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Best Courtroom Movies – Miracle On 34th Street

Best Courtroom Movies – Miracle On 34th Street

Most present-day law students are probably unfamiliar with the late actress Natalie Wood who gained success and popularity as a child and adult actress before her untimely death in a drowning accident in 1981. Wood was given a starring role at the age of 8 in 1947’s Miracle on 34th Street which involves a young attorney asserting in court that a Macy’s Department Store Santa Claus is the real Santa Claus. Her assertion that this man, known as Kris Kringle “IS Santa Claus” is just one of the movie’s many highlights. The film, released in May because studio head Daryl F....

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Latest On Coronavirus And The LSAT

Latest On Coronavirus And The LSAT

State bar examinations have not been the only institutions affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) has also been affected. Undergraduates have also had to deal with the uncertainty of pursuing a legal education. Because of this continuing uncertainty, the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) has chosen to deliver all remaining LSAT administrations through April 2021 through an online, remotely proctored test, instead of in-person. As a mechanism to enable candidates to take the LSAT and continue moving forward in their quests for law degrees and becoming lawyers, the LSAC developed an online, remotely proctored application called...

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Best Courtroom Movies – The Verdict

Best Courtroom Movies – The Verdict

Frank Galvin is a Boston attorney struggling with alcoholism and failure. He makes one last stab at respectability and redemption in Sidney Lumet’s 1984 film The Verdict. Played by Paul Newman, Galvin is formerly the member of an elite Boston law firm almost disbarred for jury tampering. He turns to alcohol and taking bad personal injury cases as a sole practitioner. Cast: Paul Newman as Frank Galvin Charlotte Rampling as Laura Fischer Jack Warden as Mickey Morrissey James Mason as Ed Concannon Milo O'Shea as Judge Hoyle Lindsay Crouse as Kaitlin Costello Price Edward Binns as Bishop Brophy Julie Bovasso as Maureen Rooney Roxanne Hart as Sally Doneghy James Handy as...

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The CDTA: Pushing Forward In 2020

The CDTA: Pushing Forward In 2020

The Fall of 2020 is here and the semester’s abrupt transition to distance learning is in full swing. Faculty and students are taking full advantage of the California Desert Trial Academy College of Law’s (CDTA) online learning platform, now in its ninth year of operation. Everyone at the CDTA has united to overcome the universal challenges that arise as a result of a forced emphasis on the virtual classroom. As a result, the CDTA is pushing successfully forward in 2020 as we approach our tenth anniversary. There are many students with limited access to online learning tools because the educational institution they...

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Best Courtroom Movies – 12 Angry Men

One of the most significant courtroom movies of the 20th Century is 12 Angry Men made in 1957 and directed by Sidney Lumet. Interestingly, in 1982, Lumet would direct what many consider another classic courtroom film, The Verdict, starring Paul Newman. The film notably almost exclusively uses one set - a jury deliberation room - where all but three minutes of the film takes place. Cast: Martin Balsam as Juror 1, the jury foreman. John Fiedler as Juror 2, a bank worker. Lee J. Cobb as Juror 3, the owner of a courier business. E. G. Marshall as Juror 4, a stockbroker. Jack Klugman as Juror...

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Answering The Question: Why Did I Become A Lawyer?

Answering The Question: Why Did I Become A Lawyer?

Years from now, after you have graduated from law school, you go out for a cup of coffee and, while enjoying it, initiate a conversation with a stranger. Ultimately, this stranger asks  “Why did you become a lawyer?” How do you answer it? Is your response as simple as “I love the law” or “for the money.” Or is it a longer, more well-reasoned response? So what is the best answer to the question "Why do I want to become a lawyer?" or "Why did I become a lawyer?" Because: I possess and convey knowledge of the ability to communicate and negotiate...

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Common Sense Legal Writing Tips

Common Sense Legal Writing Tips

How does an attorney make a legal brief more persuasive? Lawyers are always searching for the golden nugget that will persuade a judge or jury, but often it does not exist. Instead, an overall strategy that maximizes certain writing talents is optimal. One approach is remembering to practice the ABC’s of legal writing: Accuracy, Brevity, and Clarity. Here are some tips for implementing these writing ideals. Identify and know your audience Knowing your true audience is key. In the case of any legal brief, the audience, the reader, is the court and not opposing counsel or the parties. One good way to...

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Florida Court Conducts Jury Selection Over Zoom

Florida Court Conducts Jury Selection Over Zoom

With the pandemic continuing to rage in the late summer of 2020, courts continue to adapt all over the United States. Florida’s courts have been operating under emergency guidelines since a March 13, 2020, order suspended jury trials and implemented other actions to restrict potential virus spreading activities in Florida state courts. Some jury trials have resumed in parts of Florida using remote teleconferencing technology for all or part of the proceedings. As a way to assist in planning how to safely resume jury trials during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Miami-Dade County, Florida, recently conducted a jury trial...

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Avoid Overextending Yourself During The Pandemic

Avoid Overextending Yourself During The Pandemic

In the last months of the spring and summer, this blog has featured material with a focus on trying to help law students remain productive through the pandemic. Perhaps one aspect of the quarantine that has been overlooked is for everyone, not just law students, to avoid overextending themselves by trying to do too much during these trying times. As people everywhere are forced to stay at home as the global pandemic rages amidst events causing widespread demand for social change, there is a bottomless “suggestion box” to which all types of media are regularly contributing. It seems that maximizing our...

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NY Law Professors & Deans Support Diploma Privilege

NY Law Professors & Deans Support Diploma Privilege

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a major dilemma for the Supreme Courts and State Bars of almost every American jurisdiction, as well, more importantly, tens of thousands of recent law school graduates. The quarantine has caused the cancellation of the traditional summer July bar exam. Although most jurisdictions have rescheduled their bar exams and made provisions to administer them online, many legal scholars, professors, lawyers, and judges have spoken out for licensing these recent graduates based on diploma privilege. Professors in New York have called for states to extend licensure based on diploma privilege. The 15 deans of law schools located...

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