2022 LCA President Michael Ehrenstein Interviews Senior Fellow Joe Blanton on the Importance of Study Beyond the Law

Dear Fellows,

Great Trial Lawyers Study More Than Law

The best trial lawyers inform their practice with learning beyond our profession. They read great works that explore questions of enduring significance—across time and place, in different styles, and from conflicting perspectives. The investigate new scientific trends and stay abreast of current events beyond the sound bites of cable news. Great trial lawyers rely this thirst for learning in the preparation and presentation of their case.

Why I Asked LCA Senior Fellow Joseph Blanton, Jr. About the Importance of Study Beyond the Law

Joe is a quintessential winning trial lawyer. From Sikeston, Missouri, Joe has a varied practice from business litigation to medical malpractice, and has repeatedly earned top recognition as lawyer of the year from Best Lawyers. In his over 30 years as a trial lawyer, Joe successfully tried numerous cases to verdict. Joe earned this remarkable track record and his reputation as the “go to” attorney for cases that are likely to be tried in part based on his “outside study”—from reading about the Peloponnesian War, to taking on-line classes in data analytics, Joe has an insatiable interest in much beyond the law (see his recent reading list below).

Recently, Joe graciously shared with me how outside study shapes the way he thinks about and tries cases. I encourage you to watch our conversation HERE.

Upcoming Events:

In October, we celebrated our first post-covid in person conference in San Diego—and it was epic. We inducted 32 new Fellows, shared great food and drink, made new friends and reconnected with old friends, all in the idyllic Fairmont Grand Del Mar in San Diego, California. We recently hosted the Renaissance Symposium XVI at The Harvard Club of New York City on December 2, 2022, photos of the event are available HERE. In early 2023, the Complex Commercial Litigation Institute will be convening at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. Steve and Dottie Henry and the fabulous LCA team are working on details for our Spring 2023 conference. In the meantime, if you will be in South Florida, please let Theresa and me show you some hospitality.

Very truly yours,

Michael Ehrenstein





2800 Ponce De Leon Blvd.
Suite 1400
Coral Gables, FL 33134
T (305) 503-5930
D (786) 406-1313
C (305) 586-0981

Joe Blanton's Recent Reading List

Books Read in 2020

Steven Pinker, Enlightenment Now:  The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress

Thomas L. Friedman, Thank You for Being Late

Francis Fukuyama, The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment

Timothy P. Carney, Alienated America

James M. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, Vols. I and II

James W. Erwin, Guerrillas in Civil War Missouri

Saul Cohen, Geopolitics:  The Geography of International Relations

Will Durant, The Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Time

Bharat Anand, The Content Trap:  A Strategist’s Guide to Digital Change

George Friedman, The Storm Before the Calm:  The Coming Prosperity

Edward Carr, What Is History?

Malcolm Gladwell, Talking with Strangers

Albert Castel, Sterling Price and the Civil War in the West

Walter Johnson, the Broken Heart of America: St. Louis and the Violent History of the United States

Niall Ferguson, The Great Degeneration

Richard J. Evans, In Defense of History

Ellen Pollack, The Pretender

John Lewis Gaddis, The Landscape of History

John Bolton, The Room Where It Happened

Michael Hiltzick, Iron Empires

Peter Turchin, Ages of Discord

Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs and Steel:  The Fates of Human Societies

Polly J. Price, Richard S. Arnold:  A Legacy of Justice on the Federal Bench

Niall Ferguson, The Square and the Tower:  Networks and Power, from Freemasons to Facebook

Eileen Ka-May Cheng, Historiography:  An Introductory Guide

Thomas Ricks, First Principles:  What America’s Founders Learned from the Greeks and Romans and How that Shaped Our Country

Jon Meacham, Thomas Jefferson:  The Art of Power

Amy Chua, Political Tribes:  Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations

Books Read in 2021

Erik Larson, The Splendid and the Vile:  A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance during the Blitz

Roger Osborne, Civilization:  A New History of the Western World

John Tusa, On Board:  The Insider’s Guide to Surviving Life in the Boardroom

Peter Zeihan, The Accidental Superpower

Jared Diamond, Collapse

Peter Zeihan, Disunited Nations:  The Scramble for Power in an Ungoverned World

Robert Woodward, Peril

Tom Wright and Bradley Hope, Billion Dollar Whale

Peter Herman, The Cave and the Light

Sheelah Kolhatkar, Black Edge:  Inside Information, Dirty Money and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street

David Enrich, The Spider Network:  How a Math Genius and a Gang of Scheming Bankers Pulled Off One of the Greatest Scams in History

Books Read in 2022

Victor Davis Hanson, A War Like No other:  How then Athenians and the Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War

Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies

Will Durant, The Life of Greece

Tracy Borman, Crown and Sceptre

Arthur Brooks, Love Your Enemies

William Barr, One Damn Thing After Another

John Lewis Gaddis, On Grand Strategy

Barry Strauss, The War that Made the Roman Empire:  Antony, Cleopatra, and Octavia at Actium

Barry Strauss, The Ten Caesars

Oliver Bullough, Butler to the World

Peter Zeihan, The End of the World is Just Beginning:   Mapping the Collapse of Globalization

Brad Delong, Slouching Toward Utopia:   An Economic History of the 20th Century

Margaret Haberman, Confidence Man:  The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America

Francis Fukuyama, Liberalism and Its Discontents

Jarod Diamond, Upheaval