Advocacy Cross-Training

Posted by Anton Hughes on Thursday, July 03, 2014 with No comments
I gave a talk called Advocacy Cross Training at the annual Legal Aid Criminal Law Conference on 3 July 2014. I am also giving a slightly modified version of the talk at the University of Tasmania Faculty of Law on 15 August 2014.

I have compiled a list of resources for people interested in learning more about the things I talk about. They are set out below. I will keep updating the contents as I stumble across new material.

Law and Literature

Hasluck, a former Supreme Court judge, has written about the way in which law and literature overlap, in particular elaborating on the way in which literature has dealt with key legal themes.

  See Nicholas Hasluck, Legal Limits (2013, Federation Press) ISBN 9781862879386

In my talk I mentioned that my case theory for an upcoming trial reminded me of The Crucible. If you haven't read it, here's a summary.

  Arthur Miller, The Crucible (1953)
  Summary at <> (accessed 2 July 2014)


In the 1960s, neuroscientist Dr Paul Maclean developed his Triune Brain theory as a way of understanding the brain based on evolutionary history. Whilst the theory isn't without its detractors (especially comparative neuroscientists), no theory is (see the section on Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem). Even if it is an oversimplification, it still holds plenty of interest, and supporters, and is more than sufficient to ground a theory of better advocacy.

  For an overview, see "Paul Maclean Triune Brain Theory" <> (accessed 12 August 2014)

Building on the Triune Brain Theory, Lack and Bogacz build a practical approach to alternative dispute resolution. It is from Lack, in particular that the emotional/social/rational structure I use in my talk comes from.

  See Jeremy Lack and François Bogacz, “The Neurophysiology of ADR and Process Design:
A New Approach To Conflict Prevention And Resolution?” (2012) 14 Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution 33 <> (accessed 2 July 2014)


About 150 years ago German novelist Gustav Freytag came up with a modification of Aristotle's unified story plot. 

See "An Online Guide to Freytag's Pyramid" <> (accessed 12 August 2014)

There is some science which suggests that stories which use Freytag's pyramid are likely to elicit a favourable neurochemical response in the brain.

See Paul Zak, “The Neurochemistry of Empathy, Storytelling,  and the Dramatic Arc, Animated” <> (accessed 2 July 2014)

See also Leo Widrich, "What Listening to a Story Does to Our Brains", BufferSocial <> (accessed 15 August 2014)

For some solid tips on how to write (and therefore sell) a better story, see Aaker's article below. It has a marketing bent to it, but marketing is surely just another brand of persuasion.

See Jennifer Aaker, “The Seven Deadly Sins of Storytelling” <> (accessed 2 July 2014).


The only online article I could find which deals with the zero particle, and is anything like comprehensible by a non-linguist is below. I have a book at home which deals with it in a very digestible way. When I remember to look for it, I'll add the details here.

See M Shimojo, “Particle Omission or Zero Particle” <> (accessed 2 July 2014).

Evolutionary Biology

The leading text on evolutionary biology is of course Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species (1859).

For a more modern, accessible, and entertaining overview, see: Baba Brinkman, “Performance, Feedback, Revision” <> (accessed 2 July 2014)


George Boolos, “Gödel’s Second Incompleteness Theorem Explained in Words of One Syllable” <> (accessed 2 July 2014).

Douglas Hofstadter, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (1979, Basic Books)