Earlier today, Julie Eberhardt, Certified Legal Intern, represented a Family Law Clinic client in a divorce trial. Due to her intimate knowledge of the facts of the case, Julie was able to anticipate that opposing counsel would attempt to introduce evidence of alleged bad character as a defense to being ordered to pay alimony.
Julie spent days preparing an opening statement and closing argument, drafting direct and cross examinations, reviewing evidence exhibits, meeting with the client and witnesses, conferring with the clinic supervising attorney, and researching case law on alimony and equitable distribution and the rules of evidence.
As a result of her tremendous effort, at trial Julie successufully interposed objections that prevented opposing counsel from introducing largely irrelevant negative character evidence against our client.
Opposing counsel brought five witnesses to the hearing– all of whom were prepared to testify to impermissible character testimony and other irrelevant matters intended to impugn the client’s character. Due to Julie’s research, preparations, and thorough knowledge of the facts of the case, she was able to successfully argue against the introduction of this evidence and witness testimony. In sustaining Julie’s objections the court noted that the testimony’s only relevance would be to “assassinate” our client’s character.
When all was said and done, opposing counsel was forced to significantly curtail his trial strategy with respect to the evidence he planned to present and could call only one of his witnesses to the stand.
The court has taken the matter under advisement so we do not know what the ultimate ruling will be, but because of Julie’s zealous advocacy, the court will be able to focus on the real and relevant issues at hand while considering evidence which places our client in the best light possible. The presentation of our client’s case could not have gone better!
Great job, Julie!