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Lawyers get into an argument!

August 29, 2022

A group of trial lawyers running a school have found a great way to set an example for students. Also, glitter could be hiding something — or not.

Milt Policzer

By Milt Policzer

Courthouse News columnist; racehorse owner and breeder; one of those guys who always got picked last.

Imagine a corporation or foundation with a board of directors composed of trial lawyers. What could possibly go wrong?

I know you know the answer to that. For an outstanding example, check out a Wyoming Supreme Court ruling in which we learn that two groups of lawyers have been feuding for the last couple of years over who gets to run something called The Trial Lawyers College.

My guess is that they want to provide teachable moments (or years) for their students.

The college, aka TLC, was established by Gerry Spence, the famous trial lawyer, in 1993, and its website offers some unexpected descriptions.

“The Trial Lawyers College is dedicated to training and educating lawyers and judges who are committed to the jury system and to representing and obtaining justice for individuals: the poor, the injured, the forgotten, the voiceless, the defenseless and the damned….”

Damnation defense is a sorely neglected portion of legal education. Those devil pacts are a bitch to contest.

Also: “The curriculum we have developed since 1994 is based on psychodrama….”

No better way to fight Satan.

By the way, you’ll be happy to know that every single lawyer can be the greatest lawyer in America. Check this out when you get a chance. Trial lawyer training (at least from the Spence faction in the dispute above) in Wyoming is a spiritual experience.

You need to trust jurors and maybe beat some drums.

I don’t know whether this curriculum works or not, but there’s definitely vacation value here, and you can wear a cowboy hat.

(Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay via Courthouse News)

All that glitters. A Massachusetts Court of Appeals panel has ruled that prison officials can ban birthday cards with glitter — at least until somebody proves that glitter is harmless.

Did you think glitter was harmless?

I certainly did, but according to the ruling, prison officials claimed that glitter — as opposed to printing or plain dryness — can hide alterations to paper. Alterations like being soaked with drugs. Regular pens and typing are fine but glitter pens may be nefarious.

No word on how they feel about finger paint.

I should note here that the court didn’t necessarily buy the Department of Corrections’ argument.

“Of course, we have no expertise with respect to whether glitter pens can in fact be used in the way described in the affidavit,” the ruling says. But the plaintiff didn’t provide any evidence that evidence that glitter couldn’t be used to hide drugs, so he lost.

There’s also no indication that the prison officials had any evidence that glitter could hide drugs but the court deferred to the department's “reasonable construction” of regulations.

My guess is that what really happened here is that a prison official had a bad childhood experience with glitter.

I’m expecting discrimination litigation from glitter manufacturers.

Nostalgia. Does anyone else miss the good old days when Republicans wanted to ban automatic weapons to keep them out of the hands of Black Panthers and Democrats knew the FBI was corrupt?

History repeats itself in weird ways.

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