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27 Mar, 2014

AAJ Regional Trial Competition

2018-04-24T00:08:56-06:00March 27th, 2014|Cross Examination, Litigation Tips, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Trial|

Last week I noted that I would be assisting with the AAJ Regional Trial Competition held in Omaha.  I served as a judge for what was, in my view, a very close round between two good teams.  Here are some of the trial tactics I was reminded of: Do not assume the presiding judge knows your case as well as you do.  This particularly true when responding to an objection [...]

11 Apr, 2013

Werner v. Platte County (Part II): Don’t Get Too Excited About the Excited Utterance Hearsay Exception

2018-04-23T20:50:32-06:00April 11th, 2013|Appellate Work, Cross Examination, Direct/Redirect Examination, Discovery, Litigation Tips, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Trial, Witness Preparation|

   LDM Partner Cathy Trent-Vilim continues her discussion of her recent case in this post. You read in Part I of Werner v. Platte County how the Nebraska Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s ruling that statements by Mr. Werner made to the EMT while at the scene of the accident qualified for the excited utterance exception to the hearsay rule.  The purpose of this post is to discuss why [...]

20 Sep, 2012

Offering An Out of Court Statement? Hearsay Rule Simplified

2018-04-24T00:08:56-06:00September 20th, 2012|Cross Examination, Direct/Redirect Examination, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Trial|

Everyone, it seems, has heard of the word "hearsay."  Those of you lucky enough to be non-lawyers probably associate the word as meaning "something someone else said" or maybe even "gossip."  In fact, one on-line dictionary simply defines it as "information that you have heard without having any proof that it is true."  Well, in the law, the definition of hearsay is provided by the rules of evidence. From that standpoint, hearsay [...]

21 Jun, 2012

Yet Another Blog about the Roger Clemens Trial

2018-04-24T00:08:56-06:00June 21st, 2012|Cross Examination, Direct/Redirect Examination, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Trial|

Much has been written about the trial of Rogers Clemens.  While I prefer not to second guess strategies or debate whether Clemens is really innocent as opposed to simply not guilty, I believe the coverage afforded this trial provides some insight and reminders for lawyers who try cases.  One such thing was Judge Walton’s decision to allow jurors to propose questions to be asked of witnesses. I have been involved [...]

23 Feb, 2012

Trial Lawyers (and Football Coaches) Need to Listen

2018-04-24T00:08:57-06:00February 23rd, 2012|Cross Examination, Depositions, Direct/Redirect Examination, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Trial, Voir Dire, Witness Preparation|

In a post following my most recent jury trial I noted the importance of listening.  As I stated, this may seem elementary but it is not.  On Tuesday, Kyle recounted his recent experience serving as a guest judge at a client counseling competition.  As his first point he also noted the importance of listening.  Now, there is another endorsement for the importance of listening.  Nebraska's very own Bo Pelini has engaged an outside consulting [...]

17 Jan, 2012

As A Trial Lawyer, Form Can Trump Substance

2018-04-24T00:12:18-06:00January 17th, 2012|Cross Examination, Depositions, Direct/Redirect Examination, Discovery, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Trial|

 As trial lawyers, events often move quickly and we make sure the substance of a particular position is made in order to protect the interests of our clients.  Unfortunately, substance doesn't always win the day and there are times when form is extremely important.  An example of this is the Nebraska Supreme Court's opinion in State v. Ford, 279 Neb. 453, 778 N.W.2d 473 (2010).  During the course of this criminal trial, the [...]

29 Sep, 2011

Teaching Trial Practice—Foundation is the Foundation; Part 1.

2018-04-24T00:08:58-06:00September 29th, 2011|Closing Argument, Cross Examination, Direct/Redirect Examination, Nebraska Litigation & Trial Advisor, Opening Statement, Trial, Witness Preparation|

This week I am in Lansing Michigan for a trial competition hosted by the Michigan State University College of Law in Lansing Michigan. As is the case every year, the team I have taught for Creighton University School of Law is comprised of four third year law students. The team has spent five nights per week for over a month preparing this year’s case problem. My “co-coach,” Amy Zacharias, a [...]