By John G. Browning While I enjoyed Marcel Strigberger’s recent Your Voice column on how the use of humor can help in law practice, I have to disagree with its central thesis. Don’t get me wrong—I appreciate the need for levity in our profession as much as the next lawyer. After all, I write humor columns for the Texas Bar Journal and Texas Lawyer focusing on the more lighthearted aspects of our justice system. From strange but true cases—like the DWI suspect whose name was Sober, or the premises liability plaintiff whose slip and fall happened at a place called the Stumble Inn—to wacky warning labels to the flat-out bizarre moments like an attorney’s pants bursting into flames during a closing argument, I write about those funny moments in our professional lives as a way of providing a temporary escape from the stresses of daily practice. Yet, at the same time, my 30 years as a trial lawyer have taught me that using humor in the courtroom is … [Read more...] about Humor in the courtroom: No laughing matter
Closing argument example plaintiff
Nearly a thousand years ago in small Anglo-Saxon villages, trial by jury arose as part of the Magna Carta. When a villager was accused of a crime, a group of local men of similar status to the accused was assembled to hear the charges and reach a verdict. There were no attorneys, no witnesses, no testimony, no examination, no cross-examination and no evidence—as we think of it. Instead, jurors were expected to ask around the village, discuss what they knew and what they learned about the accused person’s reputation, history and character and decide whether the accusations were true. The entire trial took no more than a few hours, and if facts were missing, jurors relied on local gossip to fill in the gaps. Historians of the Anglo-Saxon jury system refer to these early jurors as “self-informing.” Today’s jury trials are nothing like these trials of the past, but jurors are still self-informing in surprising ways. When they can’t understand … [Read more...] about When it comes to jury trials, should you tell a story or stick to the facts?
By Guillermo Contreras Published 6:26 pm CST, Thursday, November 15, 2018 The John H. Wood, Jr. United States Courthouse stands next to HemisFair Park in San Antonio on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2010. LISA KRANTZ/[email protected] The John H. Wood, Jr. United States Courthouse stands next to HemisFair Park in San Antonio on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2010. LISA KRANTZ/[email protected] Photo: LISA KRANTZ, STAFF / SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS Photo: LISA KRANTZ, STAFF / SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS Image 1 of / 1 Caption Close Image 1 of 1 The John H. Wood, Jr. United States Courthouse stands next to HemisFair Park in San Antonio on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2010. LISA KRANTZ/[email protected] The John H. Wood, Jr. United States Courthouse stands next to HemisFair Park in San … [Read more...] about Trial wraps up in lawsuit against the state by developmentally disabled Texans
Sections SEARCH Skip to content Skip to site index Climate Subscribe Log In Log In Today’s Paper Advertisement Supported by ByJohn Schwartz Oct. 23, 2018 Want climate news in your inbox? Sign up here for Climate Fwd: , our email newsletter. EUGENE, Ore. — Julia Olson climbed the slope of Spencer Butte, taking the steeper of the two paths. Near the summit, shrouding pines suddenly gave way to a vista of the Cascades. On this day, summer wildfires, their season lengthened by climate change, put a haze in the sky. The climb and return, which she can power through in an hour, is a head-clearing ritual for Ms. Olson, an environmental attorney. It is also a place to compose the soaring language of opening and closing arguments. “I do my legal thinking here,” she said. If all goes as planned, Ms. Olson will deliver her opening argument on The young plaintiffs claim that the government’s actions, … [Read more...] about Young People Are Suing the Trump Administration Over Climate Change. She’s Their Lawyer.
close Video Trump still taunting Jeff Sessions Says 'I don't have an attorney general.' Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday lit into federal judges for what he called a dramatic uptick in "outrageous" decisions threatening to interfere with the separation of powers by exposing internal White House deliberations. In a fiery speech to the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington, Sessions warned that "once we go down this road in American government, there is no turning back." He vowed to take "these discovery fights to the Supreme Court in emergency postures. ... We intend to fight this, and we intend to win." Sessions specifically singled out New York district court judge Jesse M. Furman, who ruled that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross could be questioned in a lawsuit concerning how a citizenship question was added to the 2020 census, despite longstanding statutory provisions that protect certain executive branch discussions from disclosure, in a … [Read more...] about Sessions vows ’emergency’ Supreme Court battles amid ‘outrageous’ discovery rulings by federal judges