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.

Written by

Duncan is a founding partner of White Macgillivray Lester LLP in Thunder Bay and Lecturer at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law, Lakehead University, teaching Insurance Law. Duncan has served injury clients all across Northwestern Ontario, from the Manitoba border in the west, to Greenstone in the east and all the way up north to Hudson’s Bay. Duncan is involved in his community, serving on the Board of Directors of the Brain Injury Association of Thunder Bay and Area from 2009 to Present (with 2010 to 2015 as President) and the Board of Directors of Thunder Bay Counselling Centre 2009 to 2015 (with 2011 to 2015 as Board Chair). Duncan is also involved in the legal community, sitting on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Trial Lawyers’ Association since 2015, Thunder Bay Law Association since 2012, and Co-Chairing the Thunder Bay Law Association’s Civil Litigation CLE programs.