The random thoughts of an architect-turned- lawyer from the deep south living in Washington, DC...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


I have my final trial for my Trial Advocacy class tonight and, rest assured, it will suck. Many factors will go into the sucktitude that will prevail. For instance, I owe a huge thanks to my Judge/Professor who denied my pre-trial motion to exclude evidence last night. "You know, Law-Rah, I should grant your motion to exclude this extremely prejudicial piece of paper that they have absolutely no way to authenticate, *giggle* but I think it would make the class more interesting to go ahead and let it in *giggle*." (Please note that I did NOT respond by saying "your honor, if this is about making things more interesting, I could cross the courtroom and kick you in the shin when you try to leave. I think that would be really interesting *giggle*.) Riiight.

I guess Judge/Prof had a point. I mean, why actually inject the rules or law into class at this point? Like that time when they decided we should practice our opening and closing statements (for this case) in front of the class and I said "wait, um, if we do it in front of the team we are going against, won't that give away our trial strategy?" Apparently, that is okay. "Silly, Law-Rah, this is not about trial strategy. It's okay if they know your entire theme of the case." So, now opposing counsel knows what we are going to say. And we are the plaintiff, which means we go first. Which means all they have to do is respond to what we say. Did I mention they already know what we are going to say. Why don't we just take the "adversarial" completely out of the system? Riiight.

Another factor that will add to our sucktitude is the case itself. It's a fairly straightforward insurance contract. They pay double for accidental death to the tune of $500,000. We represent the widow who is suing the company for her money. Insurance Co. is trying to claim they don't have to pay because of the clause in the contract regarding suicide. WHAT? That is preposterous. What makes anyone think this man would kill himself? Okay, so maybe he was in debt up to his ears and was being investigated by the attorney general for embezzlement. And maybe just the day before he said crazy things like "I'm desperate for money and I'm worth more dead than alive." And maybe when he was found, he had been alone in his home-office, door locked, shades drawn, with a bullet hole through his face. I'm thinking it will be easy to convince a jury this was an accident. Riiight.

Wish me luck. And no matter what happens, I can assure you, that our sucktitude will have nothing to do with our two fabulous witnesses!