Carpe Indicium (Seize the Information)

You are working on a case that is seemingly a slam-dunk in your client’s favor. Responsibility is clearly on the other party. Surprisingly, your case goes to trial and shockingly, you end up losing. Deciding this cannot happen again, you retrace how that had occurred. You observe that early in the process the opposition had taken a much different course of action than you did. While you were focusing on garnering statements from witnesses that proved what you had already thought, the opposing attorney held their cards close to the vest. You had no idea what they were up to. In trial, your client buries himself on the stand. You thought he told you all of the relevant information. After all, you were there to help him, right? So how did the opposing attorney get the upper hand? Good lawyers are guided by the facts. They are obsessed with the facts. They use facts to form their own argument, not use their argument as a basis to search for the appropriate facts. An integral part of the fact-finding phase in a case is the deposition. The purpose of a deposition according to the Practicing Law Institute: “A deposition permits a [...]

San Ysidro McDonald’s Shooting – Errors and Resolutions

The San Ysidro McDonald's Shooting was the largest mass shooting in U.S. history at the time and really the first of its kind. While hindsight is always 20/20, taking a look at what is now the 8th largest mass shooting is necessary to review what we have changed, what we have improved upon, and what has stayed the same in the lessons learned since the massacre. This is an analysis of information presented. On July 18th, 1984, James Huberty walked into a McDonald’s restaurant in San Ysidro, CA and opened fire with a 9mm pistol, a 9mm Uzi carbine, and a 12 gauge shotgun. Huberty shot and killed 21 patrons, staff, and passersby while wounding 19 others before being shot by a San Diego Police Department SWAT team sniper’s bullet from atop the U.S. Post Office next door 77 minutes after the shooting began. The first SDPD officer to arrive on scene found himself easily outgunned as he only carried a standard-issue .38 revolver. Needless to say, the SDPD no longer uses the .38 revolver. As the San Diego Police Department has implemented changes to its protocols and equipment in response to this tragedy, what has changed in terms [...]

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