The Law: Burger Beefs

Once while sitting as a trial judge, Chief Justice Warren Burger listened patiently as a young prosecutor presented nearly an hour of expert testimony on fingerprint evidence. Burger naturally assumed that the case would hinge on a disputed fingerprint. To his consternation, he eventually discovered that the fingerprint was not in question at all; the defense accepted it. Not for the first or last time, Burger had been victimized by a familiar courtroom figure: the inept trial attorney.

Unsure of himself and his field, such a lawyer often bogs courts down in otiose...

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