ABA Journal

Columns

Alex Murdaugh and whether to testify in your own defense

As a criminal defense attorney with my fair share of trial experience, it’s always interesting to see how other practitioners litigate their cases. After all, the legal profession enjoys playing Monday morning quarterback with its analysis. I personally try not to cast stones; I’m far from flawless in trial. But that’s the beauty of the process: No one is perfect in that setting.


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Preventive Law: Helping your clients before push comes to shove

Rare is the client who looks to litigators, alternative dispute resolution specialists or even corporate counsel as the “go to” persons for providing services that will prevent disputes. Most attorneys serve their clients by representing them in disputes that are already or soon to be underway, with a focus on billable negotiation, mediation, arbitration or litigation representation. When it comes to employee and manager education, skills training and systemic dispute prevention, business leaders look not to their attorney advocates but to a potpourri of human relations consultants, trainers and behavioral science experts.


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What makes for unhappy lawyers?

Hey, lawyers! Is everybody happy? If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands. Many of our colleagues are not exactly thrilled while practicing law. As Nanki-Poo in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado might say, the best way they could express their joys of law practice would be “modified rapture.”


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Is this a court of record or 'Nothing But Trouble'?

I’ve always been a fan of those movies that are so bad they’re good. They come in various forms. Sometimes it’s your standard low-budget “B-movie” that owes its appeal to the fact that, despite its low budget, a great deal of effort was put into the production only to yield a subpar result. The 2003 film The Room starring Tommy Wiseau and Juliette Danielle is a great example (and a must-watch for any fan of this genre).


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Chemerinsky: Student loan relief cases will have lasting effects whatever Supreme Court decides

No matter what the U.S. Supreme Court does in the cases involving the Biden administration’s student loan relief plan, there is sure to be a major effect on many people’s lives and on the law. On Tuesday, Feb. 28, the court heard oral arguments in two cases—Biden v. Nebraska and Department of Education v. Brown—that raise myriad legal issues and any path taken by the court will have significant consequences. (I was among 24 legal scholars who signed an amicus brief in support of the Biden administration).


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'Rust' and a look at criminal liability on movie sets

No profession is free from potential tragedy. It can come in various shapes and sizes to some degree or another, but the notion of someone dying while on a typical job is far from the realm of expectations. While these tragedies are always, well, tragic, death seems to hit on a different level when it happens in what should be a somewhat controlled environment. In that circumstance, as opposed to repercussions stemming from recklessness or a total disregard for safety, it is even more devastating when the death happens in the public eye for all the world to analyze.


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Even Death Can Be Political: An interview with forensic pathologist Michael Baden

It was May 29, 2020. Michael Baden, like most Americans, was holed up at home. For days, he had seen images on television of a lifeless George Floyd, his neck pinned to the ground by the knee of a Minneapolis police officer.


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The Case for ChatGPT: Why lawyers should embrace AI

Artificial intelligence has the potential to change the world in which we work and live. If you’ve been paying attention, you know that AI-related transformation is already happening, and the legal industry is not immune.


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Tools for legal professionals to work at higher level 'are on the horizon,' says software developer CEO

Ari Kaplan recently spoke with Early Stephens, the CEO of Actionstep, a practice management software developer that serves law firms worldwide, about its newly released survey, 2023 Midsize Law Firm Priorities Report, which focuses on the most prominent priorities and trends impacting legal teams.


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Humanizing the Process: A new approach to interviewing for law firms

For the past 20 years in the legal recruiting business, my firm, the Advocates, has focused on helping our clients land key lateral attorneys and improve retention through several unique processes designed to match candidates’ personalities to the right law firm and corporate cultures for them.


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