December 6th, 2013


Taking The Stand

I just finished reading Taking the Stand - My Life in the Law, an autobiography by Alan Dershowitz. I thought it extremely interesting. Dershowitz has had a remarkable career and he goes through describing many cases he has been involved with. Also there are lots of amusing vignettes of famous people he has dealt with. He includes lots of explanation of legal issues and the evolution of interpretation of the law.

I thought one very profound observation/recommendation was that trial lawyers should also teach and Professors of Law should also try cases (as he does) - much insight from each of these disciplines will have a positive influence on the other.

Dershowitz is someone who lots of people hate. He has defended despicable people for despicable crimes. But there have been many trial errors and some of the people whose appeals he took on after having been convicted were not really proven to be guilty and may well have been innocent. He opines that most instances of perjury in courts are committed by law-enforcement personnel. Also he is pro-Israel and that is a hot issue for some people.

He has written lots of books; I'm definitely going to read some more of them.