The fatal Petit home invasion in Connecticut captured world attention.
Many compared it to the senseless murder of the Clutter family narrated by Trump Capote in his nonfiction book "In Cold Blood." Both were motivated by the fantasy of big money which didn't materialize. Dr. William Petit's wife and two daughters were raped and murdered.
The killers were sentenced to death. Later, CT abolished the death penalty.
As a result one of the killers recently got off death row.
Now the second one has also. That's Joshua Komisayevsky. He will serve six consecutive life sentences. Here are the details from the New York Post.
That home invasion was one of three tragedies to occur within a relatively short time in CT. The next was the massacre of school children in Newtown. Then in a Christmas morning fire, ad executive Madonna Badger lost her three daughters and both parents.
The lone survivor of the home invasion, Dr. William Petit, recovered from the beating the murdered administered to him. They assumed he was dead. He was at all the trials.
No one assumed Petiti would be able to come back from the horror. But he did. He married. The couple had a son. And he is now running for elected office.
That person was assigned to monitor the members' speeches for the "um" and other filler words. Clearly, they were classified as no-nos.
But, as the New York Magazine points out, "um" and other filler worlds can be used strategically. And smart people do just that.
For example, by peppering our conversation with a few of those filler words, we can create the impression that we are giving great thought to what we are saying. That would be useful for lawyers to do in those complimentary consultations with prospects. The message delivered would be: I have listened carefully and am struggling to help you in the best way possible.
In the talks I have listened to since exiting Toastmasters I have been very alert to the "ums" et al. In general I found them to frame the speech as not tightly scripted. That reinforced the speaker's authenticity.
And, isn't authenticity the golden grail of public speaking today? Donald Trump's ability to create rhetoric which is experienced by the audience as totally authentic has been his winning signature trait. Jurors, of course, are influenced by lawyers who come across as authentic versus totally stylized.
Also, the "um" gives us in the audience or on the jury the opportunity to take in the train of thought. Actually it could have been scripted in as a rhetorically acceptable way of pausing. Full disclosure: That's exactly what I did in my 60-minute webinar for TalentMarks on selling oneself in the current labor market. Otherwise the content would have been too dense.
It's sad that public-speaking training programs such as the Toastmasters don't deal with the complexities of how human speech is transmitted and received. A set of rigid stylistic rules is unlikely to create a great public speaker. And greatness in public speaking, as we know from Trump's success, can create whole new career opportunities. It can also close a sale or persuade a jury.
It should be chilling to professionals under-50 that the two presidential nominees are 70 or very close to that age.
Clearly that indicates how unlikely many high-powered players are to retire. They will simply find ways to stay in the game. And because of their contacts they can block being pushed out.
That also seems to be the plan for myriad aging lawyers. A survey by ALM, reports the American Bar Journal, found that funding retirement isn't a major issue for older lawyers. They just plan to keep working.
That means that the pipeline for upward mobility in the legal sector will remain clogged. If a firm has a mandatory retirement policy, the experienced partner usually can find a home in another firm.
This shouldn't be shocking. America is the headquarters for capitalism. You are how you make money. If you are not making money you cease to matter. Also, not shocking: The new research shows a correlation between working and longevity.
Younger lawyers will have to figure out how to "get ahead" in the profession with the traditional ways increasingly closed. One tactic would be to set up a boutique with a narrow specialization in a hot area. Another would be to disrupt the market with online services or apps for what hasn't been blow up yet. In addition, they can get experience as an associate, then apply for in-house jobs. They may be more successful at corporate politics than the law-firm kind.
No matter how this story turns out, Yale Law School will be inviting back Hillary Clinton for tons of awards.
She has achieved being the first female nominated to be U.S. president by a major political party.
It's almost irrelevant if she is elected president. She at least got the nomination. And, that was despite her myriad brushes with near-political death.
For her resilience alone she should be honored by Yale.
Another award can be bestowed on Hillary for her organization skills. She could win just because she has put together and maintained the kind of infrastructure Donald Trump hasn't been able to.
A third kind of recognition has to be given for the magnetic field she has created which draws in the wattage of celebrities. In itself that can outdazzle Trump's kind of showmanship.
Because Hillary has made history, she will always be part of history. Two or three or four centuries from now scholars still will be analyzing how she got to where she is now. If she goes further than this, then the scholars will have to go further in their analysis.
Most of those who put the knock on her will be forgotten within weeks of their death.
"Embattled hedge fund Platinum Partners is relying on Monthieth & Company for PR support as it faces prosecutors and regulators amid accusations of a bribery scheme and fraud." - Odwyerpr.com, July 26, 2016. Here is the article.
Among the allegations is that the fund manager Murray Huberfeld attempted to bribe a New York Corrections union official to invest in Platinum. Also it's contended that fund over-valued its assets and paid some investment gains with money put in the fund by new investors.
A sign of the times is that when there are legal problems there is the rush to hire a top public relations firm.
Yet that doesn't always pan out.
Ellen Pao was able to galvanize a lot of support in the court of public opinion for her gender discrimination case "Pao v. Kleiner." But in the court of law, the defendant was acquitted by the jury on all counts.
And he looks, talks, and walks like he's made that into his platform to get back to become a brandname in politics. That is, a respectable one. Perhaps he assumes enough time has passed since it was discovered that he hadn't stopped sexting, even after he had resigned from Congress. Here is the coverage from the New York Post.
Among his tactics for his Hail Mary pass for a comeback is his announcement that if Donald Trump Jr. runs for major of New York City he will then run, just to defeat it. Jr. tweeted for Weiner to get back in his cave.
Also, last night, Weiner was on "Stephen Colbert." He attacked the host as a member of the mainstream media which had helped give life to the Trump Phenomenon. The audience booed. Colbert indicated he was flattered to be classified as part of mainstream media.
Meanwhile the woman he is still married to - Huma Abedin - is on duty at the DNC as Hillary Clinton's number-one helper. Weiner can still receive coverage because the world remains interested in his The Good Wife. Like her boss, she has stuck with her man.
On Facebook, Abovethelaw.com (ATL) lawyer-journalist, Elie Mystal, reflects on when he will land that plum position as a streamed commentator.
Those of us who follow his ATL column, observations on social networks, and his appearances in New York Metro media know he should have been there about three years ago. That's when his out-of-the-box but thoughtful commentary pulled all of it together. He was ready for prime time in a visual medium.
Since the kind of programming Fox will offer post-Roger Ailes is in play, Mystal might contact The 3 Murdoch MediaTeers for a try-out. Meanwhile he can hold onto his day job at ATL. Nothing to lose. Lots of exposure to gain. Wonderful story to tell his two toddler sons and then over the years their children.