Biden recalls time he bluffed knowledge of torts case and why he changed his mind about civil-trial work

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AP Biden January 2023

President Joe Biden waves before boarding Air Force One at the El Paso International Airport in El Paso, Texas, on Jan. 8, 2023, to travel to Mexico City. (Photo by Andrew Harnik/The Associated Press)

President Joe Biden digressed when answering questions last fall about documents stored at his vice presidential residence to remember his tough torts class at the Syracuse University College of Law and the first job that he got after graduation.

Biden was responding in October to questions by then-special counsel Robert K. Hur, who later concluded that Biden shouldn’t be charged with mishandling classified information because jurors would perceive him as a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

Reuters has the story on Biden’s law school recollection, based on this transcript. Above the Law noted the story.

Biden said he didn’t take law school very seriously. is torts professor, who was “really difficult,” called on Biden to discuss a case that he had never read.

Biden said he nonetheless stood up and spoke for 10 minutes.

“The whole class stood up, started clapping,” Biden said.

The torts professor noted that not a single thing that Biden said was relevant to the case. But he was apparently impressed by Biden’s performance.

“You’ll be a hell of a trial lawyer,” Biden recalled the professor saying.

After law school, Biden took a job with the best-known trial law firm in Delaware handling mostly civil-defense cases. Biden recalled a case involving a “poor kid” who was 23 years old when his jeans caught fire at his worksite. The man had been wearing the wrong pants, and when his jeans caught fire he lost part of his penis and testicles.

Delaware law barred a tort recovery if there was contributory negligence by the plaintiff. Biden was asked to write a motion to dismiss.

He did so, “and son of a b- - - -, it prevailed,” Biden said. “And I looked over at that kid and his wife home with two little kids, and I thought, ‘Son of a b- - - -, I’m in the wrong business. I’m not made for this.’”

He quit the job and became a public defender.

See also:

“Special counsel: No charges for Biden in classified documents probe”

“Trump-appointed US attorney is investigating classified documents found by Biden’s lawyers at office he used”

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