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Saturday, May 25, 2013


I attended a law school that is HUGE on advocacy.  There are more than a few students that wind up participating in trial competitions, moot court competitions or negotiation and mediation competitions.  Scholarships galore and support from the community make participating in advocacy-based programs more attractive.  If nothing else can be said, no one can dispute that Cumberland School of Law prepares you to be an effective advocate.

In addition to the general atmosphere of the law school being pro-advocacy, the coaches that the school brings in are phenomenal!  My coach taught me more than I could have ever possibly hoped to learn on my own. 
Rule #1 in trial advocacy? "Listen, listen, DAMMIT listen." 
Rule #2? "Why doesn't matter"
Rule #3? "Do NOT ask a question you don't know the answer to...unless the answer doesn't matter."

There are many more "rules" of trial advocacy and really I subscribe to the camp that you are either someone that has 'IT' or you don't.

SSSSoooooo, I said all of that to say, there is an Assistant District Attorney in our jurisdiction that does not have 'it' anywhere in her little body.  One of the things you learn early on (if you have good coaches or helpful upperclassmen that are willing to guide you in the right direction) in the process is you do not start all of your questions with "and."  As a matter-of-fact, you shouldn't start ANY of your questions with 'and.'  So as I sit in trials with her month after month, it burns that special spot on the upper-right corner of my stomach to hear her ask questions:

"...and was that during the day or at night?"

"...and did you see the defendant?"

"...and what was the defendant wearing?"

"...and can you tell us what happened when you first came into contact?"

"...and what did he say?"

"...and what did he do?"



                  ...and... get the point.  Now, imagine sitting      through hours of that.  You want to gouge your eyes out with a dirty, bent, rusty nail, don't you?

I am very, very thankful for the education, both formal and informal, that I received at Cumberland.  I wish I could send her there.  It might make sitting through trials with her a little more bearable.

Until next time,

Be blessed, be careful, don't consent and don't confess.