I am recently terribly addicted to advocacy books and videos, after watching Irving Younger’s 10 Commandments of Cross-Examination. I can’t wait to start on his amazing list of recommended books!
An insight into the very brilliant Irving Younger, taken from Karl Reisman’s site (my dear best friend Irving, you have to grow up to be Irving Younger!)
And then there was Irving. Even in college he had a -sometimes incongrous – flair. For a while he modeled himself on Alec Guiness, as in this photograph taken in the Lowell House courtyard:
The night we arrived at Harvard he entertained us with a complete acting out of the movie “Four Feathers”, particularly the Ralph Richardson part, and Olivier’s performance of “Once more unto the breach, Dear Friends”. as well as the Henry Vth Prologue.
He had graduated at the head of his class at Bronx High School of Science, a notoriously cutthoat place, where the grades were measured in tenths of a point, or was it hundreths. – 99.9 99.8 99.75 or something like that.
He had this belief that logic and thought could solve all problems if rightly applied. And indeed he fought to maintain that belief all his life in the face of ever increasing odds.
Years later when he decided to be elected judge in the Silk Stocking district of Manhattan, which had never had a non-Republican judge, he looked at the polling places, plotted the routes to them and put students on all four corners of the interesections that had to be crossed to get to them. Or so he later said.
Anyway he won.
On the internet right now is the testimony of a former student, discussing jury selection: “The great Irving Younger was our trial advocacy teacher at Cornell, and he’d told us to ask open-ended questions to get jurors talking.”
He is known for such things as: Irving Younger’s “Ten Commandments of Cross Examination”; “Irving Younger’s Recommended Books for the Trial Lawyer” A list including, Invitation to an Inquest : Reopening the Rosenberg Case, Counsel for the deceived; case studies in consumer fraud, and
‘How can you spot bad legal writing? Here are five signs, courtesy of Irving Younger: “the dreaded provided that” “the unnecessary herein,” …’ and so forth.
He claimed, in a television interview and also in person, that he read the complete works of Shakespeare and Dickens every year.
Here is a comparison of Irving and Joe Dimagio by Jacob A. Stein:
“The recent TV program replaying the life and times of Joe DiMaggio brought to mind Irving Younger. Younger frequently worked in to his continuing legal education (CLE) lectures references to Joltin’ Joe as the embodiment of perfection in his chosen work.
“For those who may not know of Irving Younger, by common consent he was the top banana on any CLE program. He brought the law of evidence to life with clever insights, humorous anecdotes, and inside stories. He extracted from the Federal Rules of Evidence a grand unifying theory that reconciles electromagnetism, gravity, and the speed of light.
“His hearsay lecture was unforgettable, and his lecture on the art of cross-examination was even better. Each lecture was worked and reworked, so that anything that slowed it down was trimmed off. The final product had the impact of a fine vaudeville act. As he paced the platform, he took off his jacket and rolled up his sleeves. To emphasize a point he jumped into the air and screamed the applicable rule. When he completed his four-hour, nonstop lecture, he was the fighter who had gone 15 rounds. He needed a robe thrown around him and the assistance of two handlers, one with ice water and the other with flattery.”