General

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Briefs: Police Computers, Drone Future, RBG Nails, Etc.

The Oakland PD uses a computer running Windows XP with a paltry 80GB hard drive to store license plate photos — and ran out of space like your parents on vacation. The upside is they will stop trying to store license plate data forever. [Ars Technica] Ten (apparently) reasons visitors leave your website: Bad or […]

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How Cross-Examination Bullying Can Wreck Your Case

When a lot of lawyers think of cross-examination, they think of a fight-to-the-death cage match between the lawyer and the witness. They think of scenes like these from prosecutor Juan Martinez’s cross-examination of Jodi Arias: Those of you who don’t want to do cross-examination like this can breathe easy—there’s a better way. You’ve guessed it; […]

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Briefs: Smart Socks, the Death of BigLaw (Again), Accordions, Etc.

That political cartoon appears to be an older political cartoon by Jack Ohman while he was at the Oregonian. The archives don’t go back to April 2012, though, which is apparently when it ran in the paper. It seems about right for the current state of law enforcement. What This Is Like many people who […]

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Lawyers Whose Direct Examinations Sound Like James Joyce Novels

Direct examination is one of the most important parts of trial. It is your vehicle for establishing the key facts in your case, laying the foundation for your evidence, and connecting with a jury. An effective direct examination doesn’t happen by accident. As Gerry Spence notes, it must be part of a bigger narrative: If […]

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Science Proves Jerk Lawyers Beget More Jerk Lawyers

Se we learned a while ago that an unwarranted percentage of lawyers are essentially high-functioning psychopaths. You might be telling yourself you dodged that psychopath bullet because you are just not that awful. You are nice to your spouse, children, kittens, stray dogs, etc. It is just at work that you are a ball of stress and anger. […]

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Even Yale Knows Billable Hours Are Awful

Working on the billable hour model is a lesson in the law of diminishing returns. At least that's the takeaway from Yale Law School's Career Development Office. According to Yale's numbers, to bill 1800 hours per year you would have to "work" over 2400 hours.

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5 Handwritten Pleadings That Will Make You Lose Faith in Humanity

If you are thinking of handwriting your next pleading, do not let these examples guide you.

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Legal Marketing: Get ‘Em While They’re Young

Many lawyers dream of having their ads becoming viral sensations. Nothing would be better than your name being the first thing in anyone’s head whenever they have a legal problem. But personal injury lawyer Morris Bart in Louisiana has done every lawyer one better, and has become the theme of a two-year-old’s birthday party. You read […]

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Short-Term Rentals: Your Alternative to Hotels

It gets old paying for expensive hotel rooms lacking personality. Short-term rental companies, like Airbnb, offer an alternative with a few caveats.

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Committers of Nothing (2015 Short-Fiction Contest Winner)

Jason Steed’s short-story, “Committers of Nothing,” is the winner of the second annual Lawyerist Short-Fiction Contest.  On our first day in Hinkley my wife, Cory, accused me of sleeping with a woman she’d seen at The Market Place. I was unpacking a box of kitchen appliances. I stood there for a moment, in mute bewilderment. […]

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Stare Decisis (2015 Short-Fiction Contest Runner-Up)

Greg Walklin’s short-story, “Stare Decisis” is the runner-up in the second annual Lawyerist Short-Fiction Contest. The judge had already decided on leniency. The defendant’s attorney, perhaps auditioning for the bench herself, sought the briefest possible sentence, concluding with a history of her client, a stick-thin defendant of fourteen, Miguel Ochoa. Lyman Walters, District Court Judge for Lancaster County, had already […]

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Meetup: Coffee Before the 2015 WSBA #SoloSmallFirm Conference

Please join me at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 9th, at Coeur Coffeehouse in Spokane, WA, to get fueled up for the WSBA Solo and Small Firm Conference with some high-test caffeinated beverages. It’s hard to judge coffee excellence from Google Maps, but Coeur Coffeehouse looks like a good bet. It’s about a 15-minute walk […]

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It’s Just Marriage, Now

Here’s the decision on CaseText. Twitter is the place to be if you want the firehose of reactions as everyone reads the 103-page decision as fast as they can. Or just head for the nearest downtown this weekend for what will surely be the most joyful Pride ever.

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Stop Using An Email Signature

Internet denizens, we came so close to getting rid of clunky sign-offs to our written communication. Email was supposed to be deliberately informal and was not going to mimic our culturally-ingrained letter-sending formalities. When e-mail first entered the office in the 1990s, most users wanted to abandon the formalities of letter writing altogether, so they omitted signoffs. […]

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Lawyers Suck At Diversity and We Don’t Want to Talk About It

It’s time for some real talk about how terrible our profession is at ensuring diversity. We talk the talk, with BigLaw firms hiring “diversity coordinators” and law schools attempting to make efforts to recruit students of color, but we’re failing, and we’re failing hard. [A]ccording to Bureau of Labor statistics, law is one of the […]