The Great Trials Podcast
Moshik Temkin | Commonwealth v. Sacco and Vanzetti | The Sacco-Vanzetti Trial

Moshik Temkin | Commonwealth v. Sacco and Vanzetti | The Sacco-Vanzetti Trial

December 28, 2021

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Moshik Temkin, Harvard University Associate Professor of History and Public Policy and author of The Sacco-Vanzetti Affair: America on Trial (https://carrcenter.hks.harvard.edu/people/moshik-temkin). 

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Episode Details:

Harvard University Associate Professor of History and Public Policy Moshik Temkin, author of The Sacco-Vanzetti Affair: America on Trial, discusses the larger implications of this 1920s Massachusetts murder trial and how its proceedings and subsequent international post-verdict protests revealed the U.S. justice system's implicit bias against immigrants. On April 15, 1920, an armed robbery was committed at the Slater-Morrill Shoe Company in Braintree, Massachusetts, resulting in the death of two guards and the theft of at least $15,000 in payroll funds. Italian immigrant anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were accused and charged with first-degree murder. The pair's anarchists beliefs, advocating for the violent overthrow of political and capitalist institutions, and evasion of the World War I draft took center stage at the trial, overshadowing missing and contradictory evidence in the case. Influenced by presiding Judge Webster Thayer's obvious bias, which included calling the defendants "anarchist bastards," as well as the jury foreperson's publicly expressed predetermined verdict, Sacco and Vanzetti were sentenced to death. Worldwide, labor unions held protests and acclaimed writers and political influencers spoke out in support of Sacco and Vanzetti. The pair, who were widely seen as political prisoners, were executed in the electric chair on August 23, 1927. On today's new episode, author and historian Moshik Temkin will share what his extensive research has revealed about this infamous case and the resulting international protests. Learn how this legendary trial impacted global politics and resulted in lasting judicial reform. 

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Guest Bio:

Moshik Temkin:

Moshik Temkin, Associate Professor of History and Public Policy, joined the Harvard Kennedy School faculty in 2009. A specialist in the history of the modern United States in global and comparative perspective, with a focus on the connections between history and public policy, he is particularly interested in the interaction between Americans and non-Americans–the effects that American politics have had on the wider world, the roles that international politics have played in American society and policymaking in the United States, and the dynamics created when American and international politics come into contact, or conflict.

He is the author of The Sacco-Vanzetti Affair: America on Trial (Yale University Press, 2011), which was a finalist for the Cundill International Prize, as well as several articles and book chapters. His current research interests include the history of the death penalty in comparative perspective, the impact of war on public policy intellectuals since World War I, Malcolm X's career and politics in a global context, the relationship between American civil rights and global human rights, and the contest between global political activism and travel control since the Cold War. He is currently at work on a book provisionally titled Undesirables: Travel Control and Surveillance in an Age of Global Politics, to be published by Harvard University Press. He is also the editor (with David Greenberg and Mason Williams) of Alan Brinkley: A Life in History (Columbia University Press, 2019).

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

Jim M. Perdue, Sr. & Jim M. Perdue, Jr. | Alexander v. Battaglia et. al. | $3.6 million verdict

Jim M. Perdue, Sr. & Jim M. Perdue, Jr. | Alexander v. Battaglia et. al. | $3.6 million verdict

December 21, 2021

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Jim M. Perdue, Sr. and Jim M. Perdue, Jr of Perdue and Kidd (https://www.perdueandkidd.com/). 

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Episode Details:

Texas trial lawyers Jim M. Perdue, Sr. and Jim M. Perdue, Jr. -- Perdue & Kidd's father-and-son trial team -- take a look back at the first case they ever tried together. Listen as this accomplished trial team explains how they secured justice for the wrongful death of a patient who died as a result of the negligence of a nurse anesthetist during routine orthopedic surgery. In September 1997, 40-year-old Mark Alexander was scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder, but the anesthesiologist left him in the hands of an inexperienced nurse anesthetist, who failed to provide Mark with adequate ventilation during the surgery and neglected to record Mark's heart rate for 17 minutes. As a result, Mark was deprived of adequate blood flow to the brain for 10 to 14 minutes and remained in a coma for two weeks before passing away on October 3, 1997. Involved in the case while Mark was still in a coma, Jim M. Perdue, Sr. was able to collect powerful pieces of evidence he presented at trial: phone recordings and messages from Mark's family. In spite of the defense's attempts to cast blame on the other anesthesiologists and professional associations named in the lawsuit or to distance themselves from having any role in Mark's medical care, the father-and-son legal team was able to hold the doctors accountable for their contribution to Mark's substandard care and proximate cause of death. Jim M. Perdue, Sr. and Jim M. Perdue, Jr. strategically engaged the jury's senses with impressive storytelling and by sharing a visual timeline of the tragic events, a video of Mark languishing in a coma and the hard data comparison of the anesthetist's records versus the medical equipment records. In October 1999, a Harris County, Texas jury unanimously found the four defendants negligent and awarded $3.6 million in damages to Mark's wife and surviving parents. 

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Guest Bios:

Jim M. Perdue, Sr:

Jim M. Perdue, Sr. is Of Counsel to Perdue & Kidd. Mr. Perdue received both his Bachelor of Science cum laude and his Juris Doctorate cum laude from the University of Houston.

Mr. Perdue has had over five decades of success in securing substantial and in some cases unprecedented multi-million dollar verdicts and recoveries for his clients. He has lectured across the country, speaking before law schools, scientific associations, medical groups, bar associations, trial lawyer organizations, and colleges of advocacy, delivering over 400 presentations on topics including the substantive law of malpractice and product liability, professional responsibility, rules of evidence, the psychology of jury persuasion, special issue submission, and trial strategy and technique.

He has authored texts and treatises on the substantive law of medical malpractice and product liability. The appellate courts of Texas have often cited his books, law review, and law journal articles. Moreover, numerous appellate opinions in cases he has prosecuted have pioneered the way for today’s victims of negligence, defective products and corporate indifference.

In 1989, Forbes magazine dubbed Mr. Perdue “King of the Malpractice Lawyers.” He has been a trailblazer in plaintiffs’ litigation for the past fifty plus years. He is one of the most well-known medical malpractice and product liability trial lawyers in Texas.

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Jim M. Perdue, Jr:

Jim M. Perdue, Jr. is a named partner at Perdue & Kidd, with a national practice focusing on trying lawsuits, from cases involving defective medical products and pharmaceutical liability claims to catastrophic injuries of all types. He is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and Medical Professional Liability by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys. He currently serves on the Rules Advisory Committee of the Texas Supreme Court.  Jim Perdue Jr. is both an Advocate in the American Board of Trial Advocates and Fellow in the International Society of Barristers. Mr. Perdue is listed among the “Top 100 Attorneys in Texas” in Texas Monthly by Thomson Reuters, where he has been named a “Texas Super Lawyer” since the award was created 11 years ago. He is also named in “The Best Lawyers in America” (Woodward/White 2006-15) for Plaintiff’s Personal Injury practice.

Jim Perdue Jr. has tried over 30 personal injury cases to jury verdict, including multi-million dollar verdicts for cases involving pharmaceutical liability, workplace injury, and medical malpractice. This includes his $27.6 million dollar verdict against Boston Scientific, listed as one of the largest product liability verdicts of 2014 by the National Law Journal. Jim Perdue Jr. has spoken at over 100 legal seminars and published on a wide range of topics, from trial techniques to tort law. He has made appearances on Good Morning America, Court TV, and local television as a legal commentator on civil justice legislation, automotive safety, and product liability law.

Jim Perdue Jr. r attended the University of Texas and graduated summa cum laude. He then received his J.D. cum laude at the University of Houston Law Center and was named their Outstanding Alumnus of the Year in 2006. He is Past-President of the Houston Trial Lawyers Association, Past-Chair of the Professional Negligence Section of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, a member of Leader’s Forum of American Association for Justice, a fellow of the Texas and Houston Bar Foundations, and a member of the College of the State Bar of Texas. The Houston Young Lawyers Association honored Jim Perdue Jr. with the Woodrow B. Seals Outstanding Young Attorney Award in 2002.

Mr. Perdue serves on the Boards of TIRR Foundation, which is the charitable research arm of TIRR Hospital in Houston, Texas, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church Foundation (Houston); and the Silver Spurs Alumni Association. Jim Perdue Jr. is a past director of the Texas Lyceum and Past President of the University of Houston Law Center Alumni Organization. He and his wife Nicole have three sons.

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

Bill, James & Ryals Stone | Thornal v. Clausen | $26.1 million verdict

Bill, James & Ryals Stone | Thornal v. Clausen | $26.1 million verdict

December 14, 2021

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Bill Stone, James Stone and Ryals Stone of The Stone Law Group (https://www.stonelaw.net/). 

 

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Episode Details:

The Stone Law Group's trial team -- comprised of father Bill Stone and sons James Stone and Ryals Stone -- explain how they thoroughly investigated a fatal car accident and proved that their client, a promising 19-year-old University of Mississippi student, was not the proximate cause of his own tragic death, as law enforcement investigators initially concluded. In the early morning hours of March 29, 2013, University of Mississippi freshman Price Thornal was attempting to travel from Oxford, Mississippi to his hometown in Tallahassee, Florida to celebrate his father's birthday. Price's Honda Civic was hit head-on by the defendant, who was driving a Dodge Durango on the wrong side of the divided US Hwy 84. Trial lawyers Bill, James and Ryals Stone used the GPS system in Price's car to plot his trajectory and utilized the defendant's cell phone records as evidence of her negligence and opposing trajectory. In spite of the defendant's attempts to cast blame on Price, the Stone Law Group used basic physics as well as expert accident reconstruction to show the jury which car was traveling in the appropriate direction. In November 2021, after just 20 minutes of deliberation, an Early County, Georgia jury found the defendant's negligence to be the proximate cause of Price's death and awarded $26,141,628 in damages. 

Click Here to Read/Download Trial Documents

 

Guest Bios:

William Stone:

Bill is a trial lawyer from Blakely, Georgia, who specializes in personal injury, wrongful death, professional malpractice, product liability, commercial and consumer fraud cases. The firm’s predecessor was founded in 1915 by Bill’s grandfather, the late Wm. Lowrey Stone. Past members of the firm include Bill’s father, Lowrey S. Stone, who formerly served as Chief Judge of Superior Courts, Pataula Judicial Circuit.

Bill was born in Dothan, Alabama, on August 19, 1953. He attended the public schools in Early County, Georgia and graduated from Early County High School in 1971. He attended the University of Georgia College of Business Administration and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a major in accounting on graduation in 1975. Bill also attended the Netherlands Institute of Industrial Economics near Amsterdam in The Netherlands in 1973.

Bill received his Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1977. He was admitted to practice law in the state of Georgia in 1977 and in the state of Alabama in 1985. He is also member of the bars of the United States District Courts for the Middle and Northern Districts of Georgia, the Middle District of Alabama, and the Central District of Illinois, as well as the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits.

The publishers of the Martindale Hubble Law Directory have awarded Bill its highest rating (AV) for legal ability and integrity.

Bill is a Life Member and past president of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association and is also a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Georgia, the Alabama State Bar, the American Association for Justice, and the Southwest Georgia Trial Lawyers Association.

Bill has served on the Georgia Judicial Nominating Commission that recommends candidates to the Governor for appointment to vacant judgeships in Georgia. He has authored a number of published articles and is a frequent lecturer at legal seminars on the subject of trial practice and tort law.

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James Stone:

James grew up in Blakely, Georgia and currently lives with his wife, Rachel, in Roswell, Georgia. James practices in our Atlanta office, primarily focusing on cases involving catastrophic personal injury and death from medical negligence, trucking accidents, and motor vehicle accidents.

James, a fifth-generation attorney in his family, grew up with an eye always towards practicing law. Watching his father represent clients who lacked the ability to obtain justice for themselves, James always appreciated the work and time invested in pursuing high-stakes litigation and catastrophic injury cases. Now, James works alongside his father and brother, furthering that pursuit of justice and relentlessly fighting for clients and families injured in accidents are wronged by corporations.

James is a 2009 graduate of the University of Georgia where he received his BBA in Management Information Systems. Afterward, James attended Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School and graduated in 2013.

James was admitted to practice law in Georgia in 2013 and Alabama in 2015.

James is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, the Alabama State Bar, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association of Justice, the American Bar Association, and the Sandy Springs Bar Association.

James has been involved in numerous complex lawsuits resulting in verdicts or settlements higher than seven figures.

In his spare time, James enjoys recreational activities such as mountain biking, running, softball and coaching little league baseball.

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Ryals Stone:

Ryals D. Stone is a Partner in the Rome office of Stone Law Group. He represents individual and small business plaintiffs in cases involving catastrophic personal injuries or wrongful death, specifically those caused by motor vehicle accidents or trucking collisions, unsafe premises, industrial boiler explosions, defective products, medical negligence by a medical provider, insurance bad faith or financial fraud, and other civil RICO racketeering conspiracies.

During his career as a trial attorney Ryals has handled many complex civil cases and has been an active and integral member of the firm’s trial team during numerous multi-week jury trials, which have resulted in verdicts and settlements of over $150 million combined.

Ryals is the oldest son of Stone Law Group senior partner William S. Stone. The firm’s predecessor was founded in 1915 by Ryals’ great-grandfather, the late William Lowrey Stone. Past members of the firm include Ryals’ grandfather, Lowrey S. Stone, who later served for 15 years as Chief Judge of Superior Courts, Pataula Judicial Circuit. Upon being admitted to the Georgia Bar in 2010, Ryals proudly became the 5th straight generation of Georgia attorneys in the Stone family.

Raised in his hometown of Blakely in rural Southwest Georgia, Ryals went on to earn his undergraduate degree in History from University of Georgia in 2005 and his law degree in 2009 from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.

During law school, Ryals also studied International Comparative Constitutional Law at the University of Cambridge in England. He earned the highest marks in several of his law school classes, including Trial Advocacy Basic Skills and Professional Responsibility. As a 3rd Year law student he was selected as a distinguished Abraham J. Caruthers Fellow, chosen to mentor Cumberland’s renowned first-year legal research and writing program. Throughout his final year of law school, Ryals gained valuable practice experience as a law clerk in the Bessemer, Alabama District Attorney’s Office and for the In-House Counsel at Southern Progress Corporation.

Ryals is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Courts of the Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts of Georgia, the Georgia Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of Georgia. He is a Champion member of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association (GTLA), American Association of Justice (AAJ), Attorneys Information Exchange Group (AIEG), the Rome Bar Association, and he currently serves as President of the Pataula Circuit Bar Association. He has continuously served as a voting member of GTLA’s Executive Committee since 2013 and currently serves as an elected officer of the Civil Justice PAC’s Board of Directors. He has served GTLA’s Verdict Editorial Board as a Board member and frequent contributing author since 2015. Ryals currently serves on the Board of Governors of AAJ as one of only 5 Governors from Georgia. Ryals has also served multiple terms on the Board of Directors for the State Bar of Georgia’s Young Lawyers Division.

However, above any of his career achievements Ryals is most proud of his role as the founding member and inaugural Co-Chair of GTLA’s “LEAD” Program (“Leadership Education and Advanced Direction”), a leadership academy he co-created specifically for talented young Georgia trial lawyers. Today, the program boasts nearly 100 LEAD alumni over its first five years, many of whom are now counted as among GTLA’s highest-ranking officers and Board members.

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

Don Fountain & Drew Ashby | Batchelder et al v. Malibu Boats, LLC, f/k/a Malibu Boats, Inc.; Malibu Boats West, Inc. et al. | $200 million verdict

Don Fountain & Drew Ashby | Batchelder et al v. Malibu Boats, LLC, f/k/a Malibu Boats, Inc.; Malibu Boats West, Inc. et al. | $200 million verdict

December 7, 2021

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Don Fountain of Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Prather & Littky-Rubin (https://www.clarkfountain.com/) and Drew Ashby of Ashby Thelen & Lowry (https://www.atllaw.com/). 

 

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Episode Details:

Don Fountain of Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Prather & Littky-Rubin and Drew Ashby of Ashby Thelen & Lowry discuss how they successfully represented the grieving parents of a 7-year-old boy who tragically died in an accident involving a defective boat design on Lake Burton in Georgia. On July 17, 2014, Ryan Batchelder was wearing a life jacket and sitting in the bow seating compartment in the front nose of a rented 2000 Malibu Response LC open bow ski boat when he was washed overboard as the boat circled, crossing its own wake and taking on water in a phenomenon known as "bow swamping." As the front of the boat filled with water, the driver put the boat in reverse to raise it to surface level, but the unguarded propeller sucked Ryan in, resulting in severe blood loss and fatal drowning. Don Fountain and Drew Ashby, along with their colleagues, took the case to trial for the Batchelder family to hold accountable the three entities involved in making boats under the name "Malibu Boats," which is the largest ski boat manufacturer in the world. Together, Don and Drew demonstrated that Malibu Boats West, Inc. and Malibu Boats LLC were negligent for failing to provide warnings concerning the bow swamping hazard associated with the open bow boat. In August 2021, a Rabun County, Georgia jury apportioned fault to Malibu Boats West, Inc., Malibu Boats, LLC and the boat driver for Ryan's wrongful death, awarding $80 million in compensatory damages and $120 million in punitive damages. The jury determined that because the Malibu defendants knew about the bow swamping hazard and made the conscious decision not to warn boat owners and users, punitive damages were also warranted, making this the largest pain and suffering wrongful death verdict in Georgia history.

 

Click Here to Read/Download the Complete Trial Documents

 

Guest Bios:

Donald Fountain:

Donald R. Fountain, Jr. is nationally recognized as a top trial attorney and is known for his work around the country for successfully representing catastrophically injured clients during some of the most traumatic and transformational times in their lives. For twenty-five years, Don has been a double board-certified civil trial lawyer by both the state and national boards and has twice been named “Lawyer of the Year” in plaintiff product liability litigation by Best Lawyers in America®, a prestigious award that was published in the Miami Herald and The Wall Street Journal.

During his more than 30 years as a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer, Don has handled cases in more than 25 states and has tried virtually every kind of case – typical and atypical – from a cruise ship hitting an iceberg in Alaska to the mishandling of human remains by a regional funeral home chain. He frequently works on cases across the country related to automotive products liability, tire defects, consumer product defects, road design defects, construction defects, boating and locomotive accidents, aviation liability, legal malpractice, fires and vehicle/truck accidents. Don has earned hundreds of seven and eight figure verdicts and settlements totaling more than $800 million for his clients throughout Florida and the United States.

In 2021, Don and his trial team successfully secured a $200 million verdict in rural Georgia for their clients, Stephan Batchelder and Margaret Batchelder, who tragically lost their 7-year-old son, Ryan Paul Batchelder, in a 2014 boat swamping defect incident. It was the largest verdict in Rabun County Georgia history, and the largest single verdict for pain and suffering associated with wrongful death in the history of the State of Georgia.

Earning titles that include “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America,” “Leading Plaintiffs’ Lawyers in America,” and “Florida’s Top 10 Attorneys,” Don is frequently called upon by other lawyers to handle major litigation matters that require unique technical expertise and financial resources. 

Don is continuously recognized as a “Top Lawyer” in South Florida Legal Guide and as one of the “Legal Elite” in Florida Trend magazine – a recognition he shares with only 2% of lawyers in the state. Don is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®, which denotes the highest level of professional excellence and ethical standards in the legal industry. He has been named a Super Lawyer® by his peers for 15 consecutive years.

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Drew Ashby

Drew is an experienced trial lawyer specializing in catastrophic personal injury, defective products, and chemical exposures. Drew has litigated these issues in 15 states. 

Drew is one of the only trial lawyers in the country to have secured a seven-figure verdict, an eight-figure verdict, and a nine-figure verdict, all before the age of 40. He holds the record verdict in Rabun County (GA), the record verdict in Lowndes County (GA), and the largest pain and suffering verdict in Georgia history. He holds the 7th largest premises liability verdict in the Southeast in 2019, the 8th largest vehicle crash verdict in the Southeast in 2020, and the largest verdict in any product liability or wrongful death case in Georgia in 2021. 

Drew has a special expertise in cases involving defective products of all kinds, including automobiles, aerial lifts and cranes, ATVs, boats, industrial equipment, and a variety of consumer and household products. To date, manufacturers have issued four separate nationwide recalls as a result of his work in cases; most of which were issued in almost unprecedented fashion – in the middle of litigation.

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

GTP CLASSIC | Daniel Rodriguez, Chantal A. Trujillo & Danay Gonzalez│Bowe Cleveland v. Taft Union High School District, et al.│$3.8 Million Verdict

GTP CLASSIC | Daniel Rodriguez, Chantal A. Trujillo & Danay Gonzalez│Bowe Cleveland v. Taft Union High School District, et al.│$3.8 Million Verdict

November 30, 2021

This week we’re replaying a classic GTP episode where your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Daniel Rodriguez, Chantal A. Trujillo & Danay Gonzalez of Rodriguez & Associates Trial Lawyers (https://www.rodriguezlaw.net/).

 

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Case Details:

Rodriguez & Associates trial lawyers Daniel Rodriguez, Chantal A. Trujillo, and Danay Gonzalez explain how they became the first trial team to present a school shooting-related civil claim to a jury. On January 10, 2013, Bowe Cleveland was shot by a fellow student, who was repeatedly reported to Taft Union High School administrators for making violent threats, having a "hit list" and drawing scenes of killings. Administrators failed to update their threat assessment plan and implement intervention tactics. As a result, Bowe was shot in his science classroom and suffered multiple punctures in his right lung, massive blood loss, and fractured ribs, requiring over 30 surgical procedures. To this day, Bowe's chest is full of shotgun pellets, and he struggles with PTSD. A Bakersfield, California jury found eight individuals, including the school's assistant principal, negligent and partially responsible for Bowe's injuries, returning a verdict of $3.8 million.

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Guest Bios:

Daniel Rodriguez

Daniel Rodriguez has a background that is a little bit different than the typical lawyer.  Daniel grew up in a migrant farm-worker family. He and his family were constantly on the move.  He lived and worked in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and California. Daniel and his five siblings attended between three and five different schools each year up until college.

In addition to working in the fields, Daniel later held a variety of jobs going through college and law school.  To name a few, Daniel worked as a dishwasher, worked for PG&E in their mapping department, worked as a salesperson for Sears, Roebuck & Co., sold encyclopedias door to door, and pumped gas at a full-service gas station.  Another job that Daniel held was working as a roustabout and mechanic in the oilfields for Atlantic Richfield Co. in Kern County. All of these jobs helped mold Daniel’s perspective on life. Namely, that there’s no substitute for putting in the hard work.

Daniel’s career as a lawyer is also a little bit different than the typical plaintiff’s lawyer.  The vast majority of plaintiff’s lawyers hardly ever go to trial. Most of them may take a case to trial once every five years or so.  Daniel tried his first jury trial within one month of getting his license to practice law. Daniel’s skill as a personal injury lawyer in Bakersfield has not gone unnoticed.  Daniel is proud of the fact that he was selected to teach at Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College. This trial advocacy school is widely considered to be the best in the country.  What does jury trial experience and trial skills mean to the client? That Daniel will obtain top and full value for the client’s case because insurance companies respect and fear a skilled and experienced trial lawyer.

Daniel’s professional dedication to the Kern County community has earned him nationwide recognition. He’s been selected to the California Super Lawyers list (by Super Lawyers®) every year since 2009. In 2015, he was named Best Lawyer in Bakersfield by the Best of Bakersfield Reader’s Choice Awards. He is also a member of The National Trial Lawyers, an invitation-only group composed of the premier trial lawyers from across the United States. He’s been a guest on Hot 94.1’s “The Romeo Show”, Univision, and interviewed in major news outlets.

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Danay Gonzalez

Danay was born in Bakersfield and raised in Lamont, California. In this small town, her family owned a jewelry store where Danay grew up learning the value of community. There, she learned how to work hard and interact with customers. While they loved their home in Lamont, Danay’s family moved to Bakersfield to pursue new opportunities when she was in the eighth grade. She went on to graduate from Ridgeview High School, where she enjoyed being in choir and theatre, reading and writing in her English classes, and debating politics with her fellow students in AP courses.

After high school, Danay attended UCLA, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 2013 (Once a Bruin, always a Bruin!). While she loved living in Los Angeles and experiencing a different life with new horizons in the city, she always knew that she wanted to come home and be a positive influence in her community.

Growing up in Lamont, she saw that many of her classmates were afraid to speak up for themselves at the risk of being deported or getting their families in trouble. She saw them living in fear, and she knew that it wasn’t right. She saw the way that the people of her community looked up to Daniel Rodriguez, not only for being a successful member of the Hispanic community but also for the way that he fought for the rights of her friends and neighbors. Because of his influence, she knew she wanted to become a lawyer and stand up for people’s rights like he does. Coming from a family where her grandparents couldn’t read, write, or speak English, Danay is passionate about giving a voice to the people who need it most.

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Chantal A. Trujillo

As a Bakersfield native, Chantal graduated from Centennial High School in 2004 (Go Golden Hawks!). Chantal then attended CSU Bakersfield for 2 years until transferring to the University of Texas where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communications. She further pursued her education at St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, TX, earning her Juris Doctor in 2011.

After venturing to the Lone Star state, Chantal found herself back in Bakersfield, where she was born and raised. In late 2011, she joined the team at Rodriguez & Associates, where she has gained a home away from home. She is well-known for late nights at the office, consistently putting in the extra hours to achieve positive results in all of her cases. During Chantal’s time at the firm, she has handled numerous personal injury and wrongful death cases, some of which have gone to jury trial and produced great verdicts.

Working in this field has shaped Chantal tremendously into the kind of lawyer you forget is a lawyer because of how much of herself she pours into her cases. She truly breaks the mold by taking the time to understand and meet her clients’ requests and concerns throughout the civil litigation process.

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

GTP CLASSIC | Mikal Watts │United States of America v. Mikal Watts

GTP CLASSIC | Mikal Watts │United States of America v. Mikal Watts

November 23, 2021
This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Mikal Watts of  Watts Guerra, LLP. ( https://www.wattsguerra.com/ )
 
 
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Case Details: 
Mikal Watts, the founding partner of Watts Guerra LLP in Texas, has always been known as a fierce mass torts litigator with a history of winning cases against big corporations like Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. and Ford Motor Company. Then, he was charged with 95 counts of wire fraud, mail fraud, identity theft and aggravated identity theft. 
 
Falsely accused of stealing Social Security numbers to file claims on behalf of 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill victims, Watts discovered he was, in fact, the victim of fraud. A Mississippi-based consultant for the mass torts case and a claims manager spent millions of dollars funding their extramarital affair, rather than making sure money went to the victims of the oil spill. 
 
Faced with a possible life sentence and the end of his legal career, Watts shares why he chose to defend himself in court, how he proved his innocence to the jury and how he defines justice now that he has experienced a trial as both a lawyer and the accused.
 
 
 
Guest Bio:
 
In August of 2002, Mr. Watts formed Watts Law Firm, L.L.P. In 2009, Mikal Watts joined forces with Francisco Guerra IV to form Watts Guerra LLP which handles catastrophic personal injury, toxic torts, product liability, automotive defects, refinery negligence, commercial trucking negligence, medical device, pharmaceutical, and commercial litigation.
 
Mr. Watts has been admitted to practice pro hoc vice in New, York, Alabama, Florida, New York, Minnesota, Mississippi, and California. Mr. Watts has defended punitive damages obtained in federal court by oral argument before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
 
Mr. Watts’ litigation against Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. and Ford Motor Company resulted in resolving the most significant product liability case in the country. The terms of the settlement in the Bailey case were unprecedented in American history for a case of this type; not only monetarily but by virtue of what the companies agreed to do with respect to the disclosure of information relating to their own investigations into the alleged defects with their products and their corporate safety policies and practices.
 
Watts Guerra LLP is nationally recognized as one of two firms leading in the pursuit of hundreds of claims brought nationwide against Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. and Ford Motor Company.
 
Mr. Watts was instrumental in bringing to light Ford’s quiet efforts to recall these defective tires in foreign countries while consumers in the United States continued to be injured or killed riding on the same tires. This litigation and settlement has been chronicled on the ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, Dateline NBC, and CNBC, and in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Post, Associated Press, and all other major news sources in this country and around the world.
 
 
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John Uustal | Samantha Elena Gonzalez et al. v. Lifetime Brands, Inc. | $27 million settlement

John Uustal | Samantha Elena Gonzalez et al. v. Lifetime Brands, Inc. | $27 million settlement

November 16, 2021

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview John Uusta of Kelley | Uustal (https://kelleyuustal.com/). 

 

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Episode Details:

John Uustal, a founding partner of Kelley | Uustal in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, discusses how he refused to accept the findings of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, engineering experts, firefighters and police officers and instead pursued justice for a 3-year-old girl who was badly burned by a defective pressure cooker. On September 14, 2015, toddler Samantha Gonzalez was being bathed by her grandmother in the kitchen sink when a Vasconia Aluminum 8 Quart Pressure Cooker on the nearby stove began to malfunction and opened under pressure, spraying scalding liquid onto the child. Sixty percent of Samantha's body was covered in second and third-degree burns, resulting in the loss of a leg, hand and all her fingers. The manufacturer, Lifetime Brands, denied any defect and instead blamed Samantha's grandmother for the tragic incident. John and his legal team discovered a major corporate cover-up when older models, unlike the newer models that had been used for testing, were found to have a defective lid-locking system that made them unsafe for use on stoves with higher temperatures higher than 2,000 watts. Despite knowledge of the design flaw, Lifetime Brands never issued a recall or a warning to consumers and instead quietly made design adjustments in newer models. On November 6, 2018, a Broward County, Florida Circuit Court Judge approved a $27 million settlement in favor of the plaintiff, resulting in one of the largest recoveries ever obtained in the U.S. for a consumer product design defect.

 

Click Here to Read/Download the Complete Trial Documents

 

 

Guest Bios:

John Uustal:

John Uustal is a founding partner of the Kelley | Uustal law firm in Fort Lauderdale. Uustal leads a team of fourteen elite trial lawyers, who have won some of the largest verdicts in the country. He limits his own practice to a small number of “cases that can’t be won for families that can’t afford to lose.” He has taken on some of the most complex and difficult legal cases of our time. His successes have resulted in safer fuel tanks, safer seat belts, safer medical care, and safer equipment for firefighters. That success has earned him some powerful enemies. A car company promised to bankrupt him, he was attacked and maligned by Big Tobacco, and he was threatened in Argentina after antagonizing government officials who had been complicit in Argentina’s dirty war. He has won every case he has tried against tobacco companies. He has won every one of his cases involving keyless ignition defects. He has been named Product Liability Lawyer of the Year by America’s Best Lawyers, awarded the Most Effective Lawyer for Product Liability by the Daily Business Review, and has been interviewed and chronicled by national newspapers and television news programs.

The day after John Uustal started law school, Hurricane Andrew tore through the University of Miami, destroyed parts of the city, and shut down the school. Once the campus and surrounding areas reopened, his first-year class was forced to complete a full year of law school in much less time. For months they studied law at a ridiculous pace under tremendous pressure while living without electricity or phone service and at the same time struggling to help those still in need. At the end of that school year – with all its impossible demands and incredible responsibility - Mr. Uustal ranked first in the entire student body and had earned the Book Award for the highest grade in the class in every single class that year.

He turned his attention to trial skills and was prosecuting criminals in Miami courtrooms even before he graduated. He earned what was reportedly the highest score in the entire state on the Florida Bar Examination. In his first few years of practice he obtained a $51 million verdict trying a car crash case himself, helped make national news when he discovered a massive corporate scheme to cover-up the real reason that people were burning alive in General Motors vehicles, and tried cases across the country.

Mr. Uustal now handles incredibly complex and difficult cases against the best defense attorneys in the world. His successes have resulted in safer fuel tanks, safer seat belts, safer medical care, and safer equipment for firefighters and paramedics.

His most prominent recent cases have been against companies that knowingly sell dangerously defective products. He represented a young girl who was severely burned when a pressure cooker malfunctioned and won one of the largest recoveries ever in the entire country; and this was on a case that other lawyers rejected. He handled cases involving keyless ignition defects that killed people in their homes and won every case. He was so infuriated by the refusal of automobile companies to fix their vehicles in the ways their own engineers specified that he worked with the

New York Times on a comprehensive story of the defect, which led to hearings in the U.S. Senate. He has won every case he has tried against tobacco manufacturers, who have been selling dangerous products for decades. He has been named Product Liability Lawyer of the Year by America’s Best Lawyers, Awarded the Most Effective Lawyer for Product Liability by the Daily Business Review, and has been interviewed and chronicled by national newspapers and television news programs.

His work has also earned him some powerful enemies. A car company promised to bankrupt him, he was attacked and maligned by Big Tobacco, and he was threatened in Argentina after antagonizing government officials who had been complicit in Argentina’s dirty war. His firm is organized specifically so that it can withstand such intimidation. The words of Clarence Darrow, painted on the walls, create clarity in every decision that requires sacrifice: “I have lived my life, and I have fought my battles, against power. I have asked no odds from them, and I never will.”

Mr. Uustal limits his practice to representing families who have suffered catastrophic injuries or wrongful death, even when other attorneys say the case can’t be won. With truly devastating injuries, the difference between a good recovery and a great recovery may be all the difference in the world. To make that kind of difference he can only handle a few cases at a time. There is no other way.

Clients have called him “the real deal”; “an old-school fighter” who “cared about us as people first.”

Mr. Uustal grew up in Fort Lauderdale. His mother was a teacher, his father was a coach, and he saw the real impact they each had on so many young lives. He coaches competitive soccer for Fort Lauderdale Select, and he finds opportunities to coach in the law as well. He believes that it is important to freely give his time advising, assisting and teaching other attorneys who ask for help. He gives lectures across the country and teaches trial skills.

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GTP CLASSIC | Jeff Harris and Rebecca Franklin Harris | Jones v. CSX | $11.2 million verdict

GTP CLASSIC | Jeff Harris and Rebecca Franklin Harris | Jones v. CSX | $11.2 million verdict

November 9, 2021

This week, in light of the tragedy that recently occurred during filming of the movie Rust, we’re replaying a classic episode where your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Jeff Harris of Harris, Lowry, and Manton (www.hlmlawfirm.com) and Rebecca Franklin Harris of Franklin Law (franklinlawllc.com).

 

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Episode Details:

Two-time Georgia Super Lawyers Top 100 honoree Jeff Harris of Harris Lowry Manton LLP and award-winning trial lawyer Rebecca Franklin Harris discuss the landmark wrongful death case that occurred on the set of the Gregg Allman biopic “Midnight Rider.” Unbeknownst to camera assistant Sarah Jones and the rest of the crew, they were filming on active railroad tracks owned by CSX Transportation. Sarah was struck and killed by a train and quickly became the face of Hollywood’s film safety movement. Thanks to a strong case presented by Jeff Harris and Rebecca Franklin Harris, a Chatham County, Georgia jury returned an $11.2 million verdict.

Visit - https://www.safetyforsarah.com/

 

Click Here to Read/Download the Complete Trial Documents

 

 

Guest Bios:

Rebecca Franklin Harris:

As founder of Franklin Law, LLC, Rebecca Franklin Harris works with clients both locally in Savannah and across the country in cases involving consumer rights and product safety. In addition to dangerous consumer products, her practice includes cases arising out of trucking accidents, medical malpractice, aviation disasters and premises liability incidents.

Rebecca has been repeatedly recognized for her legal achievements, being inducted into the “Verdicts Hall of Fame” and named as part of “Georgia’s Top 40 Under 40” by Georgia’s leading legal publication, The Fulton County Daily Report. She was a recipient of the “Courageous Pursuit of Justice Award” given by The Georgia Trial Lawyers Association and has consistently been recognized as part of the “Rising Stars” selection in the annual Georgia Super Lawyers publication. She has also been selected Top 100 Trial Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers Association.

Read Full Bio Here

 

Jeff Harris:

One of the nation’s top trial attorneys, Jeff Harris is an award-winning litigator who handles high-profile, complex cases across a wide variety of practice areas. He excels at securing justice for clients who have been seriously injured or killed, holding responsible parties accountable for their actions as well as their negligence.

Over the course of his career, Jeff has secured hundreds of millions in jury verdicts and settlements for his clients and has helped make a variety of products, vehicles and industries safer for everyone. His cases have been featured in The New York Times, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, 20/20, CBS Evening News and many other national media outlets.

Read Full Bio Here

 

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Edward Larson | The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes | The Scopes Monkey Trial | Part 2

Edward Larson | The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes | The Scopes Monkey Trial | Part 2

November 2, 2021

Part two of our discussion with Edward Larson, Ph.D., J.D., author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion (Ed Larson).

 

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Episode Details:

Edward Larson, Ph.D., J.D., author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion and the Hugh and Hazel Darling Chair in Law and University Professor of History at Pepperdine University, explains the historical significance and societal impact of the landmark "Scopes Monkey Trial." In March 1925, the state of Tennessee passed the Butler Bill, which prohibited the teaching of evolution or anything but Divine Creation in schools. In response, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sought a test case and found one in Dayton, Tennessee science teacher John Scopes. During the eight-day trial, John Scopes pleaded not guilty to charges of violating the Butler Bill. He was represented by the ACLU and legendary trial attorney Clarence Darrow, who argued that the Butler Bill was unconstitutional and impeded basic freedom of religion rights. The special counsel for the prosecution was iconic American orator William Jennings Bryan, a political titan, former Secretary of State, celebrated speech maker and acclaimed U.S. Congressman who served as a major force behind the creation of the Butler Bill. The legal battle between Darrow and Bryan was truly an epic showdown, pitting two of the nation’s best orators against one another in a court of law. On July 21, 1925, the jury returned a guilty verdict after nine minutes of deliberation, and Judge John Raulston ruled that John Scopes was ordered to pay a $100 fine for violating the Butler Bill. The verdict was overturned on a technicality at the Tennessee Supreme Court on January 15, 1927. In today's episode, learn why the Scopes trial is considered one of the most important cases in 20th century America and how it became the first trial to be broadcast live on the radio. Hear Edward Larson's analysis about the case, the precedents it set for Constitutional law in America and why the topic of evolution vs. creationism in schools is still being debated nearly 100 years later.

 

Click Here to Read/Download the Complete Trial Documents

 

Guest Bio:

Edward Larson

Ed Larson holds the Hugh and Hazel Darling Chair in Law and is University Professor of History at Pepperdine University. Originally from Ohio with a PhD in the history of science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and law degree from Harvard, Larson has lectured on all seven continents and taught at Stanford Law School, University of Melbourne, Leiden University, and the University of Georgia, where he chaired the History Department. Prior to becoming a professor, Larson practiced law in Seattle and served as counsel for the US House of Representatives in Washington, DC. He received an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Ohio State University but still roots for the University of Wisconsin in football.

Recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in History and numerous other awards for writing and teaching, Larson is the author or co-author of fourteen books and over one hundred published articles. His 2015 book, The Return of George Washington: Uniting the States, 1783-1789, was a New York Times Bestseller and resulted in Larson being invited to deliver the 2016 Supreme Court Historical Society lecture in Washington, give the annual Gaines Lecture at Mount Vernon, and serve as a featured presenter for the Library of Congress's Madison Council event. His other books, which have been translated into over twenty languages, include An Empire of Ice: Scott Shackleton, and the Heroic Age of Antarctic Science; A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election of 1800, America's First Presidential Campaign; and the Pulitzer Prize winning Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion. Larson's articles have appeared in such varied publications as Nature, Atlantic Monthly, Science, Scientific American, Time, Wall Street Journal, American History, The Guardian, and dozens of law reviews. His latest book, On Earth and Science, was published by Yale University Press in 2017.

A popular lecturer, Larson has taught short courses at universities in China, Europe, and South America; and given addresses at over 80 American universities. He was a resident scholar at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Study Center; held the Fulbright Program's John Adams Chair in American Studies; participated in the National Science Foundation's Antarctic Writers and Artists Program; and served as an inaugural Fellow at the Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon. A panelist on the National Institutes of Health's Study Section for Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues of the Human Genome Project, Larson is interviewed frequently for broadcast, print, cable, and internet media, including The Daily Show, The Today Show, and multiple appearances on PSB, BBC, the History Channel, C-SPAN, CNN, Fox News, MNBC, and NPR.

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

Edward Larson | The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes | The Scopes Monkey Trial | Part 1

Edward Larson | The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes | The Scopes Monkey Trial | Part 1

October 26, 2021

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Edward Larson, Ph.D., J.D., author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion (Ed Larson).

 

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New! Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKdeO4IodggpSLyhWVdcWKw

 

Episode Details:

Edward Larson, Ph.D., J.D., author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion and the Hugh and Hazel Darling Chair in Law and University Professor of History at Pepperdine University, explains the historical significance and societal impact of the landmark "Scopes Monkey Trial." In March 1925, the state of Tennessee passed the Butler Bill, which prohibited the teaching of evolution or anything but Divine Creation in schools. In response, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sought a test case and found one in Dayton, Tennessee science teacher John Scopes. During the eight-day trial, John Scopes pleaded not guilty to charges of violating the Butler Bill. He was represented by the ACLU and legendary trial attorney Clarence Darrow, who argued that the Butler Bill was unconstitutional and impeded basic freedom of religion rights. The special counsel for the prosecution was iconic American orator William Jennings Bryan, a political titan, former Secretary of State, celebrated speechmaker, and acclaimed U.S. Congressman who served as a major force behind the creation of the Butler Bill. The legal battle between Darrow and Bryan was truly an epic showdown, pitting two of the nation’s best orators against one another in a court of law. On July 21, 1925, the jury returned a guilty verdict after nine minutes of deliberation, and Judge John Raulston ruled that John Scopes was ordered to pay a $100 fine for violating the Butler Bill. The verdict was overturned on a technicality at the Tennessee Supreme Court on January 15, 1927. In today's episode, learn why the Scopes trial is considered one of the most important cases in 20th century America and how it became the first trial to be broadcast live on the radio. Hear Edward Larson's analysis about the case, the precedents it set for Constitutional law in America, and why the topic of evolution vs. creationism in schools is still being debated nearly 100 years later.

 

Click Here to Read/Download the Complete Trial Documents

 

ABOUT EDWARD LARSON'S BOOK:

 

Guest Bio:

Edward Larson

Ed Larson holds the Hugh and Hazel Darling Chair in Law and is University Professor of History at Pepperdine University. Originally from Ohio with a Ph.D. in the history of science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and law degree from Harvard, Larson has lectured on all seven continents and taught at Stanford Law School, University of Melbourne, Leiden University, and the University of Georgia, where he chaired the History Department. Prior to becoming a professor, Larson practiced law in Seattle and served as counsel for the US House of Representatives in Washington, DC. He received an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Ohio State University but still roots for the University of Wisconsin in football.

Recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in History and numerous other awards for writing and teaching, Larson is the author or co-author of fourteen books and over one hundred published articles. His 2015 book, The Return of George Washington: Uniting the States, 1783-1789, was a New York Times Bestseller and resulted in Larson being invited to deliver the 2016 Supreme Court Historical Society lecture in Washington, give the annual Gaines Lecture at Mount Vernon, and serve as a featured presenter for the Library of Congress's Madison Council event. His other books, which have been translated into over twenty languages, include An Empire of Ice: Scott Shackleton, and the Heroic Age of Antarctic Science; A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election of 1800, America's First Presidential Campaign; and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion. Larson's articles have appeared in such varied publications as Nature, Atlantic Monthly, Science, Scientific American, Time, Wall Street Journal, American History, The Guardian, and dozens of law reviews. His latest book, On Earth and Science, was published by Yale University Press in 2017.

A popular lecturer, Larson has taught short courses at universities in China, Europe, and South America; and given addresses at over 80 American universities. He was a resident scholar at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Study Center; held the Fulbright Program's John Adams Chair in American Studies; participated in the National Science Foundation's Antarctic Writers and Artists Program; and served as an inaugural Fellow at the Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon. A panelist on the National Institutes of Health's Study Section for Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues of the Human Genome Project, Larson is interviewed frequently for broadcast, print, cable, and internet media, including The Daily Show, The Today Show, and multiple appearances on PSB, BBC, the History Channel, C-SPAN, CNN, Fox News, MNBC, and NPR.

Read Full Bio

 

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

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