‘Making A Murderer’ Defense Attorneys Hope To Spark Change

Having binge-watched Making a Murderer during January’s epic snow, my law-partner husband and I attended the DPAC presentation: “Dean Strang and Jerry Buting: A Conversation on Justice.” Dean is a UVA Law graduate, as is my husband. Jerry is a UNC Law graduate, as am I. My husband taught Jerry contracts and UCC.  On that cold January day, we felt an affinity for both. When the NCBA arranged a member event outing including a pre-presentation meeting with Dean and Jerry, pictured above, we said “Count us in!”

As the world now knows, Dean and Jerry defended Steven Avery against murder charges in the tragic death of Teresa Halbach in Manitowoc County, Wis.  The Netflix documentary about the case is an internet sensation.  The public conversation about the separate convictions of Steven Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey includes the topics of wrongful conviction, police misconduct and prosecutorial misconduct.  The documentary generated so much interest that a petition to pardon Steven Avery addressed to President Barack Obama (who has no authority in this state case) garnered more than half a million signatures.

During our private meeting with Dean and Jerry and the public presentation, lots of questions were asked about the case. One of interest to me was how two defense attorneys ended up in a documentary filmed during a murder trial. The answer: Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos began their work with the Avery family before either Dean or Jerry were engaged as counsel.  The film crew was a reality when their representation began.  They did not choose it. They had trepidation about it.  Both now believe that it has cast light where light must be cast.

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Google Proposes the Creation Of a Woman Lawyer Emoji, But Why?

If you had to draw a picture of an attorney, what would it look like?  How would your drawing of a male attorney compare to one of a female attorney?

I love emoji. I admit it.  And while they are fun, some academics are contemplating whether emoji may develop into a new language altogether and change our written communication to look less like a novel and more like a comic book.  While it’s easy to express happiness with 🙂 and sadness with 🙁 , how do you express a more complex idea or concept like a profession?  These are the new concepts we are all facing, and regardless of who we blame for the rise of emoji (cough cough *Millennials* cough cough), we need to start getting used to the idea that words+graphic=communication.

How might lawyers be affected?

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Single Platform Seeks Smart Lawyer: The Case for the iPhone-Only Law Office, Part 1

When was the last time you checked your phone? Was it in the last hour? The last 15 minutes? The last 5? Are you reading this article on your phone right now? Chances are, if you’re a Boomer or a Millennial, you check your phone more than 20 times a day (even during meal times). In fact, according to a report based on a recent Nielsen Poll, the worst offenders aren’t teenagers, they’re people aged 25-54.

Now, I’m not here to cast aspersions, or to chastise you in front of your peers. Just the opposite, in fact. I know that none of us are likely to untether from the grid. We use our phones to respond to clients, take notes at depositions, videochat with remote business associates. We have good reasons to be on our phones, and we’re not going to stop using them. So we must create business practices that adhere to the current reality. And for this reality, I postulate that we create iPhone Only law offices. Why?

  1. Lawyers use mobile devices, and ignoring the implications of working on a smartphone is irresponsible.
  2. Using a single platform is better for almost any business, including law firms.
  3. Security, Security and … Security.

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