Beyond formal rules of evidence

Last year the Wall Street Journal wrote about problems with sleeping jurors. Brooklyn law professor I. Bennett Capers’ new article Evidence Without Rules, forthcoming in the Notre Dame Law Review, points out a much more pervasive issue: all the information jurors take in when they are awake. The rules of evidence strictly limit what jurors … Continue reading Beyond formal rules of evidence

Silence for lawyers

Silence. That was the heart of Emma González’s speech at March for Our Lives on March 24. After a introductory remarks, she named the 17 dead and the small experiences in life they would never partake of again. Then she stood, silent, for the remainder of six minutes and 20 seconds—the time it took for … Continue reading Silence for lawyers

A digression: re-learning to swim

While attempting—as an adult—to learn how to swim properly, the experience gave me a whole new appreciation for what 1L legal writing students go through. The idea of adults trying new things in middle age is a whole genre, found in a variety of essays and books, e.g. What I learned as the worst student … Continue reading A digression: re-learning to swim

“May it please the Court…”

It’s that time of year when 1Ls start preparing for their first oral argument. In a class on how to prepare, I’ll be sure to share this tweet from experienced SCOTUS advocate Bob Loeb of Orrick: The card given to you by the Supreme Court Clerk before argument has last minute advice. pic.twitter.com/j6l63f9ZLa — Bob … Continue reading “May it please the Court…”

“I hear you”

https://twitter.com/CNNPolitics/status/966470869475381248 “I hear you.” Those words can be powerful. They can also be scripted. At his listening session with survivors of mass shootings at schools and families of victims, President Trump was photographed holding a notecard with five points. They included questions such as “What would you most want me to know about your experience?” … Continue reading “I hear you”

Supporting those who failed the bar

It’s so difficult to balance empathy with advice. This post from Joe Regalia in the ABA Before the Bar Blog achieves that balance in addressing a very sensitive subject: life after failing the bar exam. Joe acknowledges that the community of those who have failed the bar is something of a “secret society,” one that … Continue reading Supporting those who failed the bar

Ready to listen

How can I be an ally? How can I let people know I’m really ready to listen? At the Georgia Association for Women Lawyers’ CLE on women in leadership held today at the State Bar of Georgia, several participants shared their desire to help and to listen. Discussions around #MeToo are bringing out stories suppressed sometimes for … Continue reading Ready to listen

How Should Judges Listen to Victim Impact Statements?

Many thanks to Rhani M. Lott of Emory Law School for this guest post. “I do want to thank you, first, Judge Aquilina, for giving all of us the chance to reclaim our voices. Our voices were taken from us for so long, and I’m grateful beyond what I can express that you have given us the … Continue reading How Should Judges Listen to Victim Impact Statements?