Blog Posts


Hedgehog or Fox: Which Are You?

"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."
Archilochus
I did not find this quotation on my own. My attention was directed to it by Isaiah Berlin, one of my favorite essayists and political theorists. Berlin taught for many years at Oxford, wrote dozens of essays and...

Parables And Matters of Fact

My wife and I are readers. We have a lot of books around the house, in my offices, in the book store we own: There are books everywhere. Now that all our children are grown and gone making lives of their own, our evenings are once more given to the pleasure of long hours reading.
In the past...

What's Wrong With New Year's Resolutions?

I am an irresolute man. On the one hand, I am inclined to think "x"; but then, he other hand comes along and "y" seems to be the case. I always resolve to be resolute come the New Year, but resolution never comes. I just end up looking stupid.
I am glad I am not alone in this regard. Simple...

Blagojevich: A Bold Appointment

Will Roland W. Burris be sworn is as a Senator for the State of Illinois? He should be. The governor of his state has appointed him to fill the seat vacated by president-elect Barack Obama. The law gives to the governor the right to make this appointment.
Of course, Mr. Burris, a career...

Hard Times Fell A Woman Of Goodwill

Diane Smith will be leaving WTIC-1080 tomorrow. I just learned this in an email she sent. She's had to keep this under wraps until the last minute. The reason for her departure? Hard times. The station cannot afford to keep her, apparently.
Ms. Smith is a fixture in Connecticut broadcasting....

Blagojevich: Charisma Kills

Repeat after me: Charisma kills. Sometimes it takes a life; more often it yields a willing suspension of belief. When overcome by a charismatic leader, we endow others with near mythic qualities. Charisma can make fools of us. It can rob us in the dead of night of things of great...

Spence Redux? Another Trial Set For April

Rumors of Gerry Spence's retirement are, well, overstated, even if the rumors were started by Spence himself. After winning an acquittal of Geoffrey Fieger in Detroit earlier this year, Spence announced he was retiring. Well, it wasn't quite an announcement. He told jurors that at 80, he was a...

How About New Horizon?

John Tirman has a great essay in the Winter 2009 edition of The American Scholar. We've a new president en route to the White House, but do we really have a new national myth, something to energize the country and focus the energies of a continent? Isn't it time for one?
It's not enough that...

What Are Facts, Anyway?

We say that trial is a vehicle for discovery of the truth. Legal issues are left, in almost every jurisdiction, for a judge to decide; juries decide facts. But just what are facts? The answer is by no means simple.
Quentin Skinner, a Cambridge historian, should be must reading for all trial...

If You're Reading This ...

... you have too much time on your hands.
But who am I to criticize you? I am writing. Presumably that takes more time than writing. (I saw your lips moving as you read. Perhaps my estimation of time is all wrong.)
So tell me, reader? Who is the greatest trial lawyer of all time? Was it...

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