Website: Famous Trials

This admittedly bare-bones website was created & is maintained by professor Douglas O. Linder at the University of Missouri-Kansas Law School. Linder says:

"My vision was to create the Web’s largest collection of primary documents, images, essays, and other materials relating to famous trials from Salem to Simpson. Trials have long struck me as wonderful vehicles for exploring history and human nature. What better way to understand the 20s than reading about the Scopes, Sacco-Vanzetti, and Leopold and Loeb trials? What provides better insights into the nature of evil than reading the transcripts of the William Calley court-martial or the Nuremberg trials? Would not the Amistad, Shipp, Scottsboro Boys, Sweet, and “Mississippi Burning” trials provide an excellent launching point for a discussion of racism in America?  I wanted these materials to be made readily available, in an easily digestible form, for everyone from junior high students to law professors."

Professor Linder told The New York Times that "...the most important trial of our age occurred in a small courtroom in Dayton, Tenn., in the summer of 1925, when a jury was asked to decide whether a high-school biology teacher violated a new state law that banned the teaching of evolution." The Scopes "Monkey" Trial took place in 1925.

Being a baseball fan, my favorite event described (& richly annotated) is the Chicago Black Sox Trial (1921).

If you like history, you will definitely enjoy this site...


The American Lawyer's 'Fab Fifty'

This is a fascinating (alphabetical) list: "The 50 most-promising young litigators ages 45 & under." 

"We talked to hundreds of lawyers to find the rising stars whose careers are described below and in the pages that follow. Beginning with a wide and informal canvass that generated more than 200 suggestions, we identified practice areas that seemed rich in opportunity for young litigators and homed in on those for our reporting. That's why the list contains a concentration of appellate, intellectual property, public interest, and products liability lawyers. Others have made a mark as criminal defenders or labor lawyers or securities specialists. All of them have worked relentlessly to get where they are. What follows are the biographies of 50 litigators we expect to see leading the field for years to come."

Be sure to check out "The Life of a Young Litigator" -- it details stories from some of the 'Fab Fifty.'


Law firm runs clothing drives for needy women

Good news about a Seattle firm & its managing partner:

"When Russell M. Aoki took a break from college and worked on the maintenance crew of a golf course, he discovered his calling.

"Seniors who he met while on the job 'took me aside and encouraged me to go back to school and consider going to law school,' said Aoki, who was recently installed as one of the board of governors for the Washington State Bar Association.

[snip]

"Aoki is a trial attorney who specializes in criminal defense and business litigation. One of his most prominent cases involved representing a business that was attempting to recover assets from a bookkeeper who allegedly embezzled $5 million. This was considered the largest embezzlement case in Washington state at the time. Aoki and his client were successful, and the defendant was found guilty of embezzlement. Businesses throughout the country have hired Aoki when they are defendants in Internet advertising violation cases.

"A former president of the Asian Bar Association of Washington, Aoki is a director on the board of the America Civil Liberties Union, and a trustee on the King County Bar Association. Aoki has worked as a judge pro tem, mediator and arbitrator besides being a lecturer with the Washington Criminal Justice Institute and has taught people about the Bill of Rights for the Heritage Institute.

"His law firm has been involved for more than a decade in clothing drives which help collect clothing donations for women who need proper attire for job interviews and work. Aoki said the idea came from one of his paralegals and started small but now amasses significant amounts of donated clothing."

We always say paralegals have the best ideas!