Podcast category: Legal News

Legal Toolkit

What Does the 21st Century Legal Career Look Like?

Due to advancements in technology, increased outsourcing, and globalization, students are not necessarily graduating law school and entering a big law firm on track to become a partner. A legal career can take you into a solo practice, a virtual practice, electronic discovery, in-house counsel for a startup, or in an alternative direction using your services in a different way. If a lawyer is choosing an alternative career path over a mainstream model, how do they select a legal career? What can he or she do in law school to prepare for the legal industry in the twenty-first century?

In this episode of The Legal Toolkit, Heidi Alexander interviews Alison Monahan and Lee Burgess, founders of the online resource Trebuchet Legal, about the steps to creating an alternative legal career path and what students should be doing in law school to prepare for the future. Monahan and Burgess each discuss their beginnings in big law firms and why they decided to seek out paths of advising other lawyers. To take a different path, they explain, lawyers must be interested and willing to take risks, learn new skills, and take the plunge. Seek out entrepreneurs or experts in your field of interest, ask questions, network, and make connections. Law students are taught to learn, Monahan explains, so it is possible for lawyers to become educated about alternative subjects that might lead to unknown legal careers. With regard to law school, Monahan and Burgess urge students not to simply expect a job after graduation. In order to be truly successful, you must learn to be an amazing student, pursue excellence in a craft, and develop confidence in your abilities while still in law school. Lastly, they encourage all current and potential law students not to be discouraged. There is still an incredible need for lawyers in many fields.

Lee Burgess co-founded the online resources Trebuchet Legal, Law School Toolbox, and Bar Exam Toolbox. Additionally, she founded and runs Amicus Tutoring, which provides an individualized approach to law school tests and bar preparation.

Alison Monahan also co-founded Trebuchet Legal, Law School Toolbox, and Bar Exam Toolbox. She also founded and runs the Girls Guide to Law School, a site that helps students get the most from their law school experience.

Lawyer 2 Lawyer

Same Sex Marriage: Civil Right or State Right?

In June of 2006, the Constitution of Alabama was amended to ban same sex marriage. In January of 2015 the U.S. District Court for Southern Alabama struck down the ban as a violation of the equal protection and due process clauses of the U.S. Constitution. The matter was appealed by the state to the U.S. Court of Appeals For the Eleventh Circuit where it remains in limbo pending a U.S. Supreme Court Decision in DeBoer v. Snyder. Then on March 2nd 2015, the Alabama Supreme Court took matters into its own hands when it ordered its probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples.

In this episode of Lawyer 2 Lawyer, host Bob Ambrogi interviews Harry Mihet from Liberty Counsel, Elliot Mincberg from People For the American Way, and Professor Ronald Krotoszynski from the University of Alabama School of Law. Together they debate the duties of Alabama’s probate judges and the enforcement of existing same sex marriage licenses. Is same sex marriage a civil right? Who will win the tug-of-war between federal oversight and self governing states? Tune in to hear about this landmark issue and more.

Harry Mihet is the vice president of legal affairs and chief litigation counsel for Liberty Counsel, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family. Since joining up in 2008, Harry has participated in many critical issues, including the defense and passage of Florida’s Marriage Amendment, and the defense of individuals charged with contempt for prayer. He has been featured on Fox and Friends, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, and Fox News Radio.

Elliot Mincberg is a Senior Fellow at People For the American Way, where he helps guide and oversee their work on religious liberty, separation of church and state, and other constitutional law issues. Prior to that, he was their senior vice president, general counsel, and legal director. In addition, he has served as Chief Counsel for Oversight and Investigations at the House Judiciary Committee and Senior Counsel and General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Professor Ronald Krotoszynski is a professor of law at the University of Alabama School of Law, where he teaches courses in Constitutional Law, the First Amendment, and Federal Civil Rights. Pertinent to today’s discussion, he clerked for the Honorable Frank M. Johnson of the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and has written or been featured in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Clio.

Digital Detectives

Forensic Science in the Criminal Justice System: What is Admissible?

There have been several programs looking at exoneration of people previously convicted of crimes. This includes The Innocence Project, currently boasting 325 DNA exonerations, and a project of the University of Michigan Law School that works on cases in which DNA is unavailable. The latter project has exonerated 1,553 individuals when we recorded this podcast. As it turns out, many of these people were convicted based on forensic science that was later proved to not be scientifically valid. So, what particular forensic disciplines are actually valid in the criminal justice system?

In this episode of Digital Detectives, Sharon Nelson and John Simek interview Judge David Waxse about the 2009 report by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the relationship between bad science and wrongful convictions, and how to improve the use of forensic science in the criminal justice system. The NAS report, Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward, found that with the exception of DNA, no forms of forensic science comply with scientific methodology. Waxse discusses the jury’s confidence in unproven science experts and witness testimony and the resulting wrongful convictions. He explains why people are just now becoming concerned with the 2009 report and discusses why The Willingham Case is relevant. Waxse plans to hold a symposium in April 2015 at Northwestern Law School in Chicago to consider with experts how to educate judges and lawyers in the criminal justice system about this issue.

Judge David Waxse is a United States magistrate judge for the United States District Court in Kansas City, Kansas. He received his BA Degree from the University of Kansas and his JD from the Columbia University School of Law. He is a past president of the Kansas Bar Association and current chair of the American Bar Association Judicial Division.

In-House Legal

Verizon’s Randy Milch on Being General Counsel and Running the In-House Legal Department

In-House Legal returns with new host Randy Milch, the executive vice president and strategic policy advisor to the chair and CEO for Verizon Communications. Formerly the general counsel for Verizon, Randy has worked nearly his entire legal career in the telecom industry.

In this episode of In-House Legal, Legal Talk Network producer Laurence Colletti interviews host Randy Milch as he takes the reins of the show. Together, they discuss Randy’s path to becoming Verizon’s GC, the importance of having talented attorneys on your team, and the challenges faced in regulatory environments. In addition, they talk about the cost of patent trolls, the necessity of support staff, and relentlessly weathering pressure and uncertainty. Tune in to hear what Randy’s plans are for the show’s future as well as his advice for in-house legal departments.

Randy Milch is the executive vice president and strategic policy advisor to the chair and CEO for Verizon Communications. Prior to that, he was the company’s executive vice president and general counsel. Mr. Milch has worked a career in the telecom industry and brings decades of legal experience to the In-House Legal show.

Lawyer 2 Lawyer

Driverless Cars: Who’s “Driving” and Who’s Responsible?

Are you tired of driving yourself to work? Have you always wanted a chauffeur but never could afford one? If this sounds like you, then happy days are here with the advent of the driverless car. Institutions like Google, Carnegie Mellon, and Uber are developing what they hope to be totally autonomous vehicles capable of ushering passengers to and from destinations without the need for a human driver. But what does that mean for the law, safety standards, and our freedoms?

In this episode of Lawyer 2 Lawyer, host J. Craig Williams interviews attorney and author of Robots Are People Too John Weaver, researcher and writer for Michigan Auto Law Todd Berg, and litigator and author of Motorista Anna Eby. Together they discuss liability for passengers, possible federal regulations, and risks associated with vehicle hacks. In addition, they debate when the government might pilot your driverless car, how medical emergencies in autonomous vehicles will be handled, and the possibility of the repo man summoning your automobile. Tune in to hear about existing driverless car laws and much much more!

John Weaver is the author of Robots Are People Too, which explains amendments to existing laws that will become necessary as artificial intelligence and autonomous technology become more widespread. In addition, he is a contributing writer for Slate magazine, addressing similar topics, and an associate attorney at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP where, among many areas, he provides legal services for property acquisition, financing, and development projects.

Todd Berg is a former trial attorney and legal news reporter with Michigan Lawyers Weekly. Today he provides analytical research and writing support to the attorneys at Michigan Auto Law, a firm entirely dedicated to the representation of clients involved in auto accidents. They boast the largest auto/truck verdict in their home state during the last 15 years and guarantee a victory for their clients or they won’t charge a dime.

Anna Eby is a business litigator and appellate attorney in Austin, Texas, where she represents businesses and individuals in complex commercial disputes before Texas state, federal, and appellate courts. In addition and relevant to our episode, she is an avid car photographer and motorsports attendee who maintains a car blog called, Motorista, which covers legal issues in the automotive industry.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Clio.

Special Reports

ABA Midyear Meeting 2015: Commission on Immigration with Meredith Linsky and Meghan Johnson

Legal Talk Network Host Adriana Linares and Producer Laurence Colletti interview the director of the Commission on Immigration, Meredith Linsky, and Managing Attorney at ProBAR Children’s Project Meghan Johnson at the 2015 ABA Midyear Meeting. Together, they discuss the influx of unaccompanied minors coming to the United States from violent conditions in Central American countries. Lindsky explains that the ABA Commission on Immigration focuses on finding, training, and placing immigration lawyers where they are most needed. Johnson describes how ProBAR Children’s Project works to educate the children, many of whom are seeking refugee status, and all of whom are subjected to horrible conditions. Both encourage any interested lawyers to sign up for their programs.

Lawyer 2 Lawyer

Breaking Down The Serial Podcast: Attorneys Dissect Adnan Syed’s Case

If you listen to podcasts, you’ve probably heard of the hit series called Serial. Centering around the trail of Adnan Syed, a Baltimore teenager convicted of murdering ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, the show offers a deep look into Adnan’s trial and the criminal justice system. To date, the podcast has been downloaded over 68 million times, reached #1 on iTunes, and is now regarded as one of the most popular podcasts in history. From the investigation to the trial and ultimately the conviction, host and executive producer Sarah Koenig carefully guides listeners through events leading up to the conviction of Adnan Syed, who has been serving a life sentence since 1999. With investigative reporting, superb storytelling, and interviews with the people involved in the trial and Adnan’s life, Koenig delivers granular details and analysis that call into question the court’s decision, leaving listeners baffled as they tried to decide whether or not he actually did it.

On this episode of Lawyer 2 Lawyer, hosts Bob Ambrogi and J. Craig Williams discuss Serial and the case it made famous with three attorneys: Director of Investigation for University of Virginia School of Law’s Innocence Project Clinic Deirdre Enright, featured on episodes 7 and 12 of Serial and currently working on Adnan’s appeal, Erica Zunkel from the Federal Criminal Justice Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School, and Markus Kypreos from the Fort Worth civil litigation firm Pennington Hill. Together, they analyze the case against Adnan from both sides, offering expert insight on criminal defense and prosecution, the testimony of Jay Wilds, and the portrayal of this case on Serial, all while tackling some of the tougher questions raised regarding DNA evidence, potential alibis, shaky timelines, and the overall defense strategy.

If Serial left you with unanswered questions about whether Adnan really did kill Hae Min Lee, why Jay’s inconsistent testimony was still considered credible, or how anyone could even question his guilt, tune in for a unique perspective on the legal elements involved in this case. Hear what legal experts have to say about these questions and whether this type of in-depth look at a murder case is good for the criminal justice system on this very exciting episode of Lawyer 2 Lawyer.

Where do you stand? Do you think Adnan Syed is guilty of murder?

Professor Deirdre Enright was featured on episodes 7 and 12 of the Serial Podcast series when her Innocence Project Clinic from the University of Virginia School of Law helped investigate Adnan’s case (She is the Director). Prior to her time at the university, Deirdre worked at the Virginia Capital Representation Resource Center, where she represented clients and consulted on cases in all stages of capital litigation, with primary focus on federal and state post-conviction proceedings and Supreme Court certiorari.

Erica Zunkel is a clinical instructor in the Federal Criminal Justice Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School. Prior to that, she was a trial attorney at the Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. for over six years where she represented indigent defendants accused of federal felony offenses to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. Recently, and germane to this episode, she was featured in a Marshall Project article weighing in on Adnan’s guilt or innocence based on what she heard on Serial.

Markus Kypreos is currently partner for Pennington Hill, a civil litigation firm in Fort Worth, Texas. Prior to that he worked for the Texas Prosecutors Association in Austin, Texas, where he assisted prosecutors with complex criminal procedure issues. Mr. Kypreos was also featured in the Marshall Project article and weighed in on Adnan’s guilt or innocence.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Clio.

Special Reports

ABA Midyear Meeting 2015: Judicial Division with Judge Toni Clarke

Legal Talk Network Producer Laurence Colletti interviews Judge Toni Clarke, immediate past chair of the National Conference of State Trial Judges (NCSTJ), at the 2015 ABA Midyear Meeting. Judge Clarke discusses the six conferences that deal with issues that impact the judicial system and why they are important. She explains the ABA Judicial Clerkship Program and the benefits to a diverse group of law students. Toni Clarke is a judge on the 7th Judicial Circuit for Prince George’s County in Maryland.

Special Reports

ABA Midyear Meeting 2015: the Alabama State Bar with Richard Raleigh

Legal Talk Network Host Adriana Linares interviews President of the Alabama State Bar Richard Raleigh at the 2015 ABA Midyear Meeting. Raleigh discusses helping lawyers who are transitioning into a different place in their legal careers and the sections of the bar he has set up for new solos, law students entering the workforce, lawyers re-entering practice, and succession planning. Raleigh is also focusing on supporting Alabama veterans by helping them gain the legal support they need. Richard Raleigh is an attorney at Wilmer & Lee in Huntsville, Alabama, where he mainly practices trade secret litigation.

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