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I get asked a lot about whether being a practicing attorney is like being a lawyer on TV. Like most people, I love watching legal movies and courtroom dramas. It's one of the reasons I decided to become a lawyer. But sometimes they make me want to pull my hair out because they are ridiculous.
Today I'm taking a break from teaching law students how to kick ass in law school to take on lawyers in the movies. While all legal movies take dramatic license to make things more interesting (nobody wants to see hundreds of hours of brief writing), many of them have a grain of truth.
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She does something else. The pharmaceutical company is a company, a business, an impersonal thing. Her client is "Gregory." First name. In plaintiff malpractice cases, Ted Amshoff reminded plaintiff attorneys that their client is always Susie. She's not Miss Smith or Ms. Smith or Mrs. Smith or the plaintiff or my client. She's Susie. And every time you refer to the defendant, choose your words carefully. Susie trusted Dr. Jones. Susie went to Dr. Jones for help. Dr. Jones failed to do what he'd been trained to do. Dr. Jones failed to follow medical protocol. But "the defendant corporation" owes Susie money. The defendant corporation left Susie incapacitated. The defendant corporation needs to pay up
The best example I can remember of turning something abstract into something the jury could see was in an abortion malpractice case. Dr. Scott Barrett wanted his patients to be unconscious during the abortions because it kept them from squirming and thus made the abortions faster and easier, but he would have to have somebody on staff trained in anesthesia to be able to do that and keep his clinic licensed. He came up with an out -- he'd overdose them on the lidocane he used to numb the cervix. The woman would pass out and he'd be finished with the abortion by the time she woke up. Sometimes a woman's heart would stop beating but he and his staff had always been able to resuscitate. Until the unfortunate Stacey Ruckman, who died.
The family's attorney established early in the trial how much lidocane had been administered to Stacey and how much she weighed. Later he established his expert witness, who was a professor of anesthesiology. The attorney presented his witness with a notepad, pencil, and glass jar marked "Medically legitimate reasons to administer X dose of lidocane to a patient weighing Y pounds." He then asked the witness to please write each medically legitimate reason he could think of to administer that dose on a piece of paper and put that piece of paper in the jar. The witness, of course, said he could think of none. The attorney belabored the point as much as he could -- "Surely, doctor, in your ___ years of clinical practice," "Surely, doctor, in your ___ years of supervising clinical practice," "Surely, doctor, in all of the conferences you've attended, journals you've read, etc., reiterating the expert's experience and getting "I can think of none" time after time after time. This way, any time the defense attorney might try to get back to the idea that maybe Barrett had a medically legitimate reason to administer that dose of lidcane, the jury would have the image of that empty jar and how the expert with all that experience couldn't put a single legitimate reason in that jar. All they would have was Barrett's staff's testimony that he did it to knock them out and make it easier and faster to do the abortions. $28 million for the plaintiffs.
I was watching a cross examination by a defense lawyer in a real trial (here on YT). The lawyer got all confrontational and started raising his voice and left his podium to approach the witness (walking). The judge immediately started yelling at the guy saying "GET AWAY FROM THE WITNESS". Lol the prosecution was objecting at the same time but pretty much got drowned out over the very angry guy in the black robe. :O :D
This is why, in my philosophy (I have a degree in philosophy and was and still am kicking around the idea of law school), I consider the question of punishment last, at least in cases where a question can be raised. What matters is if the defendant can be proven to be a danger to society or not. If the boy really did take a garrotte to the other boy's neck and kill him, then he is a dangerous person and must be confined at minimum until that ceases to be the case, regardless of why he did it. If it were self defense, he is clearly not a danger and merits no punishment
If it was an accident, it depends on the circumstances. If it was mental illness, whatever the cause, he is a threat and must be contained. If it can be established that he did it out of anger and passion, or revenge for some offense against him, he must be punished, but not too harshly, and confined thereafter until he has shown himself worthy of rejoining the free world.
If, however, he did it with malice, full knowledge that what he was doing was murder, or planned it, the punishment must be severe. Decades of hard labor and rehab, years of sorrow and austerity, and only then can he begin to be worthy of a second chance. In the most extreme cases, such as a serial violent felon (a record of similarly bad or escalating crimes), his life is forfeit, if he's an adult. Let him serve as an example of what happens when you commit yourself to such a wicked life. All executions should be public, otherwise they're too abstract and lose the effect of genuinely scaring criminals or potential criminals. You also get one year to get an appeal in, so at most you can push the envelope a few years. No new appeals in court after that first year. Beyond that, it's up to the governor or the president to show clemency. None of this nonsense of spending decades on death row.
That is how I think it ought to be.
Just because this kid was on whatever psychotropic drug, for however long, that says nothing about the fact that many thousands of other people are on these same drugs, and have been for far longer.
If the jury excuses him because he is on medication, that is a slap in the face to every single one of the many thousands of Americans who have taken these same drugs every day for decades and have somehow managed not to cause anyone else's death.
I might even have a TRASHCAN full of the number of pills taken by every one of those other patients over the same time period.
If I were the prosecutor in this case, that young man would be going to jail.
Can a lawyer get jury duty?
With a lawyer's firm grasp on the laws
Wouldn't that make the lawyer someone to get rid of during jury selection
Because with the knowledge a lawyer has from the education they chose, they can sway the opinion of the entire jury.
Just because you know more or come off as more intellectual than them.
They'll listen to you because the average person defers to what they believe is the more educated of the group thus following suit I.E. Sheep.
How many Sheeple Jury have you witnessed? Where one Juror is more outspoken causing people follow the more charismatic and confident juror.
Are people just inherently lazy?
Just found your channel and I'm enjoying it immensely. I'm a court clerk for juvenile court myself, and it's extremely interesting to listen to this. Personally never heard of the term "well of the court." In our court that is basically where the attorney questions the witness. Behind a podium in the well of the court. I don't think they can touch the witness stand becauseno attorney ever does but they do walk around in the well especially the SAAGs. We are also more informal though as attorneys often pass exhibits directly to our judge I think because our courtroom is smaller. Ironically, our judge gets more upset when the clerk beside him is directly approached or handed things. If anyone wants to hand the clerk paperwork they have to hand it to him and he hands it to us or give it to the bailiff.
The fact that jurors don't understand the law or even what "beyond a shadow of a doubt" means, really makes me question why juries are chosen to decide the outcome of a trial. I understand that an impartial 3rd part is required to decide these matters but it seems to me that there must be a much more effective, uniform and fair way to do things. Juries can be swayed by emotional and irrational arguments but someone who knows the law and has a lot of experience with the criminal justice system should be able to spot bad arguments and would at least know what the burden of proof means.
It really annoys me when people try to deflect blame from someone due to a drug they took, a genetic predisposition, socioeconomic status, abusive childhood, ect. If we live in a deterministic Universe, then everything can eventually be explained by some higher cause eventually culminating at the very root Physics that drives the entire Universe. This doesn't mean that people aren't "responsible" for their actions or that we don't have a duty to protect the rest of society from individuals who commit crimes. Everyone was always going to do what they did. Just because you can explain why they did it or were more likely to do it doesn't absolve them from responsibility, or our responsibility to protect society from them, IMO. Someone who drinks alcohol and commits a crime which, by all accounts, they would never do when they were sober, isn't absolved of their personal responsibility for their actions. Why should any other drug or contributing factor be different? It is really quite absurd.
People in general do not understand ADA. A company does not have to reduce standards or change how they do business for any ADA covered conditions. The person with the illness must also be able to so the job. A condition that can be controlled with medication must be used. Famous truck driver case regarding diabetes. In the case with the first person. You can deny them a job say calling customers. I am not saying it is morally right, but most states just use federal ADA rules.
I'd love for him to react to that one scene in Criminal Minds where the members of the FBI were held in court and Hotch basically roasts the lawyer (not sure of the specific terms of what the other guy was, sorry) based on the color of his socks and the vibration of his phone.
You should do an episode about the OJ trial, I wasn’t born until 3 years after, but it does still amaze me how he got off, I’ve watched tv documentary’s about it but I still can’t comprehend how apparently he used “the race card” and was found not guilty.
I object to something that wasn't really the point of what you were talking about. I have Tourette Syndrome. I just wanted to snipe the whole "I can't control it" thing. I actually kind of like what he said here. I really like that he clarified "not for any length of time". Most people think Tourette's is straight-up uncontrollable, but that's not strictly accurate.
I can only speak from my experience. I'm sure there are other people who have a stronger case than mine, but I found that I can actually control it. It's not like a muscle spasm like you might get when your muscles are cramping. It's more like you just get these really strong urges to move or vocalize in a certain way. If you focus in on resisting those urges, you can actually succeed in suppressing them. You can't necessarily do anything to make the urges go away, but you can learn to resist indulging the urge.
But that's why it's really great that he clarified "not for any length of time," because the difficulty with resisting the urges is that it can take a lot of focus and attention. For some people with really strong urges, that requires a level of concentration that precludes all other activities. It's simply not possible to function as a human being while maintaining that level of concentration for any length of time.
Having Tourette's basically means that you have to feel out every new situation, every new professional/social context. You have to do a sort of cost/benefit analysis and think about what the allowable tolerance is for your ticks in the current situation and figure out how to function. It can be really hard, especially for young kids, especially in new situations. That's why it's great to have people in your life who understand what you're going through and give you the freedom not to control it. For myself, I've been able to find a sweet spot where, in most situations, I can suppress my ticks to a point where I seem mostly normal. It probably helps that I work from home, lol. But I know there are others where the need to function in a given situation takes too much attention away from controlling their ticks that they simply can't do both.
In that case, "I can't control it" is probably a fine short-hand, but what it really means is, "Yeah, I can control it, but it's not worth it right now." Expecting people with Tourette's to completely restrain their ticks around you (if you're aware of their condition) is basically telling them you want them to make your desires the center of their attention and they must completely shut everything else down so as not to bother you.
Edit: I posted this immediately following the comment "I can't control it, not for any length of time." I then went on to watch what came after. Just wanted to note that his case is an extreme example. Not everyone swears like that. Some people swear. Some just make rapid movements. For me, it was my arms.
Regarding the drugs, I can't speak to that. They wanted to put me on Ritalin when they first diagnosed me. I think my parents declined because I don't remember taking a lot of drugs. Looking back, Ritalin was a really bad script. It's been known to cause Tourette's. I don't know of any of the drugs the other attorney mentioned. I've no experience with them, so I can't comment. By God's grace, I was able to learn to cope with my condition without the use of drugs, and the primary thing that helped was people who supported me instead of making me feel like I was somehow wrong to be struggling with this.
That is not the symptoms of Tourettes. It's the symptoms of a guy who likes to shout out slurs and claim he has tourettes. A person with Tourettes makes vocal noises but few if any of them are even words, much less offensive language.
In your first statement you say those are excellent questions, open ended, and I agree with that. What I don't know is the the behind the scenes things (like in Devil's Advocate) prior to questioning. For instance you see the lawyer discussing the questions with a defense witness that he plans to ask prior to actually going to the case and role-playing them, maybe getting tough to see if the witness breaks under pressure. I'm hoping you could either answer that here or maybe review Devil's Advocate (Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves)
Having been in the jury box. Absolutely nothing said in closing arguments mattered to me. Maybe both the lawyers were just bad at it, but I was only interested in the evidence and pretty much had an idea what my decision was, the lawyers closing didnt do anything and I cant think of anything they could have said that would. This was true for both for the conviction and sentencing trials.
Wish there was a game show where people have to use the law to convince a jury for their assigned case. Like mock trial but filmed. It would be neat to have them test and get a good enough score to get two hours of help from a real lawyer. The other team could have this too and the winner of the "trial" gets a winnings of some kind.
" ... a good trial attorney will do ... If they forget the facts or forget other portions of the law. They will remember that person pouring thousands of pills ... A+ lawyering"
This is what's wrong with courts and lawyers. It's disgusting. It's not about proving guilt or innocence. It's about convincing people at any cost. It's just like politicians. Meaningless rhetoric that doesn't say anything, but sounds convincing. It's about crafting a believable story.
I don't have much respect for lawyers and politicians. I sometimes get the feeling that a lot of attorneys aren't good men, but Saul Goodmen's.
That being said. You seem like a nice guy, and I really enjoy your videos.
so what I've learned from your videos is NEVER end up in court because a lawyers check list is:
Don't let the other side speak
Interrupt them constantly to throw them off and not let them get their full story out
Make puppy dog eyes at the jury
To hell with what actually went down, just win.
I object, doesn't the plaintiff usually give closing statement first? In this case Jack McCoy, portrayed by actor Sam Waterston. Oh, I also think you should do an analysis on Star Trek TNG: The Drumhead (Season 4).
I'd like to see you do reaction/analysis videos on the following legal procedural shows:
Any episode of a Star Trek series or movie where a Crew member is put on trial
Your content is superior to the usual media chatter because it discloses a world (in Heidegger jargon).
You can cover every court scene ever and people will watch.
Don't get into CourtTV crap, but you should do a video, or series on the OJ trial. One guy made a series on everything the Prosecution did wrong. It was pretty compelling and insightful. The trial was so long I'm sure you would make different points.
Also, you don't have to sell the playlist at the end as "short". The attention spans are short but the appetites are unlimited.
Objection. Has far as I know, none of these of these situations were written by real lawyers. Thus they may have license to be forgiven somewhat for inaccuracies. Please review an adaptation of a John Grisham novel. (A Time to Kill is my favourite).
Can you do Law and Order: SVU S18 E3. In this episode the ADA attempts to prosecute behavior that is not illegal under New York law, and I wonder if it is grounds for discipline for a prosecutor to try a case where he/she knows fully that their is no applicable criminal statute
For towns, each building is described, along with what and who can you can talk to, who to buy skills from, and what quests are available. For the outlying areas, the dungeons are listed.
Dungeon maps are not given -- they would be too extensive to fit easily into a web page and the automapping in the game is excellent. Also, every dungeon should be explored completely to get all of the loot, but only puzzles and hidden locations are described. I also skip most of the fighting because it isnt something that you can easily describe, nor does it matter in most places, except that you have to survive it. I do list the creatures that you will encounter in a dungeon or grid location to give you an idea of how difficult the location is.
Stores are listed with a "buy" and "sell". The "buy" value is multiplied by the items value to determine the price you have to pay for it. The "sell" value is divided by the items value to determine the price you can sell it to the store for. Higher is always worse, and a "buy" or "sell" of 1 means that you are buying/selling an item at cost.
Every location has a "reset" timer. This starts when you first enter the area, and after it "goes off", the entire grid square resets: monsters reappear and random treasure is replaced. Nonrandom treasure (including most stat-gaining liquids) is not replaced. All dungeons have a reset of 2 years (24 months), unless otherwise noted. Overland areas have reset times listed with their descriptions.
Artifacts are unique items that can be found. They come in two flavors: Minor artifacts are always benificial and have a value of 20000gp. Major artifacts always have a drawback, but their benificial powers are much stronger. They have a value of 30000gp. There are 15 minor and 15 major artifacts -- some of these artifacts are placed at specific locations; others are randomly generated.
Table of Contents.