Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Curmudgeon's Guide

Over at the Wall Street Journal's Law Blog, Peter Lattman is running excerpts from a new book entitled The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law, by Mark Hermann.  I looked at the excerpt on prepping witnesses for, and defending depositions (hell is an eternity of defending depositions; my stomach still churns thinking about it, and I haven't done it in almost seventeen years).  The advice looks sound, ethical, and about what most lawyers would say is standard operating procedure.  I hope, however,  later chapters explain that the question-parsing hair-splitting approach to being a witness (a) managed to trip up Bill Clinton in a pretty famous deposition; and (b) is not the way you want a witness to behave in front of a jury, most of whom generally use language in the ordinary human's way, and look askance at what sounds like "lawyer talk."  [Jeff Lipshaw]

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