7 Perfect Gifts for Lawyers

Gifts for Lawyers

Books make great holiday gifts for lawyers. We can read really quickly (from all the document review) and with our Type-A personalities we feel like we should always be working (even during leisure reading).

Here are my gift suggestions for the lawyer in your life.


For the new lawyer:

An Advocacy Primer

An Advocacy Primer
by Lee Stuesser

This is a great “how to” book for new lawyers. It covers every step of trial with clear examples. Plus, unlike most of the books on this list, it is written from a Canadian perspective.


Available at www.carswell.com


For strategy:

Reptile by David Ball and Don Keenan

by David Ball and Don Keenan

This is about accessing the decision-maker’s “reptile brain”, the primitive, instinctive brain shared by all reptiles and mammals (including humans). Helpful, practical neuropsychology.

Available at reptilekeenanball.com


For those cases with less than impartial experts:

Polarizing the Case by Rick Friedman

Polarizing the Case
by Rick Friedman

While Friedman is probably better known for Rules of the Road, Polarizing the Case provides groundbreaking strategies on how to confront biased experts, especially those who claim that all (or almost all) plaintiffs are malingering fakers.

Available at www.trialguides.com


For inspiration:

Win Your Case by Gerry Spence

Win Your Case
by Gerry Spence

Spence is “America’s Winningest Trial Lawyer” (according the cover of the book) and has written a LOT of books about being a trial lawyer. With this book, the reader really feels Spence’s passion for justice for the downtrodden. And, there is some great, practical advice, like the importance of being comfortable in your own skin.

Available at amazon.ca


For more strategy:

David Ball on Damages 3

David Ball on Damages 3
by David Ball

Though the title says “on Damages”, this is probably the most detailed trial strategy book on both damages and liability. It is long, detailed and fascinating, with great strategy after great strategy.

Available at www.trialguides.com


For the lover of insurance law:

Principles of Insurance Law, Fourth Edition (2012)

Principles of Insurance Law, Fourth Edition
by Jeffrey Stempel, Peter Swisher and Erik Knutsen

Don’t be put off by the intimidating size of this textbook. It is well-written and easy to understand (unlike most law school textbooks). It is an American text, but sometimes we need to look at other jurisdictions for inspiration and novel argument.

Available at


For public speaking:

Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss

Fox in Socks
Dr. Seuss

A rhyming battle between a fox wearing socks and a creature named Mr. Knox. Seriously. Practice reading this book aloud. You’ll encounter tongue-tangler after tongue-tangler, like:


Through three cheese trees three free fleas flew. While these fleas flew, freezy breeze blew. Freezy breeze made these three trees freeze. Freezy trees made these trees’ cheese freeze. That’s what made these three free fleas sneeze.

If you can do these, you’ll never get tongue-twisted in court.

Available anywhere that sells children’s books. And Amazon.

Duncan Macgillivray
Written by

Duncan understands that bad things sometimes happen to good people. Duncan helps clients with all types of serious personal injury matters, including motor vehicle accidents, snowmobile accidents, ATV accidents, slip and falls, and plane crashes. He is also experienced in Long-Term Disability insurance denials, Canada Pension Plan Disability appeals, and other insurance matters. A bright mind and ambitious approach, Duncan is recognized as a thought leader in the Thunder Bay legal community, teaching Insurance Law at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at Lakehead University, and a committed community player, as reflected in his Citizen of Exceptional Achievement Award (2015) and Top 20 Under 40 Visionary Award.