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Defense Attorneys Need Not Fear the Reptile Strategy

Posted on Friday, May 1st, 2020 at 11:55 pm    

The Reptile Strategy has garnered quite a bit of attention in recent years.  And, perhaps, for good reason.  However, if we play our cards right, we should be able to unveil it for what it is: highly manipulative.  And once jurors become aware that they’re being manipulated, the strategy tends to backfire.  In other words, […]

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Witness Preparation

Posted on Thursday, April 23rd, 2020 at 10:43 pm    

In our years of preparing witnesses, if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s this: there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.  Each witness presents his or her own unique challenges.  So although there are certain things we can and should do, it’s important to admit up front that witness preparation is both a science and an art.  In other words, regardless of how […]

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What should be the purpose of voir dire?

Posted on Wednesday, April 15th, 2020 at 6:02 pm    

The Constitution protects our right to an impartial jury.  But actually producing an impartial jury from among our peers can be challenging, especially given how attorneys and judges are trained. We often think that the purpose of voir dire is simply to identify biases. But this isn’t altogether true. We all operate from the perspective […]

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Civil jury and its place in the American legal system

Posted on Friday, April 3rd, 2020 at 1:15 pm    

America’s legal system is not perfect.  But if we’re being honest, what system is?  Moreover, even if there existed a perfect system, imperfect men and women would be responsible for its discharge. This would all but guarantee its inevitable demise in the absence of the most stringently enforced checks and balances.  In The Federalist No. […]

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Arguments: Virtue or Vice?

Posted on Saturday, March 28th, 2020 at 12:59 am    

Ironically, the question, “Is arguing a virtue or a vice?” can only be answered by arguing whether or not arguments are a virtue or a vice. So it seems clear, at least initially, arguing must be a virtue, assuming of course it’s done in a principled way. Besides, how else can the truth be discovered? […]

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