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» Entries tagged with "questions"

Looking Foolish

There’s an experienced judge in a nearby jurisdiction who won’t rule in advance on whether he will allow the parties to ask their proposed voir dire questions. His position, which he makes very clear, is that he will rule on the questions when they’re actually asked. He isn’t kidding. If the state objects after you ask it, he rules. The opposite is also true. Otherwise, you can ask whatever you want. No ruling. It makes submitting your questions pointless, though every other judge in the jurisdiction orders you to do it in advance. I once asked him in chambers why he does it that way, and he said it was because he thought the parties should be bright enough to know what they can … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts, Trial

Sex, Lies, and Experts' Reports

Representing people charged with sex crimes quickly introduces a lawyer to a new world of tests and a fascinating subculture of experts. Over time, I think I’ve figured out a good bit of how it works. Every doctor who’s ever studied sex offenders has had a test named after him. If he had a partner, the test is identified by both of their names separated by an ampersand. It continues on like that as you add doctors. The tests are published in periodicals that are carefully read by every other doctor in the field, each himself hoping to one day have his doctor-friends talking about and performing his test. Occasionally, doctors don’t like seeing their names in lights, so their tests just get an official-sounding acronym … Read entire article »

Filed under: Sex Crimes

The Ease of Asking

Over at Simple Justice, Scott Greenfield put up a great post yesterday about listservs and the people who ask and answer questions on them. The post is actually about quite a bit more than that, but I’m not going to summarize it for you. Go read it. Anyway, I have no experience with criminal defense lawyer listservs. I’ve never asked or answered a question on one, and I never intend to start. I don’t see how asking important questions of a bunch of people I don’t know is a good idea for me or the client I’m trying to help. I also suspect any advice I might offer would merely drown in a sea of other opinions. I almost joined a listserv for lawyers here … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

What the "Hot-Shots" Do

I judged a law school moot court client counseling competition last week where the competitors were supposed to play the role of a lawyer in an initial consultation. One competitor struggled at times formulating questions, and he told the judges that was because he was concerned about asking too many questions. He didn’t want to know too much. Of the three judges, two of us practice criminal law. The third, a transactional lawyer, deferred to us to instruct the competitor about what to do about that dilemma. I answered by telling the competitor it wasn’t really a single dilemma with a clear answer I could give him right there, but more of a daily reality of practicing law in a field where you represent people. To know what … Read entire article »

Filed under: Clients, lawyers, Practice in General

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