Posts In "Attorneys"


“Where Are They Now”: Law Law Land Edition

This time last year, Law Law Land joined the hackneyed proud tradition of legal blogs offering year-end lists of cases to watch in the coming year (though in our defense, we did try to mix it up by reviewing totally absurd cases as well as totally important cases).  But “year in review” and “year to come” are cultural clichés that never held much appeal to me.  “Where are they now?” on the other hand?  That’s more my speed.  (Maybe that’s why I always adored the last five minutes of every episode of VH1’s Behind the Music, where the program would show the artist in their current, everyday life and tease the inevitable “impending comeback.”)  So what has become of those five big cases we told you to watch this year?  And did we pick good ones or not?  (Preview:  Yes, we did.  Oh shush, I don’t care if we’re biased.) Continue reading the full story . . . »

Lights, Camera, Courtroom: Lessons from Mike Wallace

After CBS News legend Mike Wallace passed away in April, the news was (justifiably) flooded with commentary highlighting Wallace’s qualities as a newsman.  One obituary described him as “the ‘60 Minutes’ pit-bull reporter whose probing, brazen style made his name synonymous with the tough interview style he practically invented for television more than half a century ago. . . .”  The Chairman of CBS News and executive producer of 60 Minutes, Jeff Fager, described Wallace as an “infectious, funny and ferocious person . . . .”  As one writer explained, “Wallace didn’t just interview people. He interrogated them. He cross-examined them. Sometimes he eviscerated them.  His weapons were many:  thorough research, a cocked eyebrow, a skeptical ‘Come on’ and a question so direct sometimes it took your breath away.”

These qualities made for one of America’s most successful and respected interviewers and journalists.  Wallace had a knack for drawing the truth out of public and private figures, exposing wrongdoing of both personal and national proportions.  These qualities also make for a successful trial lawyer.

Sure, in recent years, television has provided us lawyers with so many role models, and taught us all kinds of helpful things about the practice of law.  From Law and Order’s Jack McCoy, we know that winning lawyers essentially speak in one-liners.  From The Practice’s Bobby Donnell, we know that the best trial attorneys have piercing blue eyes and a 5 o’clock shadow 24 hours a day.  From The Good Wife’s Alicia Florrick, we know that third-year associate lawyers routinely run cases pretty much all by themselves.  And from Boston Legal’s Denny Crane, we know that the most successful lawyers of all refer to themselves in the third person, and are pretty much just William Shatner.

But for years, I have drawn lawyerly inspiration from Wallace, whose interviewing style is a model for how evidence can be effectively collected in deposition and presented at trial.  And, in an era of video-savvy jurors, lawyers have much to learn from Wallace’s techniques. Continue reading the full story . . . »

5 Important Cases You Should Watch in 2012…and 5 Totally Unimportant Cases You Might Not Be Able to Stop Watching Even if You Tried (Part 1 of 2)

‘Tis the season.

‘Tis the season to be jolly.  ‘Tis the season to go shopping.  ‘Tis the season for political gaffes.  ‘Tis for hilarious gifting of intentionally awful presents.  Yes, ‘tis the season for lots of things, but most of all, ‘tis the season for top-ten lists.

Ten best movies.  Ten best dressed.  Ten best pet gifts.  Ten best of everything.  Ten best top-ten lists.

It seems only fitting, then, to embrace the spirit of the season, and look ahead to 2012 in obligatory list form.  But let’s mix it up a little by breaking up our list into two parts.  Today, we bring you five important cases you should watch in 2012.  On Friday, we’ll follow up with five totally unimportant trainwrecks of cases you might not be able to pry your eyes away from. Continue reading the full story . . . »

An Early Holiday Present from Law Law Land

It’s the holiday season, and if your house is anything like ours, things are getting a little hectic. The latkes are burning on the stove, the dog ate a sprig of mistletoe and now someone needs to drive it to the expensive vet that’s open on weekends and holidays, and…err…well, we can’t identify a single piece of Kwanzaa paraphernalia to build a joke around. Sorry.

Anyhow, we figure that you’re probably so busy these days — what with all that last-minute holiday shopping (still not too late to get us that ShoeDini we wanted!), dealing with visiting in-laws, and covering for all of your co-workers while they’re on vacation (not that we’re bitter) — you haven’t taken any time to treat yourself. Well, that’s why you have us.

We don’t want to give away what we’re giving you for Christmahanukwanzakah (it’s ecumenical), but we thought you deserved a little early holiday joy — in the form of what might be the greatest piece of legal correspondence in history (with special thanks to the rabid self-flagellating masochists Cleveland sports fans at ’64 and Counting)… Continue reading the full story . . . »

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