QUESTIONING THE DECLARATION OF A JURY’S INDEPENDENCE

I love teaching Barristers’ Orientation. The only reason I can think that other faculty don’t volunteer for this job is that they just want to squeeze the last possible drops out of their summer before they have to appear at the office for the start of the school year.  I love teaching it because I

THEME OR TRUST – WHICH COMES FIRST?

As advocacy teachers and advocates we thrust “theme” on our students and our audiences [jurors].  We do so with good cause – and we insist that it be embedded in the primacy moment of our presentation.  Our students comply – with somber or indignant righteousness they intone the catchphrase of the case, be it the

THE LIBERATING PROPERTIES OF WEAKER EVIDENCE

It was one of the most surreal accident photographs I have ever seen, defying easy explanation.  The lower half of a leg.  Sturdy.  The foot, bare.  The toenails painted recently, but not so recently to be free of wear and blemish.  The skin was clean with just a hint of mottling nearest to the site

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT – PART 2

In a time before the open and watchful eye of technology, in an unknown part of the Midwest, in a town of a few hundred people, in the stillness of a cool and windless night, in four different rooms of a well-known farmhouse.  In four blasts of a borrowed shotgun.  In the Clutter family’s house. 

WHAT WERE (WEREN’T) THEY THINKING?

Calling a witness a “Bimbo.” Making suggestive hand gestures.  These were highlighted facets of two closing arguments in high-profile criminal trials in the calendar year 2022.  Were they a reflection of our national political discourse; an attempt to be aggressive as part of zealous representation; or offensive, stupid and ineffectual?  The final term – ineffectual

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

In a time before the open and watchful eye of technology, in an unknown part of the Midwest, in a town of a few hundred people, in the stillness of a cool and windless night, in four different rooms of a well-known farmhouse.  In four blasts of a borrowed shotgun.  In the Clutter family’s house. 

THE VIROLOGY OF AUTHENTIC ANGER

Before I sat down to write, I tried to remember the angriest person I ever saw.  Before you keep reading, think about it with me for a second.  I kept recalling viral videos of people in public places screaming at other people for no discernably good reason.  If you’ve ever seen one of these viral

PERSUASION SCIENCE FOR TRIAL LAWYERS

Is trial advocacy art, science, or some of each?  The answer is definitely the third, although the science part often gets lost in the shuffle or is alleged science with no data to back it up [think {80% of juries decide the case after opening” or “a picture plus words causes 60% fact retention”].  Finding