Book Club

Books, Audio and More

Suggested Readings for litigants, litigators and Interested Parties


"Anatomy of a Murder" by Robert Traver (John D. Voelker), is not only a good courtroom drama, but is an excellent read. An amazingly accurate account of the practice of law, clients, courtroom procedure and professional interaction between lawyers and judges. Can't recommend this one enough! Because it was written by a former Justice of the Michagin Supreme Court, it has it all and was written from experience. Thrilling and probably the most accurate account of the Courtroom I have ever read. How Traver pulls it all off is something to savor. Get a copy here and let me know your thoughts. If you enjoy the book, you'll love the movie version with Jimmy Stewart. I watch it before every trial. Pick it up here, watch it and enjoy. If you drive or fly or otherwise are on the go, grab a book on tape version here.

"How to Argue & Win Every Time: At Home, At Work, In Court, Everywhere, Everyday" by Gerry Spence, one of the most preeminent trial lawyers in the United States today. This is a must read for moms, dads, kids, employees and yes, lawyers too. Peppered with colorful stories from Mr. Spence's life, his wins and his losses. Grab a copy from Amazon here. Worth every penny. Give it a read and let's talk. Or, too busy to read, check out the audio version here.

"Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" by Robert B. Cialdini, Ph.d - A National Bestseller. There are not too many books that you can say are a game changer in how you approach virtually every interaction you can think of, but this book is certainly one of them. Negotiating contracts, resolving disputes or just getting to “Yes,” Cialdini’s book is a real eyeopener. Easy to read, well organized, and amply supported by the clinical literature. Whether you are an employee trying to get a raise or a promotion; an entrepreneur looking to close a big contract; a lawyer arguing to a jury or judge; a business owner looking for ways to tweak your marketing; or just an average person who is interested in seeing how salesmen, marketers and other “influencers” tap into your natural instincts and reactions to get you to say, “Yes,” this book is for you. Cialdini describes the so called “weapons of influence” because they can be used as weapons against you. He delves into the influences of Reciprocation, Commitment and Consistency, Social Proof, Liking, Authority and Scarcity. He studies how each of these concepts can and are used to persuade people from all walks of life, education and social status to say, “Yes.” As you read through the book, you will recall countless instances and circumstances where each and every technique in this book was used on you to agree, to conform and to purchase. You thought you were in charge of your own mind. Maybe, maybe not. Incredibly interesting, educational and teaming with practical insights. Get a copy from Amazon here. Be prepare to be amazed. Want to get into it, but don't have enough time, grab the audio version here.

"Pre-Suasion, A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade" by Robert Cialdini, Ph.d, delivers just what the title states. If you read, “Influence” by Mr. Cialdini, then "Pre-Suasion" is a follow-up must read. "Pre-Suasion" takes the concepts and techniques from “Influence” and identifies various techniques to “pre-load” the persuasive message to make it even more powerful and to increase the receptiveness of the message to the target audience. As Mr. Cialdini states, "To change minds, savvy pre-suaders first change 'states of mind.'" For example, who would think something as simple as playing French Music in a wine shop would “Pre-Suade” the customers to buy French wine. Or, if a young man asked for a girl’s phone number in front of a flower shop, his odds of success would greatly increase? Or, if a website has pictures of clouds verses images of money, that those simple background images would influence the choices the buyer makes. Or, where you write or what you look at while you write, will have an impact on the ultimate receptiveness of the final audience to your particular message. These and many other scientific studies are examined in Mr. Cialdini’s work which is well written and heavily annotated with the scientific back up. Cialdini painstakingly proves his thesis that, “Optimal persuasion is achieved through optimal pre-suasion.” Cialdini’s book is broken into three parts. The first covers the concept of “The Frontloading of Attention.” That is, what is at the forefront of your mind, becomes a causal factor in your decision making. A powerful concept and a real eyeopener full of colorful and meaningful examples and scientific studies. The next section covers the “Role of Association” and describes how the mind links and associates concepts which can then “pre-suade” the ultimate decisions of the target audience. The final section describes “Best Practices: The Optimization of Pre-Suasion” and expands on the “universal” principals of influence: reciprocation, liking, social proof, authority, scarcity, and consistency. To these six principals, Cialdini adds a seventh: Unity, which embodies “being together” and “acting together” as major influencers in decision making. A truly great book. Much like “Influence,” this one too will change your life and the way you perceive the world. Whether you are a trial lawyer looking to persuade your next jury; a contract attorney contemplating points to negotiate; a mediator looking to settle cases; or a businessperson looking to increase the odds of closing your next deal, Cialdini’s book is a must read. Pick up a copy from Amazon here. Commuting, traveling, vacationing or just don’t have the time to flip pages, no worries, get the audio version here. Thank me later.

"The Art of Cross-Examination" by Francis Wellman, Esq.. “Cross-examination, the rarest, the most useful, and the most difficult to be acquired of all the accomplishments of the advocate.... It has always been deemed the surest test of truth and a better security than the oat h.” So, whether you have an upcoming deposition or trial or maybe you just enjoy observing a good grilling on the stand, either way, Mr. Wellman’s book is full of tips and lively examples of the Art of Cross-Examination, get a free copy here. Read More in HTML or Read it in PDF

"Objection, Your Honor!" by Eric Michael Papp, Esq.. This book contains some of the most memorable quotations from the World’s greatest orators, thinkers and philosophers. It was compiled for litigators and litigants who have already begun the journey or are about to embark on that long road in search of vindication and truth. It is meant to inspire and exhalt those who are engaged in that singulary unique battle that takes place only in the courtroom. I hope you embrace the following words and observations and they bring you hope, strength and, sometimes, a chuckle.Read the free E-Book here

"Hints on Advocacy" by Richard Harris, Esq.. "Advocacy is an Art and not a Scramble. I have heard many say, 'You cannot learn Advocacy.' I admit that you cannot learn the gift, but you can learn the art of using it well." A great read for both the experienced trial lawyer or person simply interested in the art of advocacy. This foundational book covers every aspect of trial, focusing on the cross-examination of the most commonly encountered witnesses using “illustrative cases.” Read it in HTML Read it free in PDF

"The Common Law" by Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., Written in 1881, "The Common Law" is a foundational book on the concepts that form the bedrock of American Jurisprudence. Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (March 8, 1841 – March 6, 1935) was an American jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1902 to 1932, and in that time, as Acting Chief Justice of the United States in January–February 1930. "Common law" is a term used to refer to law that is developed through decisions of the court, rather than by relying solely on statutes or regulations. Also known as “case law,” or “case precedent.” "The Common Law" is a comprehensive, foundational examination of the Common Law including Early Forms of Liability, Criminal Law, Torts (civil wrongs like personal injury), Fraud, Malice and Intent, Possession (9/10ths of the law), Contracts and wills and estates. If you love history, the law, and great, monumental thinkers, then this is an engrossing read. You cannot have a discussion of the history of law without a discussion of history and how the law developed through the interactions of people, society and their environment. Property, contracts, crimes, injuries including who is liable and why all define and form the very foundation of our society. An incredible read. Read it in HTML or Read it free in PDF

"America: Imagine a World without Her" by Dinesh D'Souza. Interesting is all I can say. Shared by a neighbor and friend that I very much respect. Thought provoking and controversial for sure. Not sure I agree with all of it, but that's the point. Mr. D'Souza will make you stop and ponder. Which is not a bad thing. Let me know your thoughts, agreements and disagreements with this "reconstructionist" view of history. But, I guess that all depends on who you ask, right? Pick it up here, and let's discuss.


"How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I can do it, you can do it." By Mark Cuban. A must read for students, business owners, employees and entrepreneurs. Motivational, insightful and remarkably short. Only 75 pages packed full of tips, examples, stories and advice from the outlandish Billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks and star of “Shark Tank.” Take a moment and read it. You won’t be sorry and you will absolutely come away wiser. Pick up a copy here and let me know which you think are Mr. Cuban’s most valuable tips or funniest stories. You won't forget his Motley Pub story. On the go? Grab the audio version instead.

"Sam Walton: Made in America" by Sam Walton, a truly inspiring autobiography by an American business icon. Whatever you think of Wal-Mart and Sam's Club, Mr. Walton built a multi-billion dollar business from a single shop in the back waters of Arkansas. Negotiations, business law, management, contracts, wages, production, distribution, labor, this book covers it all. He coined the phrase, "Over the shoulder management." Down home, simple and quintessentially American. An entrepreneur's Bible. Pick it up from Amazon Pick it up from Amazon here. Thank me later. Shoot me an email and let's discuss it.

"The Decision Book: 50 Models for Strategic Thinking" by Mikael Krogerus & Roman Tschäppeler is a fascinating read. In its relatively few pages, it lays out 50 different decision making models and demonstrates each method's application, advantage and disadvantage. Practical, clear, with lots of diagrams and explanations. Grab a copy from Amazon here and let me know which of the 50 models you find most useful to work your way through your most complicated decisions.

"Ponzi’s Scheme: The True Story of a Financial Legend" by Mitchell Zuckoff. When you hear the phrase “Ponzi Scheme” as we often do (a la Bernie Madoff), you don’t often associate that well worn phrase with an actual person. But, real he was - Mr. Charles Ponzi. In the 1920's, Ponzi wasn’t the first person to “rob Peter to pay Paul,” but he certainly was the most notable in US History. So much so, the scam bears his name into perpetuity. Doubling investor’s money in three months, guaranteed! Who wouldn’t go for a deal like that, especially in the little known world of postage stamps. Zuckoff’s work of non-fiction clearly portrays Ponzi as a man driven by a desire to succeed. An immigrant tale that rises to unbelievable heights and crashes spectacularly. With Ponzi, Zuckoff delivers a touching love story; reveals a committed family man; and exposes a deeply flawed person straight out of a Shakespearean Tragedy - who meant well all the way to the end and never gave up. This book is an invaluable resource and a must read for business people, investors, lawyers and people who still aren’t sure that, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Know your enemy, they all seem like great guys going in. Grab the audio copy here.

"The Little Book of Frauds: From Enron to Madoff, 50 Economic and Political Scandals that Shocked the World" by David Owen is a throughly enjoyable read. Fairly short, coming in at only 138 pages, but it is packed full of colorful details and grainy photographs (adding to the edge). Organized by category including: Financial Fraud, Corporate Fraud, Cover-ups and Deceptions, Political Scandals and, of course, Military Scandals. Each section contains unbelievable and eye-popping stories of the worst of the worst, the heartless and the helpless. Plenty of lawyers, lawsuits, trials, juries and judgments. Some accounts are well known, some infamous and others obscure from all corners of the world and from all walks of life. Fraud, it seems, crosses all divides. Well written and well worth the time. Get a copy here and hope you never end up on either side of one of these tales.


"Bro-Jitsu: The Martial Art of Sibling Smackdown" by Daniel H. Wilson pretty much sums up my childhood. Having an older brother, I totally get this book and it is hilarious. If you are the older, middle or younger child, you will laugh as you see your childhood played out before your very eyes in page after page. You just can't make this stuff up, you have to live it. Sorry "only children" you can read it, but you can never understand it. For the rest of us, buy a copy from Amazon here and laugh until you cry. The struggle is real for little siblings.

"Darth Vader and Son" by Jeffrey Brown is clever, cute and heart warming for all the parents out there - who are also Star Wars fans. And, with the awesome illustrations, the kids will enjoy it too. I know mine do. Brown takes everyday scenes from the lives of parents and children and turns them into the classic scenes from Star Wars. From the Death Star to the Mos Eisley Cantina on the planet Tatooine, imagine Darth Vader with his inquisitive, badgering 4 year old. Too funny. Grab it and chuckle out loud. If you don't have kids, this clever little book will provide you with some insight into the lives of parents and their too often annoying offspring.


"Guadalcanal Diary" by Richard Tregaskis is an unquestioned classic. Told from the ground by a volunteer news correspondent, Richard Tregaskis. A day by day, first hand account, where Tregaskis details the hardships and heroism of his two months on the front lines of one the bloodiest battles of World War II - Guadalcanal. From the amphibious landing, through air raids, snipers, booby traps, confusion, chaos and bugs. You will be reading with your head down as bullets whiz past. An unforgettable account of common men facing uncommon circumstances where it could truly be said that uncommon valor was a common trait. You simply won’t be able to put it down until Tregaskis is rattling down the runway on a bomber to Bougainville, flying off the war torn island. Simply incredible. Don’t take my word for it, get a copy and dive for cover!

"Images of America: Corona" by Mary Bryner Winn. These “picture” books are fascinating. Here, Winn’s book is filled from cover to cover with countless historical photographs and captions from the founding of Corona (South Riverside) through its incorporation in 1896 (as the City of Corona) through the 1970's. This enjoyable little book boasts photographs of the early founders, the citrus industry, the circular Grand Boulevard “Race Track” (which gave Corona its moniker of the “Circle City”), the tin mines of Temescal Canyon, local industry, sports, schools, clubs - everything Corona up to the 1970's. You can study page after page of Corona’s architecture, history and the people of Corona throughout most of its unique history. Each photo is painstakingly documented in what can only be described as a labor of love. Whether you are from Orange County, Riverside County or Corona proper, you will definitely enjoy this work of history. Pick up a copy from Amazon here.

“Night Fall” by Nelson DeMille is a fun and intriguing read and a story that hits close to home. The story surrounds the mysterious crash of TWA Flight 800 off of Long Island at 8:30 P.M. on July 17, 1996 on its way from New York’s JFK International Airport to Paris, France. Was the explosion that brought down the doomed flight, 12 minutes after take off killing all 230 people on board, an accidental missile strike from US Navy War Games, terrorists, or was is a freak spark in an empty center fuel tank? It depends on who you ask and who is investigating the tragedy. A critical piece of evidence is a “sex tape” from a couple having an extramarital affair on the beach who might have inadvertently caught a “steak of light” rising up from the sea towards the airplane while they videoed themselves having sex. The hunt is on with plenty of twists, turns and double crosses. Of course there are lawyers, investigations, cover-ups and missing and/or fabricated evidence. “Night Fall” has a surprise ending that will leave the reader with much to ponder. However, what brings this historical fiction close to home for me is the fact that my father worked for TWA for 25 years and knew every member of the flight crew from Flight 800 personally, for many, many years. Even more horrific, my father was part of the crew that unloaded the bodies of the crew members as they were returned home. A ghastly and tragic personal note. “Night Fall” is definitely worth the read, grab a copy here and you won’t be disappointed.


"You Can You Will: 8 Undeniable Qualities of a Winner" by Joel Osteen. This one was given to me by someone very special in my life. Not my usual fare by any stretch, but I thought, why not? And, I gave it a read. Then, I read it again. I have to admit, I came away very uplifted. I wanted to be critical and dismissive, but Mr. Osteen’s book turned out, to my surprise, to be very inspirational. Two things really stood out for me: One: “Be excellent.” If you always try to go the extra mile, do what you say and follow through, you can’t help but win. And, Two: a little story where Mr. Osteen, who is the Senior Pastor of the largest Protestant Church in the United States, says, when he is walking down the hall of his church, if he sees a piece of trash on the floor, he will go over, pick it up and toss it into the can. That’s a trait I can respect. So, if you need a lift or, even if you don’t, Mr. Osteen’s book was even more enjoyable the second time through. Heck, I might even read it again.


"Complete Krav Maga: The Ultimate Guide to Over 230 Self-Defense and Combative Techniques" by Darren Levine & John Whitman. I started training long before all these books started coming out. But, as a second degree black belt under John Whitman (Krav Maga Alliance), I can say, I sure wish we had references like this when I was coming up. A great book for studying the basics. Lots of photos, commentary and descriptions. Of course, it's no substitute for live, full speed, full contact training, but it can be a great source of reference materials. If you are going through the basics, I highly recommend getting a copy and studying it closely. Can't hurt and will definitely help. Go out and train! If you have any Krav Maga questions, let me know. Stay safe, train hard!

"Black Belt Krav Maga: Elite Techniques of the World's Most Powerful Combat System" by Darren Levine & Ryan Hoover. Another great reference book for those of you who want to take your training to the next level. Achieving a black belt in Krav Maga is no joke and no easy task - ask the few that have survived the grueling tests. This volume is helpful for those of you who want to study advanced handgun and long gun defense techniques; third party defenses; advanced knife defenses; hostages; car jacking defensive tactics and techniques; and the like. Well written with lots of photos and descriptions. But, again, it's no substitute for live, full speed training with qualified trainers who know how to "transfer the knowledge." Worth it. But as always, stay safe, train hard! If you have any training questions, by all means, shoot me an email.

"Krav Maga: How to Defend Yourself Against Armed Assault" by Imi Sde-Or & Eyal Yanilov. This is for all you old school practitioners. This classic tome is from back in the day. I remember my instructors carrying their copy around like devotees. Still good stuff. Contains all the basics for weapon defenses: knives, sticks and guns. And, loads of other techniques too. Lots of great diagrams and explanations. Again, this is an old school classic. Definitely a must buy to round out your Krav Maga library. Pick up a copy and see how the system has evolved and adapted to the modern world, especially the prevalence of MMA. Today, everyone thinks they are a cage fighter. But, be careful, some actually are. Stay safe, train hard!

"The Little Black Book of Violence" by Lawrence A. Kane & Kris Wilder, is an interesting read. It is not so “little” at over 300 pages, but it does contain plenty of gruesome photos of violent attacks as well as some good advice. Again, I caution, reading is not training (especially scenario training), but still a good resource and the authors provide plenty of food for thought. Kane and Wilder cover the basics (with their own twist) examining, in depth, the following areas: Before Violence Occurs; During a Violent Encounter; and Aftermath of Violence. The book also contains a glossary, interesting appendices as well as a formidable follow on reading list. Not for the faint of heart, but if you are at all interested in studying the topic of violent encounters and self-defense, this book is worth the time. If you have any questions on training, shoot me an email.