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1

It's hard to say without more context, but the Court's statements seem silly: "It is not the exception, it is the definition of the exception." Is that really a meaningful distinction?

Without more of the transcript, it's hard to tell whether the Court is right that the e-mail is being offered for impeachment and not for its truth. Maybe the scene reads very differently on paper from the way it actually played out, but this really doesn't seem like a big error on Lawrence's part.

Posted by minderbender | June 25, 2008 10:27 AM
2

Isn't distinguishing hearsay from testimony Litigation 101 stuff?

Having a brain fart is one thing.  Reading the definition backwards and trying to argue to the judge that black is white--as a name partner, no less--that's humiliating.

Posted by lostboy | June 25, 2008 10:52 AM
3

Stuff like this is a commonplace occurrence in trial, and no real weight should be put on it.

People, including lawyers, get tired doing stressful tasks all day, and brain-farts happen.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | June 25, 2008 11:09 AM
4

1. He's not a name partner.

2. He didn't read the definition backwards. He just defined an exception to hearsay and argued that it didn't apply. Maybe he was wrong - maybe the e-mail was only being used to impeach - but it seems to me that he was basically right and the judge was basically confused.

Posted by minderbender | June 25, 2008 11:18 AM
5

Minderbender, KL Gates has over 1500 lawyers with more than a third of those being partners. The firm was formed through the mergers of six major US firms, each with it's own name (ie, the Seattle firm of Preston Gates & Ellis). I do not believe any of the "name" partners are still in active practice. So, the fact that Lawrence is not a "name partner" means nothing.

Posted by Lucky | June 25, 2008 11:58 AM
6

Lucky, I was responding to this from comment #2:

"Reading the definition backwards and trying to argue to the judge that black is white--as a name partner, no less--that's humiliating."

This is wrong on two counts, as I pointed out - he's not a name partner, and he didn't read the definition backwards.

Posted by minderbender | June 25, 2008 12:03 PM
7

Somehow, I had gotten the impression that Lawrence was part of the firm name, and I didn't confirm it.  Sloppy assertion on my part.  mea culpa.

Posted by lostboy | June 25, 2008 12:04 PM

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