Author Archives: Roy Black

Carr & Emory

I recently was a judge in the UM moot court competition. While walking down the corridor to the faculty lounge I noticed a the class picture of the first graduating class in 1929 and was jolted to see a very young Henry R. Carr. His picture brought back memories of my public defender days.

Ted Olson

This past Sunday (11/16/14), I had the privilege of introducing Ted Olson for the first lecture panel at this year’s Miami Book Fair. Ted and his wife Lady, along with two of the plaintiffs, Chris Perry and Sandy Stier, were on the panel. The subject was the intense five years of litigation leading up to the Supreme Court’s decision to rule California’s Proposition 8 unconstitutional.

RIP: Cross-Examination Has Died in Georgia

I have a Google alert for “rape” and an article from a local newspaper in Georgia popped up on my computer screen this morning. Benjamin Tyler Gray, 29, is on trial charged with rape in Coweta County Superior Court, Georgia. A 27-year-old woman, unnamed of course, testified she woke up to find Gray in bed with her. The victim claims that the sexual encounter was not consensual even though she admitted did not attempt to resist Gray. Gray claims the sex was consensual. Thus the only issue for the jury was whether she consented to sex.

Final Argument: Finding the Stories

“…the secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They don’t deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They don’t surprise you with the unforeseen. They are as familiar as the house you live in. Or the smell of your lover’s skin.

Imagining the 21st Century Law School

The perfect school for litigation sits on the corner of 57th street and Seventh Avenue in mid-town Manhattan. It is called Carnegie Hall and unfortunately it is dedicated to music rather than law.

Voir Dire: 2014

We started the first trial in my law school class. The initial exercise was jury selection. I coached the students while they were standing in front of the jury box doing the exercise and later I sent the following notes to them:

Bulldogging in Miami

Naturally I read the legal commentary following Nel’s cross of Pistorius. Most lawyers were critical, labeling Nel’s sarcasm and bullying as argumentative and thus objectionable in a US court. While I generally agree with those observations, it appears there is a place for bulldogging.

Be Like LeBron

Last night I watched the Miami Heat crush the Indiana pacers to win the Eastern Conference Finals. This victory was notable for two reasons: the Pacers were designed to beat the Heat and their defense specifically created to stop LeBron James.

Risky Business

At the last NBA All-Star game SAP unveiled a player-efficiency software program called SportVU. It records every movement of a player during a game. It plots 792,000 data points — shooting, rebounding, defensive efficiency, spacing on the court, speed, and dribbling. By crunching these numbers it predicts the most effective combination of players and reduces the coach’s risk.

The “Bull Dog” Cross

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.