April 18, 2008
The War of the Worldviews
~ written by Christopher E. Hogan
The Talmud teaches that we do not see the world as it is; rather, we see it as we are. Though arraigned by some as an anti-Semite, the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche may well have agreed. Infamously aphoristic, Nietzsche once declared, "There are no facts, only interpretations." Litigators might agree, too. Litigators regularly submerge themselves into a Nietzschean netherworld of warring worldviews. Their goal: win the war by telling and showing the decision maker an interpretation of the evidence that meshes most favorably with its view of the world and thus its sense of justice. To be sure, legal doctrine plays a role in all this. But many, if not all, litigators have experienced the "bad facts make bad law" phenomenon.
Yet, having a compelling story does little good if it can't be told. Or told poorly. And this is where legal doctrine can play an important role. Enter the Columbus Bar’s “Employment Litigation Workshop,” Wednesday, May 7 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Jack W. Decker, Principal Assistant Attorney General in the Employment Law Section of the Office of Ohio Attorney General, will kick off the workshop with “Crafting Effective Motions for Summary Judgment.” Summary judgment is often the pivotal battle in the war of worldviews. Well-crafted motions embody both analytical clarity and a storyteller's touch. Jack will tell us how to achieve both. Next, I'll conduct a “Trial Evidence Refresher.” Because one's case must ultimately navigate the uncertain path that is the rules of evidence, a facility with the rules is critical to getting your story told. Finally, every story should have a coherent ending. Accordingly, the workshop will conclude with a “Remedies Master Class” presented by Kimberly C. Shumate, Associate General Counsel, The Ohio State University. Be they nominal or substantial, damages may tell the moral of the story. Please join us.
This three-hour CLE will be preceded by a meeting of the Labor and Employment Law Committee on Wednesday, May 7. Click here to register online, or phone 614/221.4112 for event #3776. The cost is $85 prepaid/$100 day of for members, $125 prepaid/$140 day of for non-members and $55 prepaid/$70 day of for paralegals.