One of the best mental exercises any advocate can attempt, prior to an argument, is to place himself or herself in the shoes of the decision-maker.

A passionate commitment to your cause can be helpful as long as it does not blind you to the shortcomings and holes in your argument. Imaging that you are the decision-maker — be it judge or jury or zoning board or arbitrator — provides an automatic corrective to the all too human tendency to lose perspective on your position.

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