A skeptical mind takes in ideas and information but seeks out alternative sources of proof. A closed mind applies a negative filter without first assessing. Reliance on what’s shown to exist and what likely exists is typical, but reliance on what should exist implicates a different form of reasoning. Legal arguments are most effective when a new reality––what should exist––is presented in a way most conducive to seeing it as an already existing truth.
An argument as to what should occur differs from mere inferences drawn from assembled facts. Rather what’s being suggested is not factual, but prescriptive. A look at what exists versus a suggested or imagined view of what might exist. So, what are the elements of a credible alternate reality? Verisimilitude. If the argued suggestion is too farfetched, too remote from any realistic outcome, it will lose its persuasive force. Feasibility. If the argued suggestion is not practical, cannot be depicted with straight lines, the suggestion will not be capable of taking hold. Gravitational pull. For an argued suggestion, it should hold weight, a counterbalance, to that which is antagonistic.
Argumentative drift is a form of miscalculation, of misjudgment. Correct judgments persuade others. Contrary notions are sounded using a scale of gradation. Gradations are as carefully delineated as you chose to make them.
Anticipate testimony––and mind map projected decision points. If the witness says “yes,” follow up with an already decided line of questioning but keep listening. If the witness says “no,” follow up with an already decided line of questioning but keep listening. If the witness says “I don’t recall,” same, but here you can now move back a step and affix a wide-angle lens. Learning perhaps initially best approached at a relatively rapid rate, but creativity requires pause, intermission, where outlines and details are contemplated for longer than required. You’re not missing the hidden? The disguised? The obvious?
Anatomical medical diagram. Netter, Atlas of Human Anatomy. Say, injury involves a fractured rib. Rib and its proximity to the lung––so breathing difficulties? Rib and its proximity to the heart––so dizziness, headache? Rib and its proximity to the spinal cord––so back, neck pain? Etc. Thought is to explore a word by sounding out its syllables. As if the method were to implicate misdirection––or simply a heightened level of proof.
“Most of all I felt privileged that I was now in a Samburu village in the middle of the northern Kenya desert, living in perfect safety, talking to local people, and observing a way of life that was not discernable from the road.” Paul Theroux, Pg. 166, Dark Star Safari: Overland From Cairo to Cape Town (Houghton Mifflin Company 2003). To achieve a sense of serenity and gratitude in the midst of what others might consider disconcerting; that is, to simply pay close attention.
At first, treat your cases as if you were investigating the facts forensically; that is to say, applying scientific methods to legal problems, medicine, engineering, etc. Only later do you turn to personalities, themes, ideas… At some point the two have to correlate.
“These appearances indicate the fact that the universe is represented in everyone of its particles. Everything in nature contains all the powers of nature. Everything is made of one hidden stuff; as the naturalist sees one type under every metamorphosis, and regards a horse as a running man, a fish as a swimming man, a bird as a flying man, a tree as a rooted man. Each new form repeats not only the main character of the type, but part for part all the details, all the aims, furtherances, hindrances, energies, and whole system of every other. Every occupation, trade, art, transaction, is a compend of the world and a correlative of every other. Each one is an entire emblem of human life; of its good and ill, its trials, its enemies, its course and its end. And each one must somehow accommodate the whole man, and recite all his destiny. The world globes itself in a drop of dew. The microscope cannot find the animalcule which is less perfect for being little. Eyes, ears, taste, smell, motion, resistance, appetite, and organs of reproduction that take hold on eternity,—all find room to consist in the small creature. So do we put our life into every act. The true doctrine of omnipresence is, that God reappears with all his parts in every moss and cobweb. The value of the universe contrives to throw itself into every point. If the good is there, so is the evil; if the affinity, so the repulsion; if the force, so the limitation. Thus is the universe alive.” ––Ralph Waldo Emerson, Compensation.