Commentary: Richard Sharpstein Was The Ultimate Courtroom Performer

, Daily Business Review

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01/25/12-- Miami-- Richard A. Sharpstein, with Jorden Burt LLP.
01/25/12-- Miami-- Richard A. Sharpstein, with Jorden Burt LLP.

I just watched a tape of the director Michael Bay at the Consumer Electronics Convention suffering a meltdown because his Teleprompter stopped working. He ran off the stage saying "excuse me. I'm sorry. I'm sorry." Later he tweeted, "I guess live shows aren't my thing." Well, live shows are our "thing" and the real trial lawyers, the veterans, the advocates, like Richard, have the courage and confidence to look the jury in the eye and, without a script or a Teleprompter, on the first and only "take," tell them the truth.

So you have to take risks. You can't give the same warmed-over argument trial after trial, for soon it becomes rancid. Open up. Take risks. It is about being present. Being in the moment. Being engaged. Being connected. There is no effort at connection that doesn't take risk. The risk of rejection. But without the risk, without connection, what is there to life? If only his arguments were preserved on tape to be studied by future trial lawyers. The dry transcripts fail to capture their essence.

We have all suffered a loss, but the greatest loss is for those students of trial advocacy who will miss the ultimate courtroom performer. "All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain …"

Roy Black, a 40-year criminal defense lawyer and civil litigator, is the senior partner at the Miami law firm of Black Srebnick Kornspan & Stumpf. This commentary originally appeared on his firm blog, "Black's Law," and was republished with his permission.

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