What it takes to be a trial lawyer if you’re not a man

    By: Kelsey Vuillemot on Aug 06, 2018

    Lara Bazelon writes, "Last year, Elizabeth Faiella took a case representing a man who alleged that a doctor had perforated his esophagus during a routine medical procedure. Before the trial began, she and the defense attorney, David O. Doyle Jr., were summoned to a courtroom in Brevard County, Florida, for a hearing. Doyle had filed a motion seeking to 'preclude emotional displays' during the trial—not by the patient, but by Faiella.

    'Counsel for the Plaintiff, Elizabeth Faiella, has a proclivity for displays of anguish in the presence of the jury, including crying,' Doyle wrote in his motion. Faiella’s predicted flood of tears, he continued, could be nothing more than 'a shrewdly calculated attempt to elicit a sympathetic response.'

    Faiella told the trial judge, a man, that Doyle’s allegations were sexist and untrue. The judge asked Doyle whether he had a basis for the motion. Faiella says that he replied that he did, but the information was privileged because it came from his client. (Doyle told me the information had in fact come from other defense attorneys.) Faiella called his reply 'ridiculous.' She told me: 'I have never cried in a trial. Not once.'

    As Faiella listened to Doyle press forward with his argument, her outrage mounted. But she had to take care not to let her anger show, fearing it would only confirm what Doyle had insinuated—that she would use emotional displays to gain an advantage in the courtroom."


    Released: August 6, 2018, 8:20 am
    Keywords: NAWL News

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