Monday, June 11, 2007
Wesson on How Unscrupulous Lawyers and Credulous Judges Created an Exception to the Hearsay Rule
Marianne Mimi Wesson, University of Colorado, has posted a new article, 'Remarkable Strategems and Conspiracies': How Unscrupulous Lawyers and Credulous Judges Created an Exception to the Hearsay Rule. It is forthcoming in the Fordham Law Review. Here's the abstract: This paper, a companion piece to the author's earlier exploration of the case of Mutual Life Insurance Company v. Hillmon, describes the remarkable record of unethical conduct compiled by the eminent and respectable attorneys for the insurance companies in the course of that litigation. When married with the Supreme Court Justices' uncritical willingness to accept the false narrative thus contrived, these attorneys' misconduct led to the creation of an important rule of evidence - a rule of questionable merit. This article aims to remind us that lawyers who are willing to distort the process of litigation have the power not only unjustly to advantage their clients in particular cases, but to affect the creation and persistence of overarching policies that do not serve the ends of justice or truth.