Category: Criminal Defense

5-Second Probation

We were pleased to make the Southern District of Florida Blogspot today.   Check out other news articles about the Mary Estelle Curran case here.

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Samuel Leibowitz

Samuel Leibowitz August 14, 1893 – January 11, 1978 While reading an article in Thursday’s New York Times (4/4/13),I flashed back forty years deep into my public defender days. Alabama lawmakers voted to issue posthumous pardons to the Scottsboro Boys,  nine black teenagers, who were wrongly convicted of rape more than 80 years ago based […]

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The Dade County Bar Association’s Bench & Bar Conference

On Friday morning (2/8/13) I had the pleasure of joining a Bar panel discussing criminal law issues. The panel had the grandiose title of “Criminal Law with the Legends” (usually when other lawyers call you a legend this translates to over-the-hill). But despite the pompous title the panel was an excellent one. The moderator was […]

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The Business of Persuasion (Part 2)

This is a continuation of my thesis that business books on persuasion, selling and marketing are the almost perfect guidebooks for trial lawyers. This is not to mean one must slavishly follow every principle set forth in these books. They have great ideas which must be adjusted for our use. We are not presenting in […]

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Cross-examine Like a Psychopath

I came across a new book called The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success by Kevin Dutton. A catchy title even for the motivational field. He claims that CEOs and lawyers are high in the psychopathy continuum. This sounds bad but he makes the point that psychopathic traits really aren’t all bad. It’s all a matter of degree. He writes that the seven deadly “wins” are ruthlessness, charm, focus, mental toughness, fearlessness, mindfulness and action.

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Authenticity

My last post on the presidential debate focused on the disastrous, lackluster, non-performance by Obama, but now I want to dissect the performance of Mitt Romney who has been declared the clear winner of the debate. In my opinion Romney will advance only in the short term because his performance, albeit energetic and captivating, lacked authenticity. Authenticity is equally important to lawyers as to politicians.

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Final Argument: Tone (Part 3) – The Presidential Debate

Trial lawyers start working on their final argument from the first day on a case and keep working it until they get up on their feet and start talking. They continually collect ideas, details, and special facts to weave into arguments. They write out the boiler plate arguments like reasonable doubt, presumption of innocence and how to highlight the critical jury instructions. They know these set-pieces will always be part of the argument. They are not prepared in a rush the night before or off the top of their head. These lessons could have helped the President in the first Presidential debate.

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Final Argument: Tone (Part 2)

Can you expect to persuade an audience or a jury by scowling like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did at the UN yesterday?

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The West Memphis Three (Part 2)

Damien Echols has written a book about his experiences with the criminal justice system and death row to excellent reviews. He has been doing the interview circuit and tonight I heard him on NPR. I wrote an earlier post on the case, but his interview brought the shock of it all back to me again. In spades.

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“Get Me Giesler”

I took a pilgrimage of sorts today. Nothing arduous like hiking to Jerusalem or Mecca. From my LA house, I drove down the street to Sunset Boulevard, and took a right to Jerry Giesler’s house to commune with the great defense lawyer of the Hollywood’s by-gone golden age.

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