Aaron Freiwald, Managing Partner of Freiwald Law and host of the weekly podcast, Good Law | Bad Law, is joined by Professor Scott Dodson, of UC Hastings College of Law, to discuss Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as well as Scott’s book on the legal legend, The Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Today, Aaron and Scott talk about R.B.G’s past, her stunning career, her amazing achievements, and her incredible impact on modern law.

 

A legal icon, R.B.G has had a profound impact on the way we think about everything from gender equality to civil procedure. Scott’s book is a collection of essays that draws together thoughtful contributors from a wide range of fields to provide a rich and compelling account of Justice Ginsburg’s career. In more than four decades as a lawyer, professor, appellate judge, and associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Ginsburg has influenced the law and society in real and permanent ways. Aaron and Scott talk about how R.B.G has helped shape our world, discussing her past and exploring the historical contexts in which she pushed gender boundaries and broke barriers. Reliving Justice Ginsburg’s storied career, Scott and Aaron, touch on glass ceilings, equal protection, the Constitution and more.

 

An expert in civil procedure and federal courts, Scott has written more than eighty papers appearing in Stanford Law Review, New York University Law Review, Michigan Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, California Law Review, Virginia Law Review, Duke Law Journal, Northwestern University Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, Vanderbilt Law Review, and several peer-reviewed journals, among others. He is the author of six books, including the one at the center of today’s conversation. His writings have been cited in more than twenty court opinions, including by the Alabama, Nebraska, and Texas Supreme Courts, and the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits; Professor Dodson also is a frequent news commentator, appearing on a variety of shows, and is quoted in various print media and blogs.

 

Prior to his appointment as the inaugural Geoffrey C. Hazard Jr. Distinguished Professor of Law, Professor Dodson held the James Edgar Hervey Chair in Litigation. Before joining UC Hastings, Scott held a permanent faculty appointment at William & Mary Law school from 2009-2012 and at the University of Arkansas School of Law from 2006-2009. Professor Dodson teaches courses in Civil Procedure, Civil Litigation Concentration, Federal Courts, Comparative Civil Procedure, and Conflict of Laws.

 

To learn more about Professor Dodson and to access the list of his publications, please follow the link to his bio page at UC Hastings by clicking here.

 

To learn more about Professor Dodson’s book, The Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, please click here.

 

 

Host: Aaron Freiwald

Guest: Scott Dodson

 

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What are the flaws of eyewitness testimony? Can we rely on it? And, how does it intersect with cognitive science?

 

Aaron Freiwald, Managing Partner of Freiwald Law and host of the weekly podcast, Good Law | Bad Law, is joined by Professor Jules Epstein, of Temple’s Beasley Law School, to discuss eyewitness testimony. A professor of law and the Director of Advocacy Programs at Temple, Jules is an expert in today’s topic, with his research focusing on criminal law and procedure, evidence, trial advocacy, Pennsylvania Criminal Law and procedure, the death penalty, and forensic science. In today’s episode, Aaron and Jules discuss the idea of eyewitness testimony in criminal cases, the science behind it, and the questions of whether or not it is reliable.

 

Can we trust what we see? Do we always remember things as clearly as we think we do? In today’s conversation, Jules breaks down some of the biggest reasons why eye witness testimony can be flawed, including the idea of ‘contaminated memory’. Aaron and Jules talk about the impact of developing sciences, such as DNA, and the effects they can have, as well as the role juries play in deciding and interpreting eyewitness testimony. Jules and Aaron discuss a recent case in which an innocent man was freed in Philadelphia after being wrongly convicted 27 years ago and Jules explains the significance that recreating the crime can have in assessing the risk of an eyewitness’ testimony. Aaron and Jules consider racial bias, super rememberers, estimator and system variables, and more throughout the conversation.  

 

A graduate of Penn’s Carey Law, Professor Epstein began his legal career as a public defender with the Defender Association of Philadelphia. He is a former partner at Kairys, Ruovsky, Messing & Feinberg, LLP, where he remains of counsel. He was an adjunct professor at Penn from 1988 through 2006, has taught in and prepared materials for countless continuing legal education programs, and has authored dozens of articles and book chapters on criminal law and evidence topics.

 

Professor Epstein’s work has concentrated, in recent years, on capital case, eyewitness, and forensic issues. He has taught death penalty law nationally, and continues to handle capital cases at the appellate and post-conviction stages. Professor Epstein served as a member of the National Commission on Forensic Science from 2013 until the Commission’s demise in 2017. He is faculty for the National Judicial College, teaching courses to judges in advanced evidence and capital case law. In Pennsylvania, he is a member if a group of lawyers, judges and academics revising the Suggested Standard Jury Instruction, Criminal, and served on a commission addressing issues in cases of wrongful convictions.

 

 To learn more about Professor Epstein, please visit his Bio here.

To learn more about the Willie Veasy case, please click here.

 

Host: Aaron Freiwald

Guest: Jules Epstein  

 

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What is the insanity defense? How is it used and when? And, does the Constitution permit a state to abolish it?

 

Aaron Freiwald, Managing Partner of Freiwald Law and host of the weekly podcast, Good Law | Bad Law, is joined by Professor Stephen Morse, of Penn’s Carey Law School, to discuss the insanity defense. The Ferdinand Wakeman Hubbell Professor of Law, a Professor of Psychology and Law in Psychiatry, and the Associate Director of the Center for Neuroscience and Society at Penn, Professor Morse is one of the country’s leading experts on today’s topic, having recently co-authored an amicus brief for the United States Supreme Court in the case, Kahler v. Kansas. Today, Aaron and Stephen talk about this brief and more as they contemplate one of our country’s oldest legal quandaries. 

 

In this episode, Stephen and Aaron aim to answer some of the most challenging questions surrounding the insanity defense. What is it really? And, what are the conditions? The two examine the question of intent and competency, the notion of right and wrong, as well as how we view crime as a society and subsequently, how we view punishment and its purposes. Professor Morse debunks some of the myths of what it means to be criminally insane and Aaron asks about the misunderstandings of the so-called “twinkie defense.” Stephen and Aaron talk about the recent wave of mass shootings in our country, the historic examples of the insanity defense, such as the cases of Andrea Yates and Daniel M’Naghten, and whether or not states can or should move to outlaw insanity as a legal defense.  Professor Morse clearly states the case for not abolishing the insanity defense.

 

Professor Morse obtained his JD from Harvard, as well as his PhD in Personality and Developmental Studies. He works on problems of individual responsibility and agency, specializing in criminal law and mental health law. Stephen has published numerous interdisciplinary articles and chapters and has co-edited collections including A Primer on Criminal Law and Neuroscience and Foundations of Criminal Law. He was a contributing author to Crime and Culpability: A Theory of Criminal Law and is working on a new book entitled, Desert and Disease: Responsibility and Social Control. He teaches courses in Criminal Law, Mental Health Law, Freedom and Responsibility, and Perspectives on Cognitive Neuroscience.

 

Professor Morse is a Diplomate in Forensic Psychology of the American Board of Professional Psychology; a recipient of the American Academy of Forensic Psychology’s Distinguished Contribution Award and a member of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Mental Health and Law. He is also a trustee of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.

 

 

To learn more about Professor Stephen Morse, please visit his Bio page on Penn’s website here.

To learn more about Professor Morse’s most recent amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court, please click here.

To learn more about Kahler v. Kansas, please click here.

 

Host: Aaron Freiwald

Guest: Stephen Morse

 

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How do you ask a question?

 

Aaron Freiwald, Managing Partner of Freiwald Law and host of the weekly podcast, Good Law | Bad Law, is joined by one of the country’s leading trial attorneys, Shanin Specter, of Kline & Specter, P.C., to discuss the idea, and the importance, of questions – both in the legal field and our everyday lives. How should we be asking questions? What kind of questions should we be asking? And moreover, what makes someone a ‘good questioner’?

 

A pre-eminent courtroom lawyer, since 2000, Shanin has taught at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School and since 2015, has taught at UC Hastings College of the Law, UC Berkeley School of Law and Stanford Law School respectively. As a lecturer and an adjunct professor, Shanin teaches a class that is completely focused on today’s topic. Shanin explains how central asking questions is to the role of being an effective attorney and gives listeners a glimpse into his course curriculum. Aaron and Shanin talk about the importance of being a good questioner, of being a good listener, how to get your point across to a fact finder, and more. The two share their own experiences in the court room, offering valuable insights, tips, tricks, and opinions. Shanin and Aaron have a timely discussion about the public hearings beginning this week in the impeachment inquiry of President Trump, specifically referencing the significance of effective questioning by both Republicans and Democrats, as well as why it matters.

 

A founding partner of Kline & Specter, Shanin concentrates on catastrophic injury litigation. He has obtained more than 200 settlements or verdicts in excess of $1 million and is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates. A graduate of Penn’s Carey Law, Shanin’s legal victories have included cases involving medical malpractice, defective products, medical devices, premises liability, motor vehicle accidents and general negligence. Beyond winning monetary compensation for his clients, Shanin’s cases have also prompted societal changes, including improvements to vehicle safety, nursing and hospital procedures, training for the use of CPR at public institutions, among others. Shanin is admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court, the Third, Fourth and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeal, the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Pennsylvania and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

 

To learn more about Shanin please visit his firm’s website here.

 

Host: Aaron Freiwald

Guest: Shanin Specter

 

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“The Holocaust is not mere history, and the memorial landscape barely hints at the maelstrom of reverberations of the Nazi era at a personal level.”

 

Aaron Freiwald, Managing Partner of Freiwald Law and host of the weekly podcast, Good Law | Bad Law, is joined by Professor Mary Fulbrook, from University College London, to discuss her recent book, “Reckonings: Legacies of Nazi Persecution and the Quest for Justice," and the overarching themes that impact our world today.

 

Professor Fulbrook’s book expands our understandings of Germany’s past, exploring the ways in which individuals became enablers and accomplices to the perpetrators, the diversity of experiences among a wide range of victims as they struggled and died, or managed, against all odds to survive and the continuing legacy of Nazi persecution across generations and continents. The process Mary illuminates is how the lives of individuals across a full spectrum of suffering and guilt, capture one small part of the greater story. Aaron and Mary delve into these concepts and more, diving deep into Mary’s work on the book as well as her research on the area as a whole.

 

Mary and Aaron talk about Mary’s personal background and family history, the shaping of history versus that of memory, the failures of the legal system, comparative geo-political locations, and the landscapes of Western and Eastern Europe. They discuss the miscarriages of justice, the memorialization that has happened since, and the impact of the Holocaust on today as well as the past.

 

Professor Fulbrook is currently directing a funded collaborative research project on ‘Compromised Identities? Reflections on perpetration and complicity under Nazism’ (2018-2021.) Joining UCL in October of 1983, she is Professor of German History, having studied at Newnham College, Cambridge as an undergraduate, and at Harvard University, where she did her MA and PhD. Professor Fulbrook currently supervises a number of PhD students on topics on modern German and European history. Her teaching has ranged from introductory courses on German history from medieval times to the present, through to more specialized source-led teaching on the German Democratic Republic, and MA courses on ‘Theoretical Issues in History and Literature,’ and ‘The Making of Modern Europe.’ Professor Fulbrook’s work continually includes themes such as European Studies, Heritage, History and Cultures, and Language, Linguistics and Literature.  

 

Among wider professional commitments, Professor Fulbrook is a member of the Academic Advisory Board of the Memorial Foundation for the former concentration camps of Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora. She has served on the Council of the British Academy, and as Chair of its Modern History Section. She was a member of the Advisory Board of the German Historical Institute London; and a member of the International Advisory Board of the Bundeskanzler-Willy-Brandt-Stiftung. She currently serves on the Editorial Boards of German Politics and Society, and of Zeithistorische Forschungen. She was the first female Chair of the German History Society, and was joint founding Editor of its journal, German History.

 

To find a copy of Professor Fulbrook’s book, please click here.

To learn more about Professor Fulbrook and her research, please visit her bio page at UCL by clicking here.

 

Host: Aaron Freiwald

Guest: Mary Fulbrook

 

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