The “Bull Dog” Cross

Written by Roy Black

In the beginning I had little interest in the Oscar Pistorius trial; only after reading descriptions of Gerrie “The Bull Dog” Nel’s cross-examination of Pistorius (OP) did I pay attention. The skill of cross examination is something I am intensely interested in and Nel failed to disappoint me. I could teach a seminar using his technique.

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The Lament of Zachary Warren

Written by Roy Black

Zachary Warren was a master of the universe. At least the legal universe. At 29 a Stanford degree, a magna cum laude graduate of Georgetown Law School, a clerkship at the Sixth Circuit and a job at the Wall Street titan Dewey & LeBoeuf. But this legal prodigy made a bonehead mistake any grizzled veteran of the criminal bar educated at a third rate law school would have prevented. He talked to a prosecutor without a lawyer.

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Cross Examination: The Sympathetic Yet Deadly Witness

Written by Roy Black

The challenge – how to cross examine, impeach or even just diminish the impact of sympathetic witnesses without losing your audience?

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Richard Sharpstein: A Tape Surfaces

Written by Roy Black

In my post about Richard’s particular skill in presenting final arguments, I lamented there was no video tape of his courtroom performances. Fortunately I was partially wrong: Dore Louis, an excellent criminal defense lawyer and friend, emailed me an audio clip of a Sharpstein final argument.

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Richard A. Sharpstein 1950-2013

Written by Roy Black

Miami has lost an outspoken lawyer-public citizen. This past December, my friend and colleague Richard Sharpstein died by his own hand. If you knew Richard you knew he was part criminal lawyer, part social commentator and all showman.

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Final Argument: Rebutting “Commonsense”

Written by Roy Black

At least 311 innocent people were condemned by “commonsense.” There are probably a lot more languishing in our dungeons, but at least that many convicted inmates have been exonerated through DNA. I bet in each one of those trials the prosecutor told the jury to use their “god-given commonsense” to fill in any gaps in the evidence and convict the accused.

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The Marchman Act: Mastering a New Area of the Law

Written by Marcos Beaton

A client recently came to us with a problem that we had never handled before. He was facing a Marchman Act petition under Chapter 397 of the Florida Statutes. For those that don’t know, Chapter 397 authorizes involuntary evaluation and treatment for substance abuse. And although we specialize in protecting clients from encroachment on their constitutional rights and freedoms, this case involved having to master an area of the law with which we had only — at best — a vague familiarity. So, how did we do it and what did we learn?

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Final Argument: Douglas MacArthur

Written by Roy Black

Few doubt that General Douglas MacArthur was a brilliant man. He graduated first in his class at West Point. He earned over 100 military decorations from the U.S. and other countries. During the First World War he won the Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Service Cross twice, and Seven Silver Stars.

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UM Moot Court Competition

Written by Roy Black

Last week was packed full of advocacy. On Wednesday, Howard argued at the Supreme Court while I tried a 3-day civil non-jury case (a declaratory action, so no jury), and Sunday afternoon I was a judge for the semi-final round of the law school’s moot court competition.

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Partner Howard Srebnick Argued Asset Seizure Before the United States Supreme Court

Written by Wanda Gomez

On March 18, 2013, a Petition for Writ of Certiorari was granted in the case of United States v. Kaley, U.S. Supreme Court Case No. 12-464. Howard Srebnick, a Partner in the Firm, appeared before the United States Supreme Court yesterday, October 16, 2013.

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