TRIAL MIX, EPISODE 4

Welcome to my weekly review of interesting events in law, literature and film …

 

1.      Lawsuit of the Week: Brewin’ Trouble

You may have heard that Taylor Sheridan and Cole Hauser had a dust up. Both are peddlin’ black water. But dadgum if Sheridan didn’t accuse Hauser of infringin’ on Sheridan’s Bosque Ranch coffee brand. Take a gander at the two logos.

If’n they look too much alike, the first in line can try to protect his brand against any Johnny come lately. Well, what was fixin to be a whizzer ended up going out with a whimper. Looks like Sheridan dismissed his case just before Christmas and before Hauser could even get a word in. Either someone got puddin’ foot or these fellers hashed it out. All’s quiet on that Western front. Here’s a copy of the lawsuit for you to read if you have a mind to.

2.  Legal Article of the Week: Smart Lawyers Can Be Really Dumb

Remember when the Presidents of Harvard, Penn, and MIT testified before Congress about the rise of anti-semitism on college campuses? It was a disaster. They hemmed and hawed and ducked and dodged. They were so inept at answering direct questions, they sounded like they were testifying in a deposition. Turns out, lawyers from Wilmer Hale, one of the most prestigious law firms in the country, prepared the witnesses for their day in the spotlight. Click here for the details.

Lawyers are well known for parsing words, sleights of tongue and obfuscation. This may work well in a court of law but in a court of public opinion?

I’m not sure who started the rumor that lawyers have the best communication skills. It’s not true.

3.  Humorous Article of the Week: Infinite Monkey Theorem

Have you ever heard of the Infinite Monkey Theorem? Put simply, a monkey randomly striking keys on a typewriter will eventually plink out a work of Shakespeare if given enough time.

This hilarious essay infuses the monkeys with the traits of tortured writers of the human variety.

 

4.  Books I Am Reading:

Bottom’s Up and The Devil Laughs by Kerry Howley

This was on several Best Books of 2023 lists. It is an examination of several people (Snowden, Assange, Reality Winner, Alex Jones, et al) and the events (and lies) that sow the seeds of doubt about our press and democracy.

It’s not a terribly long book (256 pages) but it was disjointed and, frankly, boring. There is very little analysis; mostly just unrelated, lengthy anecdotes.

If you’re going to sound the alarm about our opaque and corrupt institutions, you better bring it.

 

The Country of the Blind by Andrew Leland

Have you ever imagined what it would be like to be blind? The author has retinitis pigmentosa, a progressive eye disease that will eventually cause complete blindness. He now has a field of vision that allows him to see 6% of what a normal-sighted person can see. As his eyesight deteriorated he studied how blind people learned to cope and navigate a completely dark world.

In this excerpt, he visits a residential school for the blind where people learn to live without sight. One of the exercises involves getting dropped off in the middle of downtown Denver (completely blind with no smartphone) and having to navigate your way back to the school campus in a Denver suburb. And you’re only allowed to ask one stranger a single question along the way.

This is one of the more fascinating books I have ever read.

 

5. Movie Clip of the Week: And Justice For All

The best movie ever made about the quandary of criminal justice. Al Pacino stars as Arthur Kirkland, a ‘true believer’ criminal defense lawyer who is in the trenches on behalf of the accused. One of Kirkland’s clients is being wrongfully prosecuted. Kirkland has evidence to exonerate his client, but the “law and order” Judge won’t hear it. When this same Judge is later arrested for rape, the Judge blackmails Kirkland into representing him. I am unable to tell you more without ruining the film. The following clip is the opening statement from the prosecutor and Kirkland. Vintage Pacino, perfectly delivered.

And Justice for All

 

With Episode 4 in the books, I’d like to thank you for reading and wish you a very Happy 2024!

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