I will submit regular . . . well, perhaps, sporadic . . . blog entries on legal issues that interest me. I shall concentrate on the actual practice of law, with an emphasis on criminal trial practice. I’ve found that, all too often, legal commentators concentrate their analysis in the theory of the law. Although there is a time and place for theory, the actual nuts and bolts of trial practice are often overlooked. Thus, I will address everyday law practice. (Note to non-lawyers: it’s a lot more boring than you think it is — and a lot less like Law & Order, the Practice, and LA Law.)
I will stick mostly to criminal law, because my practice concentrates primarily in criminal defense, although I have ample experience in civil, family, and juvenile litigation too. I may be tempted, from time to time, to stray from the realm of criminal defense into the murkier, and less civil, waters of civil law.
Less often, I will write about law school, focusing mainly on tips and pointers for anyone aspiring to get into law school. I still remember those days and believe I have useful, if not somewhat obvious, nuggets of advice for the student-wannabe-litigator. So, I’ll just concede that my law school posts will be a blatant attempt to attract a wider, and somewhat younger, audience.
Finally, I will try to avoid the use of “legalese.” Nothing scares me more than the “Frankensteining” of law and English into the monster we all know — and probably wish we didn’t — as “legalese.” It’s an outright monstrosity that alienates and confuses. In my effort to attract an audience wider than the local legal community, I will try to avoid it and write in a more down-to-earth, sensible fashion. There, I said it. That wasn’t too hard (– it’s difficult for lawyers to shed their security blankets).
So, that’s it. In true lawyer fashion, I just wrote four paragraphs without really saying much at all. I’ve simply told you what I eventually intend to tell you. Of course, this concept acts as a segue way to my first observation about the basic structure of a criminal trial . . .
The basic idea is that you tell the jury what they are going to see, then you show it to them, and then you tell them what it was they actually just saw. These concepts have formal names: opening statement, evidence, and closing argument. The most important part? Probably the suspension of disbelief during the closing argument of a creative defense attorney. But, that’s a different post . . .
Feel free to submit requests for posts on legal topics. Just remember, nothing in this website should be construed as legal advice pertaining specifically to your . . . . blah blah blah. I promised to avoid legalese. So, just remember, I’m not giving you, the reader, any legal advice by writing these posts. If you want legal advice about your case, you’ll have to visit my office and hire me.
My next post will probably address the often misunderstood concept of “accountability” for the criminal conduct of another and what it means in the real world.
– Kevin Lowe