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Just the facts

June 15, 2007

Re "Defense lawyer's famous roar muzzled by Spector," June 12

The article on Bruce Cutler reveals a myth that the public (and I guess Cutler) perpetuates -- that the most effective and successful trial lawyers are all about fighting for their clients by engaging in hysterical theater. Cutler said: "Trial work is theater."

As a trial lawyer with more than four decades of experience in front of juries, I have learned that he is missing one key ingredient. No matter how loud the lawyers shout in final argument, the jury has to go through the tedious task of sorting through the facts and basing its decision on the facts. Too much heat only generates heat and no light. Effective trial lawyers are tremendously prepared to effectively present a series of facts that will lead the jury inevitably to reach the right conclusion on its own. In fact, the best trials are ones in which the jury believes that the job of the winning lawyer was easy. The apparent decision by defendant Phil Spector and his other five defense lawyers to keep Cutler from setting fire to the courtroom is the winning strategy.

LAWRENCE R. BOOTH

Torrance

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