101 Things I Learned in Law School
by Vibeke Norgaard Martin with Matthew Frederick
Vibeke Norgaard Martin is a lawyer who has practiced commercial litigation and civil rights law. She has also taught law at U.C. Berkeley. Here are some of her insights on how to think like a lawyer.
“Honesty and truthfulness are not the same thing. Being honest means not telling lies. Being truthful means actively making known the full truth of a matter. Lawyers must be honest, but they do not have to be truthful… Counsel may not deliberately mislead the court, but has no obligation to tell the defendant’s whole story.”
“Intent can be essential; motive rarely is. Motive is the reason someone has for committing a crime. It can help the prosecution identify and indict a defendant, but it doesn’t provide direct evidence of guilt. Personal financial difficulty, could suggest an individual had a motive to commit a robbery, but it provides, at best, only circumstantial evidence that he did so. Intent is the resolution to commit a crime. A defendant’s possession of tools for breaking a safe suggests an intent to commit burglary and theft, and may serve as direct evidence of his guilt.” Continue reading