Saturday, April 19, 2008
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Moot Court

In law school, we had this subject called moot court.

It's basically a trial simulation course where students train at litigating an actual (and sometimes a fictitious) case before a teacher who usually acts the the judge.

For some lawyers, that simulated court is the nearest they will get to an actual one. Some lawyers are either cut out for litigation or not and those who are not usually end up at desk job lawyering (mostly in corporate law).

But if you have the chops, I say this is the only practice exclusively reserved for lawyers.

In the final analysis, anyone with a legal background or experience can do what a desk job lawyer does. Corporate law work ironically does not necessarily require a lawyer. There is no requirement in our current laws that a corporate secretary be a lawyer. Corporate housekeeping necessitates attention to detail but even a law degree there is optional. As a matter of fact, accountants do that.

But only lawyers can litigate cases. In this jurisdiction (except for the student practice rule, of course), only lawyers can stand up in court and represent, speak and argue for someone else. And only lawyers can become judges.

Why am I blogging about this, you ask?

We're going to have a sort of moot court session today to train a young associate how to conduct a direct examination under adverse conditions. My partner will play opposing counsel. I will play the judge.

Anyway, this is one of the reasons I proposed our firm have a moot court room. It's not for us. It's for our clients, so they can already have a feel of a court room, the feel of sitting in the witness stand, because I tell you, a witness going over testimony in a court room is radically different from that same witness going over testimony in an office setting the day before. Having a moot court room will show clients what to expect.

So I have work this Saturday. But there's choir this afternoon so things will pick up.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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