For the trial lawyers out there, here’s a great new book by Rick Friedman and Patrick Malone: Rules of the Road: A Plaintiff Lawyer’s Guide to Proving Liability. This book emphasizes how jurors are called upon to make a collective decision about subjective concepts like “reasonableness,” and how defense lawyers use complexity, confusion and ambiguity to derail the plaintiff’s case. By developing several irrefutable “rules of the road” during discovery and at trial, the plaintiff lawyer provides the jurors with objective evidence against which to measure the defendant’s actions. And if done right, the defendant and the defense witnesses must either agree with the rules or look foolish for disagreeing with them. Powerful book. It describes and explains a method that many successful plaintiff lawyers have learned through trial and error. It’s no secret that jurors are highly skeptical of personal injury cases (the recent “$54 million pants lost by dry cleaners” case is the new “McDonald’s hot coffee” case that comes up in every voir dire these days), so anytime a tool comes along that helps lawyers working for consumers, grab it.