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Book details
  • Genre:LAW
  • SubGenre:Litigation
  • Language:English
  • Pages:334
  • Format:Paperback
  • eBook ISBN:9781667867038
  • Paperback ISBN:9781667867021

Stalking Justice

by Paul L. Katz JD

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Overview
If you like courtroom drama, these cases read like finely-crafted short stories, each laid out to create tension and capture the reader. This is Mr. Katz's autobiographical anthology of court cases he selected from a legal career that spanned forty-plus years. He was an assistant district attorney, a public defender, an insurance defense attorney, and a civil plaintive in Louisiana state and federal courts and in state courts in Colorado. Entwined in these actual jury trials, the author freely describes his personal impressions, comparisons, and criticisms about the advantages and disadvantages of how each legal system worked or failed to deliver "justice" since justice wasn't always the goal. He removes the gloves and exposes the underbelly of systems that were never perfect and move, in his opinion, in the wrong direction from the Supreme Court on down. The stories provide entertainment to the casual reader and instruction to students of law who aspire to be advocates in the court room. The cases provide examples of how to look at the facts deeply, realistically, and most importantly, from the points of view of the actors.
Description
If you like courtroom drama, these cases read like finely-crafted short stories, each laid out to create tension and capture the reader. This is Mr. Katz's autobiographical anthology of court cases he selected from a legal career that spanned over forty years. He was an assistant district attorney, a public defender, an insurance defense attorney, and a civil plaintive in Louisiana state and federal courts and in state courts in Colorado. Entwined in these actual jury trials, the author freely describes his personal impressions, comparisons, and criticisms about the advantages and disadvantages of how each legal system worked or failed to deliver "justice" since justice wasn't always the goal. He removes the gloves and exposes the underbelly of systems that were never perfect and move, in his opinion, in the wrong direction from the Supreme Court on down. The stories provide entertainment to the casual reader and instruction to students of law who aspire to be advocates in the court room. The cases provide examples of how to look at the facts deeply, realistically, and, most importantly, from the points of view of the actors. This early realization that point of view determines what we know and what we believe was the key to Mr. Katz's successes. Point of view is at the heart of how he examined facts he couldn't change. If the obvious point of view didn't get him where he wanted to go, he found another one that did. He demonstrates that, often, there is a way to look at the "facts" that doesn't require artifice but does provide salvation. This ultimately determines the way a case is presented to the jury and how the jury sees the facts. This insight guided the author, changed or colored the surface stories, exposed underlying truths, and led to unexpected turns that did result in justice. In one case, the author faced a trial in which his client faced an eyewitness and his own confession. In another, a bouncer claims to have caught a thief running with a stolen purse, and the victims identified Mr. Katz's client as the thief. By placing himself in the role of an eyewitness, and, in the other case, in the role of the bouncer charged with protecting the patrons of the night club where he worked, the author cleared away the obvious and exposed the heart of reality. In another case, the author was able to thwart a biased federal judge who was determined to defeat Mr. Katz's case. The author, instead, caused the jury to see the case from the point of view of an old woman who seemed to be nothing more than a throw-away, irrelevant witness. In the final case, "Stalking Justice," the author exposes a system of justice in Boulder, Colorado that, to him, seems broken. He changed the names of the litigants but not the names of the judges or the Deputy DAs as he relates his impressions of what he believes those actors intentionally did and did not do in order to circumvent justice. He tells this story because he believes this particular system must change. All readers will gain insight into the workings of the court along with the novel approach taken by the author as he describes the cases, the different legal challenges he faced, and the result of the novel approaches he used to advocate for his clients in his long and varied career.
About the author
Paul Katz lives with his 165 pound dog Gumbo on the northwest side of Boulder Colorado near the mountains. He retired from the active practice of law in December of 2019 but maintains his license just in case. He began his career in the law doing criminal jury trials working for the District Attorney in New Orleans. His first eight years of practice were all criminal law working later for the New Orleans Public Defender's office and then returning to prosecution in the district attorney's office in Chalmette, Louisiana just south of New Orleans. During those years he tried over 200 criminal jury trials. He then took on a job with an Insurance defense firm defending policy holders in court who had been sued because they had caused automobile accidents. Then he switched sides again and prosecuted civil actions against insurance companies on behalf of people who were injured in automobile accidents. On occasion he also represented people who were injured in maritime accidents or had business-related cases that were headed to trial. He has practiced in both State and Federal Court. All of his private cases were referred to him by other attorneys, ex clients or friends. He never advertised. He regularly donates his time to serve as a "judge" in moot court competition at both CU and DU law school. He has been asked on a number of occasions to speak to the Louisiana Association for Justice and the Colorado Association for Justice on various topics including cross examination of an expert, application of NLP to the practice of law, and the proper way to prosecute a business fire for the business owner. He is a frequent traveler having visited over 120 countries, at least once, some as many as five times and like Peru, Nepal, Thailand, and India. He has hiked the Inca trail, visited the Mountain Gorillas in Uganda, passed through the Straight of Magellan, taken the train from Agra to Calcutta, from Perth to Malborne Syracuse to Denver and New Orleans to Chicago, he has hiked in the Himalayan mountains in Nepal, and also in Bhutan, taken the Siberian Express for seven weeks across Siberia to Moscow stopping along the way in Mongolia, visited the Jungle in Sri Lanka and the Amazon. He has visited the terracotta warriors in China, the Cu Chi tunnels in Viet Nam and the hill tribe people in Thailand. He has been to the tip of Africa and South America and has enjoyed the northern lights in Iceland. Besides for travel his interests include guitar, piano, chess and reading. He boasts that he hasn't gained a pound sine he was captain of the wrestling team at LSU. He is an avid skier and was ski instructor at the Keystone resort. He has three children and five grandchildren. His earlier book "Disorder" was also about the law but unlike this book was fiction set in New Orleans ending in a murder trial. He was elected Captain of the LSU wrestling team and later president of the student body his senior year in Law School. He is a graduate of LSU with a B.S. in Mathematics and Loyola Law School in New Orleans.
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