Logical Fallacies and Legal Arguments

Logical Fallacies and Legal Arguments

CLE Hours: 
1.5
CLE Credit: 
Non-substantive
Course Level: 
Intermediate

Arguing is in the DNA of most attorneys. In logic and philosophy, an argument is a reason or set of reasons given with the aim of persuading others that an action or idea is right or wrong. To be successful in the legal field, arguing well is an indispensable skill. We see the contest of reason play out in litigation, administrative hearings, mediation, and arbitration proceedings across the country. Forming logical arguments means avoiding and/or recognizing the hundreds of logical fallacies that can work their way into our exchanges, whether in written motions and pleadings, in discussions with clients and witnesses, in closing arguments before a jury, or with other legal professionals. Logical fallacies are common errors in reasoning that can seriously undermine an otherwise strong legal position. For example, attorneys and experts frequently present logical arguments supported by sound evidence. A well-reasoned presentation provides the foundation a trier of fact needs to rationally evaluate a case and return a verdict. Spotting logical fallacies in an opponent’s arguments and calling out errors in reasoning can help you win your case. Join us as we discuss the most common logical fallacies you will undoubtedly encounter while working in the legal field. You will learn how to avoid using them and how to identify them when presented.