Newnan Pratlaw's Posts On Hot Legal Topics

February 18, 2010

DO NOT MARK ON DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE||Make a copy and mark that up…

…when it comes to documents.
Over the past 23 years I have come to appreciate the fact that Judges as a whole do not like being given documents with highlighted passages or handwritten notes beside the part of the document you think is important.  Doing that is really close to a demand that the Court become a participant in the blind men and the elephant philosophical exercise about the scope of perception:  ||FABLE||  … and they do not like the ||SOCRATIC METHOD|| to the extreme of banality, i.e., rain is rain you cannot assert you do not understand it until someone explains it to you and you “feel” it.  What all this means in plain English is:  (a)  The Judge controls his or her court room and no one else has any right to control it.  So make a copy of any document you feel the urge to write on, so your lawyer can present the ‘clean’ one to the Judge and draw the Judge’s attention to the passage you have highlighted in your ‘dirty’ copy by asking the Court’s permission to draw its attention to that passage; (b) A testifier’s inability to grasp easy questions and evasive answers soon turns a Judge off [and a Jury Too].  Do not engage in ||TABULA RASA|| Socratic Responses [inane question answers to straightforward questions], and; always remember: Neither Judge nor Jury need to be hit over the head with information they can clearly see or hear.  They really can be trusted to figure it out.

..when it comes to documents.
Over the past 23 years I have come to appreciate the fact that Judges as a whole do not like being given documents with highlighted passages or handwritten notes beside the part of the document you think is important.  Doing that is really close to a demand that the Court become a participant in the blind men and the elephant philosophical exercise about the scope of perception:  <a href=”http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Blindmen_and_the_Elephant”>The Blind Men And The Elephant Fable</a> and they do not like the <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socratic_method”>Socratic Method</a> to the extreme of banality, i.e., rain is rain you cannot assert you do not understand it until someone explains it to you and you “feel” it.  What all this means in plain English is:  (a)  The Judge controls his or her court room and no one else has any right to control it.  So make a copy of any document you feel the urge to write on, so your lawyer can present the ‘clean’ one to the Judge and draw the Judge’s attention to the passage you have highlighted in your ‘dirty’ copy by asking the Court’s permission to draw its attention to that passage; (b) A testifier’s inability to grasp easy questions and evasive answers soon turns a Judge off [and a Jury Too].  Do not engage in <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tabula_rasa”>Tabula Rasa</a> Socratic Responses [inane question answers to straightforward questions], and; always remember: Neither Judge nor Jury need to be hit over the head with information they can clearly see or hear.  They really can be trusted to figure it out.

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