July 17, 2009
Passion alone instead of plus legal reasoning and precedent
I have just finished the first week of our Summer Entry Program. During the week, we discussed legal reasoning, legal authorities, analogies, adroit use of policy, judicial conservatism, and much more. At one point, we discussed that a lawyer may be passionate about a client's case but that well-reasoned argument would be essential for a court to decide in favor of that client.
The next day, I read a pertinent posting elsewhere (but in a senior moment, I cannot now find it to give a "hat tip" since the place that I was sure was the source was not, and the original e-mail is gone). The posting gave the following You Tube clip of a passionate attorney's unsuccessful argument: How not to argue your case.
My students had mixed reactions. Some looked pained as they listened to the attorney's voice filled with fervor while he made an inadequate argument. Some thought it was funny because the attorney was so obviously out of his depth and the court was so obviously exasperated. Others took in the lesson without comments. (Amy Jarmon)
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