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The Courtroom, The Law

by on February 1, 2010

As many of you know, the courtroom is just another theater. There are a few goals: get some laughs, know your lines without stumbling, and prove your point more effectively than the other side. Just like theater. It amazes me that professionals are surprisedby this.

[F]ollowing the Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial over the past three weeks has been a reminder that a courtroom can also be a great and theatrical classroom, where the values of thoroughness, precision in speech, and the obligation to reply have a way of laying bare the fundamentals of certain rhetorical positions….The crucible of cross examination forces the witness to confront the other side; they can’t fall back on bumper sticker slogans.”

Generally, if you sit through some college classes – I daresay that most of these journalists have – you figure that out. Hopefully you reflect, ponder, enough to realize that this is exactly what the courtroom is. It is a showcase for ideas; it is theater.
How do you persuade? It’s not easy. But have you seriously forgotten that that’s what happens in a court of law? And, just as a closing thought, in response to the truly odd assertion that, “you sometimes hear it said that a courtroom is not the best venue for playing out battles in the culture wars—better that they be fought in the legislature, or at the ballot box, or even in the blogosphere,” when was the last time you really thought an American court isn’t sufficient for solving some issues? Have the not-yet-in-the-works trials of ‘terrorists’ in New York scared us that much?

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From → On the Dole

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