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January 30th, 2007

Scooter Libby Trial – A Truly Bizarre Trial Experience

This isn’t about New York personal injury law, but it is about trial practice, and is simply too good to pass up…a trial observer (then-Time magazine correspondent John Dickerson) that suddenly finds the testimony is about him…it comes from Slate at this link…this is the lede and the end, but the middle is well worth reading…

Dispatches From the Scooter Libby Trial

I wanted to raise my hand and ask, “Your Honor, may I approach the bench?”

I was at the Scooter Libby trial to cover it, and all of a sudden, I found myself in the middle of the case. In his testimony today, former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer told the courtroom — which included me — that when I was a White House correspondent for Time magazine, he had told me that Joe Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA.

He did?

Everyone had heard about Robert Novak, Matt Cooper, and Judith Miller, the reporters who had received the Valerie Plame leak. But now Ari was saying I was in that club, too.

Only moments before Ari’s surprise disclosure, I had been trying to figure out what my lede would be for today. I enjoyed seeing Ari have to answer questions under oath, which he never had to do in the White House briefing room. As a reporter, I’d always tried to put him in the witness box, and he always climbed out. Now he may have put me in there.

There’s nothing quite like the heart-pumping drama and surprise of a good trial.

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