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COURTROOM ATTIRE FOR WOMEN

This is a subject about which I’m totally unqualified to render an opinion. I’m perfectly comfortable discussing a man’s trial uniform. A man’s trial proper courtroom attire normally is a dark suit, white or blue shirt, a tie that may have a pattern but not a loud one, brown or black shoes coordinated with the [...]

SHOOTING IN A TAVERN ON A SATURDAY NIGHT

Today’s headline in the local newspaper is “Jury awards $3.7M to estate of Munchbar shooting victim.” The newspaper account describes how a jury awarded the estate of the deceased $3.5 million with the tavern being held responsible for 75% and other participants in a fight leading up to the shooting being responsible for the remaining 25%.  The shooter [...]

DAVID BOIES ADVICE TO TRIAL LAWYERS

  David Boies is America’s preeminent trial lawyer. His successes include cases, such as that against California’s Proposition 8 and the Microsoft antitrust case. In an interview with Katrina Dewey for Lawdragon,  he described his belief that it was an honor to make a living and a difference practicing law: “I’ve always believed that one [...]

IMPORTANT COURTHOUSE DOG MANUAL NOW AVAILABLE

  An important manual concerning courthouse dogs has just become available to the public. Courthouse dogs provide emotional support for child and other vulnerable victims and witnesses in the legal system. In the not too distant past, vulnerable victims were given short shrift by the justice system. The manual recounts my experiences with children in [...]

PRETRIAL & TRIAL ADVOCACY: GET THEM OUT OF THE CLASSROOM

When teaching pretrial or trial advocacy, it is important to get the law students out of the classroom to experience the real life of a trial lawyer. For my Comprehensive Pretrial Advocacy course, the students have a minimum of three experiences outside the classroom. First, we go to the scene – the Garage tavern (the [...]

MOTION ARGUMENT – DOES IT PASS THE “LAUGH TEST”?: COURTROOM LESSON #6

Maintain Your CredibilityNo matter how much you stress certain principles of pretrial practice in a law school pretrial advocacy class, the lessons don’t stick the way seeing them come live in a courtroom does. Students in my semester-long Comprehensive Pretrial Advocacy course go to court, watch a motion calendar and write a report about what [...]

CRITICAL TRIAL ADVOCACY RULES: COURTROOM LESSON #5

Seeing is Believing No matter how much you stress certain principles of pretrial and trial practice in a law school trial advocacy class, the lessons don’t stick the way seeing them come live in a courtroom does. Students in my semester-long Comprehensive Trial Advocacy course go to court, watch a day of trial and write [...]

“PREPARATION AND CONFIDENCE REALLY SHOW”: COURTROOM LESSON #4

Observing Pretrial Motions and Jury SelectionStudents in my semester-long Comprehensive Trial Advocacy course go to court, watch a day of trial and write a report about what they saw and learned. The students select from federal, state or municipal court, and they can choose either a civil or criminal share their observations. This article is [...]

NEW PRETRIAL ADVOCACY BOOK LAUNCHED

Complete Pretrial Litigation PackageMy co-authors and I are delighted that Wolters Kluwer, Aspen Publications has just published Pretrial Advocacy: Planning, Analysis, and Strategy Fourth Edition. This edition provides an excellent conceptual and practical foundation for pretrial litigation for both practitioners, teachers and law students. With coverage of both criminal and civil pretrial practice, the focus [...]

TRIAL LAWYER CHECKLISTS

A Simple Idea for Success For as far back as I can recall, checklists have played an important part in pretrial and trial work. Now, bestselling author Dr. Atul Gawande (pictured here) has established that a checklist is the best tool for dealing with the complexities. In Dr. Gawande’s book The Checklist Manifesto: How To [...]