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Judges are notorious for scolding lawyers who irritate them or submit inferior quality work to the court. Being scolded by a judge is likely to happen at some point during a lawyer’s career (whether justified or not), and it is usually an embarrassing situation for the lawyer.
Watch the following video of a lawyer being scolded by a judge on national television during the criminal trial of O.J. Simpson for failing to Shepardize: Failure to Shepardize
Source: Legal Writing Prof Blog. If you forget to Shepardize, don’t do it in front of a national audience. Retrieved from http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legalwriting/2008/09/if-you-forget-t.html.
Locate the following article, written by a law librarian, on how to locate cases that involve a judge scolding a lawyer.
Mary Whisner, When Judges Scold Lawyers, 96 Law Libr. J. 557 (2004).
You can retrieve the article by entering “96 Law Libr. 557” in the main search box in Westlaw. Notice how many of the cases involve failing to Shepardize!
Shepardizing in Action
So what is one to do to avoid such embarrassment and provide the most current legal references? Shepardize! Choose one of the sources below and shepardize the source. Determine if this source would be considered good or usable in a legal argument. Explain how you know. Please remember to share your process in making your determination.
Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896).
U.S. Const. Amend. XVIII.
Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-1922.
Fla. Stat. § 776.013
Johnson v. State, 755 S.W.2d 92 (Tex. Crim. App. 1988).