Constitutional Daily

Founding Principles

The Tenure Paradox - Robot pimp

Slap on the Wrist for "Non-Consensual Sex" - Lampshade, Esq.

Intelligence: The Gathering - Graphic and Gratuitous

Grads are the New Illegals - Robot Pimp

Meet Entitlement Eric - Robot Pimp

Wherein I Solve World Peace - Lampshade, Esq.

A Necessary Delusion - Shadow Hand

Do you even need to shave overhead? - Lawyerlite

LSAT Jenga - Publius Picasso

http://www.constitutionaldaily.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1573:legal-reasoning-redux-5&catid=38:there-and-never-back-again&Itemid=65

Time, Place, and Manner

...Should have some links here or something.

Banner

National Litigation League: New Trial Rules

E-mail Print PDF

One of my friends is trying a case and I am attempting to find time to come out and show support. When I was told when and where things were going to kick off (as well as being admonished to not make any contact with the trial team), I immediately texted back asking if it would be ok to show up with signs of support in hand (D-Fence, John 3:16), or with my face painted and wearing a jersey emblazoned with their client’s name on it. I was told that I would have been shot by the courtroom deputy had I tried a stunt like that.

I may have also toyed with showing up with a beer-stocked cooler ready to heckle the opposing counsel when they started to do anything positive. This plan of action was also decided against, though I may still do a bit of trialgating on the courthouse steps.

This got me to thinking of how we could improve the entertainment level for members of the jury (and public as a whole) if we were to infuse a few football rules into the trial process. I’m not talking shoulder pads, helmets and field turf in the courtroom, but potentially we could have the Judge done a striped shirt (see trial lawyer, named partner of a decently sized Arizona firm and veteran NFL referee Ed Hochuli for reference). In addition, the courtroom clerk could act as the one who holds a modified down sign but instead of a big orange number displaying 3rd down, it would proclaim "D" for direct examination, "X" for cross, and "RD" and "RX" for redirect and recross, should the case be so contentious as to get into a 4 down situation.

Further joining the gridiron and the trial, we could replace the time-honored tradition of the Plaintiff presenting the case first by having a coin toss administered in the center of the courtroom as soon as jury selection is completed. The differing natures of the Plaintiff and Defendant's opening statements necessitate the Plaintiff going first, so maybe a double headed coin would have to be used. But the jury wouldn't know, it'd still be exciting for them.

We don’t have to stop with just the Judge and the Clerk, it would be glorious to walk into the courtroom just as opening statements are about to begin and instead of a traditional court reporter sitting just off the well of the courtroom, there is an individual holding one of those big parabolic microphones that we see on the sidelines each and every Sunday. Though, this may pose a problem for when there are sidebars as the courtroom’s stadium quality sound system would broadcast every 'um,' 'uh,' 'You’ve got to be effing kidding me!!! That was clearly out of bounds your honor!' and 'Kill! Kill! Kill!'

I think that one final area of trial that could use the infusion of pigskin (not to be confused with a hot beef injection) would be the way that the Court would respond to objections. Much like the NFL, I could envision the judge taking a more active role in objections, throwing a yellow flag and imposing the same penalty as a false start: five yards and repeat the question. When there is an objection based on misstating evidence, the judge would get off the bench, stroll to the corner of the courtroom and promptly 'go under the hood' to see the replay in as many angles as possible. While we are at it, we could rename "contempt" with the football inspired "unlawyerly conduct," and "leading the witness" becomes "offensive question interference."

Excessive celebration is allowed, but only at the conclusion of a trial (no celebrating a great witness impeachment).

Sparring attorneys would have challenge flags for when they think the court has overlooked an error or made a bad call. Like the NFL, you get two per court session (resetting after a recess), and a third if you win the first two. Lose a challenge but still think you were right? Throw your second challenge flag and inform the judge that you "strenuously object."

Not only would this enliven the courtroom experience for those who have to be there, but it would provide the average American with a renewed interest in the justice system. A new wave of civic minded super citizens would emerge, the country would pull itself out of its partisan slump, and the Golden Age of American Jurisprudence would be born. Or, failing that, those of us stuck in the courtroom all day would at least have a chance to chat with Erin Andrews after the verdict comes down.

[Read more from The Namby Pamby]

Philadelphia Lawyer, Unfiltered

The finest blend of analysis, advice, and fury on the internet. Sour mash, oak barrel aged, published at cask strength.

 


Most Recent Article:

In Defense of Risk (Happy Fourth of July)


All Articles from The Philadelphia Lawyer

Author Profile

The Robot Pimp

An in depth look at the emerging intersection of law, behavioral economics, and robots.


Most Recent Article:

The Tenure Paradox


All Articles from The Robot Pimp

Author Profile

Practice Makes Putrid

Legal practice would be all rainbows and buttercups, if it weren't for the clients, and opposing counsel, and co-counsel, and judges, and the law.


Most Recent Article:

Eat Mor Fiv Freedums


All Articles from The Namby Pamby

Author Profile

Gin and Glannon's

As Shadow Hand suffers through law school, the rest of us get a little Schadenfreude.


Most Recent Article:

I Just Work Here


All Articles From Shadow Hand

Author Profile

Irresistible Impulse

Dr. Rob Dobrenski's daring expedition into the psychology of lawyers and the law. (Not a substitute for a life well lived.)


Most Recent Article:

You're Not a Failure, You're a Narcissist


All Articles from Dr. Rob

Author Profile

Graphic and Gratuitous

Sometimes cartoons are the highest form of communication. Those times are known as "most of the time."


Most Recent Cartoons:

Intelligence: The Gathering


All Cartoons

There And Never Back Again

Defunct Big Law attorney BL1Y shares his misadventures as a writer who accidentally went to law school.

 


Most Recent Article:

JD vs MFA


All Articles from BL1Y

Author Profile

Lampshade, Esquire

We're dealing with some technical difficulties here. Hold up a minute.


All Articles From Lampshade, Esq.

Staff Infections

News, humor, and other non-billables from our underpaid, uncredited, unsexy staff.

 


News Articles

Smaller News Bits

Large Numbers of Law

Mixed Bag of Lawesome

Reviews

Scofflaw Multistate Bar Review

Lawyerlite