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RACIAL BIAS IN JURY SECLECTION: BATSON AND FLOWERS v. MISSISSIPI

On June 21, 2019, the United States Supreme Court in Flowers v. Mississippi reversed the murder conviction and sentence to the death of black defendant Curtis Flowers. Justice Brett Kavanaugh, writing for the majority stated that Curtis Flowers had not been provided with “(e)qual justice under law” because his criminal trial was not “free of [...]

PRACTICING YOUR VOIR DIRE

The Critical Importance of Practicing Your Voir Dire By Thomas M. O’Toole, Ph.D. Despite what Allen Iverson might say (search “Allen Iverson” and “practice” on YouTube if you do not get this reference), practice is essential to the successful development of any skillset. In competition, competitors get better by practicing. This is why it is [...]

“THE TRIAL FROM HELL” – IT’S TIME FOR TODAY’S TECHNOLOGY

Why is Paper Still King in King County? by Larry Johnson Even though the first 20 years of my practice were spent in civil litigation, my real love since the 1980s was computers, and then, in the 1990s, the emerging Internet.[1] So in 1995 I gladly accepted the invitation from Presiding Judge Dale Ramerman and [...]

UNDERSTANDING WASHINGTON’S NEW GENERAL RULE ON RACIAL BIAS IN JURY SELECTION By Thomas M. O’Toole, Ph.D. and Taki V. Flevaris, J.D.

In 2018, Washington adopted GR37, which is a new general rule that changes how racial bias in jury selection is addressed. The rule is designed to provide courts with guidance for effectively eliminating racial bias in the use of peremptory strikes. The purpose of this article to explain GR37 and what it means for litigators [...]

The Washington Supreme Court is the first court in the nation to adopt rules aimed at eliminating implicit bias from jury selection in both civil and criminal cases. The new General Rule 37 (effective April 24, 2018) dramatically alters practices and procedures regarding exercising peremptory challenges. It remains to be seen whether this new rule [...]

THE REAL DREAM TEAM: DAVID BOIES & TED OLSON

  When the two adversary lawyers in the Bush v. Gore case, David Boies and Theodore Olson, teamed up to challenge California’s Proposition 8 in a federal lawsuit, they created the TRUE LEGAL DREAM TEAM. They also proved to be exceptionally fine co-authors when they recounted their pretrial preparation, trial and appellate experiences in their [...]

ANATOMY OF LINCOLN’S MURDER TRIALS

George (Bob) Dekle’s book entitled Prairie Defender: The Murder Trials of Abraham Lincoln provides a brilliant anatomy of Lincoln’s murder trials. It is a great read on multiple levels. First, it reveals the true nature of Lincoln’s trial practice, debunking myths with solid evidence and providing an accurate description of his trial work. For instance, [...]

TO BE A TRIAL LAWYER

It is important to get law students out of the classroom and have them watch the real lives of trial lawyers. For my Comprehensive Trial Advocacy course, Seattle University law students attend a day in trial and report on what they observed. Consistently they praise this courthouse visit. It is satisfying to read the students’ [...]

COURT REPORTERS: MAKING A RECORD

  We just finished a three-day intersession course entitled Essential Lawyering Skills at Seattle University Law School that focuses on professional communication, and a major component of the course deals with depositions. The law students read, receive a lecture on and discuss how to take and defend a deposition. As part of the instruction, Lori [...]

NEW LINDBERGH KIDNAPPING CASE BOOK AND CROSS-EXAMINATION

Talbot Publishing recently released my co-author Bob Dekle’s book entitled Lindbergh Kidnapping Case: A Critical Analysis of the Trial of Bruno Richard Hauptmann. Although the Lindbergh kidnapping case has been written about innumerable times, never before has the trial of Bruno Richard Hauptmann been meticulously researched and analyzed. Bob and his co-author Jim Dedman have [...]