A Trial Lawyer for SCOTUS?

It won’t be long before President Obama nominates a person to become the newest member of the Supreme Court of the United States.   Should he nominate yet another federal judge?  Should he look to the ivory towers for talent?  How about a trial lawyer — someone who intimately knows that the legal system is about people and their problems?

Norm Pattis would like to see the next justice be a trial lawyer:

A trial lawyer knows about raw human need and the law’s rough edges. It is a trial lawyer’s job to find the intersection of terror, fear and tears with the high doctrine and principle of the law. Not one member of the current court has ever sat with a client and his family during jury deliberations to discuss what will become of a family should the client be sent to prison. Not one of these legal scholars have ever told a person that the law’s reach will not embrace the harm they have endured.

Scott Greenfield, a trench lawyer, also knows that the legal system is ultimately about people:

In the trenches, we experience life, along with the huddled masses who care far less about whether a judge is a constructionist or originalist . . . . We know the consequences of decisions, together with the consequences of delayed decisions. Our view is ground level, and our understanding of how badly the law can hurt comes from holding the hands of the maimed. We know that people lie, cheat and steal, but we know that isn’t limited to the defendants. We have philosophies, but we live realities.

Will President Obama bring diversity of thought and experience to the supreme court by nominating a trial lawyer?   I guess we can only hope for change.

Jeremy Richey

Jeremy J. Richey, Attorney at Law
© Jeremy J. Richey and The East Central Illinois Criminal Law & DUI Weblog, 2008-2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.