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Unpublished Paper
Timeless Trial Strategies and Tactics: Lessons From the Classic Claus von Bülow Case
ExpressO (2013)
  • Daniel M Braun, Columbia Law School
In this new Millennium -- an era of increasingly complex cases -- it is critical that lawyers keep a keen eye on trial strategy and tactics. Although scientific evidence today is more sophisticated than ever, the art of effectively engaging people and personalities remains prime. Scientific data must be contextualized and presented in absorbable ways, and attorneys need to ensure not only that they correctly understand jurors, judges, witnesses, and accused persons, but also that they find the means to make their arguments truly resonate if they are to formulate an effective case and ultimately realize justice. A decades-old case is highly relevant here. A man who was found guilty of two counts of assault with intent to murder, was retried three years later and acquitted on both counts. How could this occur? For Claus von Bülow, a European-American socialite whose wealth afforded him access to the most expensive legal representation at every stage, these two dramatically different rulings can be understood as the result of diametrically opposed approaches to litigation strategy and tactics. Though it can be easy, at times, to lose oneself in the myriad factors that impact the outcome of a case, the trials of Claus von Bülow provide an unusually good vehicle for examining some of the first principles of litigation. This article, which takes a fresh look at these trials, therefore seeks to illuminate crucial lessons on trial strategy and tactics, which in this era of confounding complexity, are particularly relevant.
  • Strategy,
  • tactics,
  • litigation,
  • criminal law,
  • evidence,
  • judges,
  • jury trials,
  • witnesses
Publication Date
February 3, 2013
Citation Information
Daniel M Braun. "Timeless Trial Strategies and Tactics: Lessons From the Classic Claus von Bülow Case" ExpressO (2013)
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