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CLIENT AS A WITNESS: COURTROOM LESSON #3

“Our client was a complete disaster!”Sir John Mortimer’s fictitious Old Bailey barrister Horace Rumpole dreaded putting his client on the stand because somehow the client would manage to ruin the case. But, what about when the other side calls your supposedly thoroughly prepared client?Students in my semester-long Comprehensive Trial Advocacy course go to court, watch [...]

ON CONFLICTS IN TESTIMONY AND CLIENT COOPERATION

Horace Rumpole, the fictional Old Bailey barrister, once said that he could win most of his cases if it weren’t for his clients. Some clients display a stubborn insistence upon ignoring your advice or otherwise undermining your efforts to help them. Sometimes, despite your best efforts on the part of your client, he will say [...]

CROSS-EXAMINATION AND TRUTH

Wigmore vs. Rumpole“The very nature of a trial is [the] search for truth.” Nix v. Whiteside, 374 U.S. 157, 158 (1986).“Cross-examination is the greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth.” John H. Wigmore, quoted in Lilly v. Virginia, 527 U.S. 116 (1999). “A criminal trial is a pretty blunt instrument for prising [...]

JOHN MORTIMER GONE

TRIAL ADVOCATE & AUTHOR OF RUMPOLE OF THE BAILEYAs it happens, I’m making my way again through The Second Rumpole Omnibus by John Mortimer when I read this morning of the author’s passing yesterday, Friday January 16, 2009. What a loss. Each evening lately I’ve settled in to read another installment in the life of [...]