Law Religion Culture Review

Exploring the intersections of law, religion and culture. Copyright by Richard J. Radcliffe. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


On the eve of trial, we were sent to another judge to conduct a settlement conference this week.

In his chambers, the settlement judge asked us about our legal theories, and how we planned to prove them.

The judge then asked about a specific issue, "How do you intend to get that into evidence?"

I proferred an exception to the hearsay rule.

He thought about it a second, and replied, "Inventive. I must say that is creative. That just might work." He then complimented my trial skills to my client sitting there. A gracious move, but I wasn't sure if he was just being kind.

He then went over the edge. In self-deprecating fashion, he talked about how he could stand to learn about evidence rulings. I had to stop him.

I knew the judge was being unduly humble. I knew he taught evidence for many years at a leading law school before he became a judge, so I called him on it. He sheepishly admitted he was a tenured and published evidence professor.

Then, I turned to my client and in similar self-deprecating fashion told my client, "You see, I wouldn't dare teach this Judge about evidence."

I think Steven Covey would call that exchange a win-win.