I’m afraid I have some serious explaining to do. Some of my former clients are probably not happy with me right now. If they follow the news, they just learned that I gave them bad advice.
It really has absolutely nothing to do with the case. But it sure sells “widgets”. It just goes to show you how hard it can be to get a fair trial when the media, especially the silly social media, decides they are experts on something they know nothing about. They are so good at doing that, after all.
Structure and rules, fairly applied, hold our society together. They save us from chaos and injustice.
You can have structure and rules, but without fairness it doesn’t work. Just think Nazi Germany. You can have fairness, but without structure it fails. Woodstock may have been a few days of communal fun, but after a week or two the lack of organization (people crashing without paying, no food, etc.) it would have been an unbearable mess.
Don’t worry. This won’t be another rambler. I realize that last post was a bit tangential. There was a reason for taking that approach; it was an experiment in trying to get people to read it.
As Donald Trump knows well, sometimes making yourself a target of criticism is the best way to get them to pay attention to what you have to say.
And what I had to say last time is, to me at least, critically important. It has to do with understanding, and thus following, established procedures for doing things the right way when it came to bombing Syria.
The answer is simple: Maybe. It depends. Like everything else I write about. It depends on evidence, and a careful analysis of any problems with that evidence.
The bottom line is that rarely, if ever, is truth absolute.
Take the latest feud over something that seems so basic: Did more people attend Trump’s Inauguration than Obama’s?
This topic has been on my mind for months now, for obvious reasons.
Apparently Matt Lauer brought it to the forefront with his lame “interviews” of Trump and Clinton. I wouldn’t know. I can’t bear to watch this stuff any more.
I say “interview” in quotes because nobody who does what I do for a living is able to take what these clowns pretend to do seriously. They don’t “interview” anyone. They simply invite them to spew sound bites: in Clinton’s case, canned rehearsed pre-packaged focus group approved sound bites; in Trump’s case, more off-the-cuff riffs that he obviously literally makes up as he goes along.
Why on earth would a woman possibly lie about being raped? That was a valid question that was raised in comments to my last post. I could wax poetic about the sacred presumption of innocence, proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and the right to have a unanimous jury decide guilt or innocence. But I won’t. It would fall on deaf ears.
The fact is that rape accusations are such that they are basically presumed to be accurate by the vast majority of the public in virtually every case. That’s partly because people can’t understand why women would make this stuff up only to then be put through the wringer of a criminal prosecution and all that that entails.
Even criminal defense attorneys, like me, need to be reminded occasionally about the presumption of innocence.
I read a piece recently in Seattle’s “Stranger” about Matt Hickey (no joke, that’s his name), a well known techie who was being accused of sexually assaulting several women. I confess. After reading it I was pretty convinced that he must be guilty of rape. I’m not on his jury and not his lawyer, so I am free to think (and say) whatever I want.
But, then, I began to reflect on similar cases I have worked on as a criminal defense lawyer.
I want to begin by thanking Donald Trump’s campaign manager. Just when I was wondering what new legal issues were floating around that were relevant to criminal law, there it was. Assault! Campaign Aides Gone Wild! Or not…
Which is what this is going to be about:
What, exactly, happened in that video that is all over TV news shows this week, showing some sort of physical altercation between Trump’s campaign manager and a reporter?