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Response To Clarence Darrow's Argument In The Henry Sweet Case

2512 words - 10 pages

Response to Clarence Darrow's Argument in the Henry Sweet Case

In responding to Clarence Darrow's arguments in the Henry Sweet case and in the Leopold and Loeb case, there are some considerations that would have to be addressed in the same manner in both cases. The cases however, differ in many ways that would result in very different responses to the cases. An advocate opposing Darrow would face two factors described above. First, simply opposing Darrow creates some necessary response by the advocate, covered by those arguments that remain constant in the two cases. Second, individual aspects of each case dictate specific response by an advocate, which is covered by those arguments that differ in each case. Opposing Darrow would be a daunting task for any attorney, but winning a case against him would not be impossible if the advocate minds both his opponent and his argument.

General Response to Darrow:

In responding to Darrow generally, there are a number of things that an advocate would have to keep in mind. The advocate would have to be aware of his own presence in the courtroom and how that plays against Darrow's, factors in the case would likely play into this as well. The advocate should show respect for Darrow. He should further point out the aspects of Darrow's arguments as to neutralize them.

In any trial, and especially any trial against Darrow, it is important to examine the presence that the advocate opposing Darrow has and mold it so that it can stand up to his or use an attorney who does have a presence that can stand up to Darrow's if possible. This point will be covered more in relation to each individual case.

In addressing his opponent, an advocate facing Darrow would do best to recognize Darrow's prowess. This should be done early, but carefully. It should be done largely through simple respect for, but not deference to, Darrow. While recognizing Darrow's skill, it is important not to place the opposing attorney in a subservient position. The opposing attorney does not want to diminish his own prowess. Taking an aggressive stance against Darrow personally is not likely to yield results, as he is skilled enough to turn that aggression against the aggressor.

Beyond a generally respect full attitude towards Darrow, the opposing advocate would have to acknowledge his skill in argumentation. That is the advocate should not just ignore Darrow's arguments and proceed on the weight of his own. It is important for the advocate to expose Darrow's arguments and respond to them. This should be done in a manner that points out the arguments being made and responds to them, but does not degrade Darrow himself. Undertaking such a task would not only be difficult, it would be tempting to use a bland list type format, taking on Darrow's points one by one. This type of response must be avoided. In contrast with Darrow, this type of response would be ineffective. Any response lacking a compelling...

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