The Narrative Gym for Law discussion on Dr. Randy Olson’s “ABT Time” Podcast, Featuring Doug Passon!

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We have produced over thirty episodes of Set For Sentencing including our Web extras, AND we’re just getting started.

BUT no episode has yet solely focused on the work I do helping lawyers tell their most powerful sentencing narratives and producing defense documentaries to humanize clients and bring their life story into living color.

THEREFORE, I thought it might be interesting to flip the script and showcase some other creators who have been gracious enough to invite me on their podcasts.  That way, you can learn about what I do in more detail, from the perspective of some of my incredible partners in the world of business, science, and beyond!

You may have noticed, the above description is written in “ABT” form.  ABT stands for “and, but, therefore” and it is the quintessential expression of all narrative structure.

First comes the “and” material, setting the stage with simple, non-controversial statements.  Then, the PROBLEM is revealed in the form of the contradiction – the “But”.  Finally, the problem is resolved with a consequence, or a resolution (the “therefore”).  See how that works?  It’s elegant in its surface level simplicity, and mesmerizing with the complexity that lies beneath.

So, let’s do it one more time, and then get to listening:

Lawyers have always known that “story” is at the heart of persuasive advocacy AND this awareness continues to grow, BUT there’s been a need for a simple, analytical way to teach it, which the ABT Framework now provides, THEREFORE, I give you Dr. Randy Olson, the big brain behind the ABT, and co-author of our book, The Narrative Gym for Law: Introducing the ABT Framework for Persuasive Advocacy!

In this episode of “ABT Time Ep 30 – The Narrative Gym for Law discussion with coauthor and defense lawyer, Doug Passon:

  • How police weaponize narrative to lull a suspect into waiving their Miranda Rights;
  • How police weaponize narrative using “the Reid technique” to convince suspects to confess to crimes, even crimes they did not commit;
  • What Miranda would look like, re-written using the “And, But, Therefore” Narrative template;
  • Narrative is all about PROBLEM SOLVING;
  • How, for better and for worse, lawyers and scientists have much in common;
  • Introduction to Passon’s work in defense documentaries/mitigation movies;
  • How Passon’s work ended up featured on The Simpsons!!??;
  • A taste of “psychodrama”;
  • The simplicity of the ABT and the clarity that comes through repetition (i.e. working your muscles in the narrative gym).


Here’s a very simple blog entry I wrote on the ABT to give you a little better foundation on what we are talking about: 

The Narrative Gym for Law: Introducing the ABT Framework for Persuasive Advocacy, by Dr. Randy Olson and Doug Passon.  Available on Amazon:

Randy Olson​ Randy’s Blog: Learn more about the ABT Framework Course:

Jen Martin Science Communication at the University of Melbourne:… Jen’s Blog:

Related or Complimentary Podcast Episodes:

Over the Rainbow & Into the Land of Legal Narrative (With Story Expert Matthew David)

Sentencing Psychodrama!

Narrative is Everything at Sentencing (More with Dr. Randy Olson)

Mitigation Videos :  During our discussion of “power dynamics” in relation to sex offenses, I told the story of my case where our client was addicted to child pornography as the result of being sexually abused by another boy in his neighborhood.  We did a sentencing mitigation video to better tell his story.  If you’d like to see it, here is a link to the full video that our client graciously gave us permission to share:

Password: mitigation2016

FYI, Sentencing videos have been my passion for almost 20 years.  If you have a case or client that might benefit from having their mitigation story told in this way, feel free to head to and set up a free consult.

Check out this episode!

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