arguments are procedural like standing and burdens of proof. Others are based on interpretative techniques such as reference to plain meaning or the slippery slope argument. Still others look arguments related to  precedent and facts. Finally, the book presents an array of rhetorical tricks like non sequiturs. You’ll learn when and how to deploy these tools, and to identify – and counter – them when used by your opponents. A myriad of examples help illustrate the points.

The Tools of Argument: How the Best Lawyers Think, Argue, and Win presents in plain and lucid terms the powerful tools of argument that have been honed through the ages in the discipline of law. The book provides a comprehensive presentation of the types of arguments one can make in reasoned discourse, and the various opposing arguments with which to counter them.

Complementing skills in negotiation and leadership, the skills of argumentation add another essential dimension for professional growth and success – both within and outside of the legal field. Whatever your industry or your goals, the ability to logically espouse your position, and persuade others, is one that can take you far. Few of us are "naturals" – these time-tested skills can be learned and developed.

Why Law? The legal foundation of The Tools of Argument is essential. The techniques presented in this book have evolved and survived over the course of many centuries because they have inherent, compelling logic, grounded in legal systems that aim to create efficiency, social order, and fairness. People respond to these arguments not because a speaker is overbearing, manipulative, or charismatic, but because they see the logic of the argument. If you can bring this compelling logic to bear in legal, business, and interpersonal settings, you can be more persuasive. The book is designed to help you do just that.

The Tools of Argument

How the Best Lawyers Think, Argue, and Win

The Tools of Argument

How the Best Lawyers Think, Argue, and Win