Examination of seven famous trials, each concluding with an evaluation of the trial by a lawyer, judge, law professor, or communication scholar.
The Washington Post coverage of the John Hinckley case preceding the trial demonstrates the effects media may have on a trial. The Haymarket riot trial serves as an example of opening statements in a storytelling form.
By analyzing the trial of Bruno Richard Hauptmann, Schuetz and Snedaker explain direct examination according to its purpose, legal rules, ordering of witnesses, verbal and nonverbal techniques of interrogation, and tactics for introducing evidence.
The cross-examination in the Sacco-Vanzetti case shows how advocates enhance or decrease their persuasiveness by adopting communication maneuvers. Closing arguments in the Rosenberg trial took the form of a refutative story with a dual persuasive and instructional content.
The Supreme Court appeal in the Sam Sheppard case demonstrates the procedures, form, content, and style of arguments of appellate briefs. The Chicago Eight trial is an example of trial as theatre.