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Jon Katz’s victories

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Winning on Framing Club Ah v. Club Blah

Photo from website of U.S. District Court (W.D. Mi.). An essential focus at the Trial Lawyers College is to replace verbal legalese droning at trial with painting word images, telling persuasive stories by re-enacting events, and talking from the first-person perspective of non-lawyers involved in...

When cops speak Spanglish to a non-English speaker

Photo from website of U.S. District Court (W.D. Mi.). Too many monolingual people seem to think that if they speak louder or repetitively that ultimately they will be understood by a person who does not speak the speaker’s language. Too many people think that if...

Why plead guilty when pleading innocent is not much more risky?

Photo from website of U.S. District Court (W.D. Mi.). Most people in my neck of the woods go to court without a lawyer for non-jailable criminal matters. However, even non-jailable convictions can come back to haunt people. For instance, a conviction for possessing a pot...

Defending online copyright infringement

On September 19, 2008, I went to sentencing with my client for this online copyright infringement case. Fortunately, the judge varied substantially below the sentencing guidelines, saying that they are excessive for my client’s case, after having addressed such factors as the sentences of co-conspirators that...

Successfully revisiting a denied objection

Photo from website of U.S. District Court (W.D. Mi.). Judges are generalists, at least where I practice law. They are expected to grasp and rule on a vast body of law. The law is too vast for even the most conscientious insomniac judge to be a...

Yow! I AM having fun, on the road to a win

Image from National Institute of Standards & Technology. Zippy the Pinhead is my favorite comic strip. Zippy spews non sequiturs, repeatedly proclaims "Yow!", and asks "Are we having fun yet?" in this overcommercialized society that tells people they won’t be glad til they use Dial....

Successfully negotiating in the t’ai chi moment

 Yin Yang  T’ai chi works not only for trial battle, but also for negotiating an alternative to having a trial. The great thing about being fully prepared for trial is that it makes one not only ready to do better at trial, but also to...

Successfully holding breath technicians and their machines to the fire

Image from National Institute of Standards & Technology. When administered properly, blood tests are more accurate than breath tests in determining a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC). Nevertheless, in the state courts where I practice, police ordinarily choose the breath test over the blood test....

You want a trial? I’ll go to trial/ Plus, beating the Intoxylizer 5000

Photo from website of U.S. District Court (W.D. Mi.). When I joined the Maryland Public Defender’s Office in 1991, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to fight the good fight, it turned out that my survival instincts — developed all the more since early childhood by growing...

Successfully going to trial with a flowchart

Flowchart image from NASA’s website. In 1980, I was introduced to Basic computer programming using a Wang computer that saved one’s work on an ordinary cassette tape. Aside from the tape’s making unusual blipping and beeping sounds when replayed on my audiocassette player, the class...