HERB KOLSBY – A LEGEND IN OUR TIME

Temple Law, the plaintiffs’ Bar, and many of the finest advocates mourned the recent loss of Herbert ‘Herb’ Kolsby.   A giant of the Philadelphia Bar and a 1951 Temple Law graduate, Kolsby litigated personal injury cases on both small and grand scales, taking on auto and drug manufacturers. But Kolsby was so much more than

WHEN DURING CROSS DO YOU IMPEACH WITH A PRIOR INCONSISTENT STATEMENT?

Rarely is a cross-examination limited to an attack on credibility – there are often multiple goals which may include eliciting positive/supportive facts and ultimately telling or reinforcing the ‘story’ the witness’ examiner is presenting. The recognition of multiple goals of cross-examination is nothing new.  Despite early emphasis on cross-examination as being needed to expose “mendacity,”

BRAIN LESSONS: PERSUADED OR CONVINCED?

Consider an argument you made to your jury just before they deliberate and hand you your hard-fought victory.  Did you persuade them or did you convince them?  Perhaps you just dissuaded them from finding for the other side.  However, if you dissuaded them, why can’t you also say that you dis-convinced them?  Or disvinced them?

“INNOCENT” OR “CAN’T BE SURE WHAT HAPPENED?” – – SCOTT TUROW AND THE CLOSING ARGUMENT

It is conventional wisdom that a story of actual innocence – there was no crime, the wrong person is on trial, the accused acted in self-defense – is the preferred modality in criminal cases.  Why?  An argument of ‘they can’t prove it beyond a reasonable doubt’ may come across like a schoolyard taunt – my

COLLECTIVE WISDOM: WHETHER TO OBJECT TO THE NOT-SO-QUALIFIED EXPERT

It is rare if ever that a proffered expert will be deemed so unqualified as to be precluded from testifying.  Why?  The threshold for expertise is decidedly low.  To use the Pennsylvania test, “[t]o qualify as an expert witness, a witness need only have a reasonable pretension to specialized knowledge, on a subject for which expert