ABA Journal

ABA Journal

3371 ABA Journal ABA Journal articles.

Taking Sides

Letters: Praise for public defenders

Was the first English-language dictionary penned by a legal lexicographer?

The contender for the distinction is John Rastell (circa 1475–1536), who is commonly credited with having written the first English law dictionary. Yet he might just deserve credit for producing the first dictionary in the English language. Though early editions are undated, the first printing is thought to have appeared in 1523.

How a yearslong toxic tort case ended in record $363M verdict

This is how we exposed three decades of misdeeds and obtained a $363 million verdict—the largest in Illinois history on behalf of a single plaintiff.

California lawyer blazes a new career path as a firefighter and EMT

Aha moments are often likened to lightning strikes. But California family lawyer Nicole “Nico” Smith’s life-changing decision to become a professional firefighter followed an actual lightning strike.

How I made a career in mass torts

The law appealed to me for many reasons, the primary one being that one person, regardless of socioeconomic status, can take action and stand against a company or governmental actor that had wronged them and realize some modicum of justice—unlike many other legal systems found around the world.

Judge Ernestine Gray created a model court that put New Orleans children and families first

“You are impacting lives in a critical way,” says Judge Ernestine Gray about working in juvenile court. “And if you are talking about children who are growing up, it’s going to help determine where they are in the future. I don’t want to look back and say, ‘If I had done X for this child, maybe they could’ve done great things.’ So in the moment where you are, do the good work.”

In ‘Actual Malice,’ law prof explains why NYT v. Sullivan mattered in 1964 and is under attack today

The 1964 decision in New York Times v. Sullivan protected the civil rights movement, established the "actual malice" standard, and is the basis for modern American libel law. But in recent years, criticism of the case has grown among conservatives—with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas calling it "policy-driven decisions masquerading as constitutional law" and suggesting that the decision should be reconsidered.

How to manage data privacy risk more effectively

Ari Kaplan recently spoke with Jerry McIver, the director of cyber services and the data privacy officer for Trustpoint.One, an integrated legal solutions provider serving the Am Law 400 and the Fortune 2000.

Many young people arrested for Chicago carjackings have been exposed to violence daily, lawyer and pastor says

As rises in Chicago carjackings continue to increase fear among many residents, Cliff Nellis, an attorney and pastor who founded the Lawndale Christian Legal Center, says his nonprofit group represents a fair amount of young people charged with the crime.

Alex Murdaugh and whether to testify in your own defense

“At the end of the day, I do believe juries want to see someone get on the stand and say, ‘I didn’t do it.’ But at what cost?” writes ABA Journal columnist and Oklahoma lawyer Adam Banner.

A real defense of fake trials and a love letter to my family

I knew that arming teenagers with the ability to understand the difference between hearsay exemptions and exceptions would boomerang on me as a parent already locked in daily arguments about truth-telling. And yet, that’s what my husband and I did once our children were old enough to participate in high school mock trial competitions.

How Casetext utilized the latest GPT technology to create an AI legal assistant

The CEO and co-founder of Casetext talks about its AI legal assistant CoCounsel, as well as the potential of advanced chatbots to change the legal industry.

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.

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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