CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Loyola Law School Holds Celebrity Justice Conference

From High-profile Los Angeles trial attorneys told law students Thursday that lofty notions of jurisprudence, such as the presumption of innocence or burden of proof, are all well and good. But in defending clients, it's best to focus on how jurors actually think, they told a conference on celebrity justice at Loyola Law School.

For example, Richard Hutton, who specializes in cases of driving under the influence and was recently hired by Paris Hilton in her probation violation case, said it was easy to choose panelists for the clients he defends.

"You want to pick people in my little world…. that drink and drive," he said, to laughs from the students.

Hutton said he watches potential jurors on their breaks and notes the ones who smoke. "How many people do you know who smoke but don't drink, who are not going to" Alcoholics Anonymous?

The program — called the Fidler Institute on Criminal Justice — aims to give students a look at the "inner workings of the criminal justice system."

It was named for Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler, a Loyola alumnus who is now hearing the Phil Spector murder trial and canceled the day's court proceedings to attend the event.

Fidler said he hoped to expand the program in coming years.

"My goal is to make Loyola the destination for anyone who wants to practice criminal law," he said.

The seminar brought together some of the top practitioners of criminal law, both prosecutors and defense lawyers, to discuss the craft of preparing and arguing a case. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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