Monday, October 11, 2004

May It Please The Court

Prof. CivPro has required us to observe civil court for a couple hours this semester and write a "reaction paper" on what we saw. I only had one class today, so I went to the Hennepin County courthouse and watched an auto accident bench trial and jury selection for a medical damages trial. It was really interesting.

The auto accident trial was about whether or not a trucker was negligent when he turned out of the right lane and hit a pick-up truck who was making a right hand turn out of the shoulder (the plaintiff pick-up driver said it was a right turn lane). I really enjoyed watching the lawyers asked their questions in the best light for their case, especially the defense lawyer who framed his case so that the judge just went "Duh, of course the trucker wasn't negligent."

The jury selection was cool too, mostly because of how interesting the prospective jurors were. There was a former law school graduate, a "holistic healer" (really a massage therapist), a lady whose children had recently been rear ended (which is what happened in the trial that this jury was being selected for... therefore she got stricken), and a lady whose airplane had caught fire and nearly plummeted out of the sky (that was her experience with lawsuits).

Of course, as a result of my foray into the trial process, I didn't get nearly as much work done during the day because of the court stuff... and now instead of studying efficiently, I am watching a recording of "The Apprentice" from last Thursday.

I wonder if the law school apathy is starting to set in?

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