Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 45

ON FURTHER RE VIEW
that I had in mind, that you ought not
to - you ought to be careful to avoid
self-interests, not only not to be in a
self-interested position, but to avoid
the appearance of it. That was what I
had in mind.
Bennett made his point and did so by using
Judge Bell's own words. It is an illustration
of successfully turning an adverse witness in
one's favor.
During our conversation, Bennett explained
the thinking behind his preparation. He knew
Judge Bell "was an incredibly busy guy. I knew
he wasn't going to take the time to prepare the
details of the case." Bennett also understood
how to out-prepare his opponents. He had his
team2 pore over records, ultimately identifying
Judge Bell's own book.
Bennett also noted a more general point:
"Before you start a trial, you have to know what
your themes are and what you want to establish. Everything you do, whether it's direct
exam or cross-exam, is building to the finish. So
when you argue the case, you will say, 'here are
three things.' You never have more than three."
As is a recurring theme among the people
interviewed for this column, Bennett credits his
trial instincts to being a student of the

Bennett made his point
and did so by using Judge Bell's
own words. It is an illustration
of successfully turning an
adverse witness in one's favor.
courtroom: "I used to go back and talk to the
judge, ask what I got right, what I got wrong.
Before I got out of law school, I would go down
to the court and watch cases. I used to watch
and see what worked and what didn't work."
Bennett spent much time understanding the
people in the process, echoing statements
from an interview with Washington Lawyer
nearly 25 years ago:
When someone is indicted on a mail
fraud charge, you don't go out and hire
the lawyer that knows the most about
mail fraud. That's the easy part. Anyone
can pick up the books and read the
cases and come to an understanding of
what the law is. What's important is

having an understanding of the
process, and the participants in the
process - the prosecutors, the judge,
the jury, the press. ... Understanding
the people who make those decisions
is essential. You need to know how to
get the people making the decisions to
come to your side of the table. You
need to know what motivates them,
what worries them, and what factors
they consider to be most important as
they make their decisions.3
Lloyd Liu is a Washington, D.C.-based attorney.
His practice focuses on white-collar defense,
government investigations, and complex civil
litigation.

NOTES

1	 The video testimony is available at c-span.org/
video/?15702-1/savings-loan-senate-ethicsinvestigation.
2 He credits his extraordinary team of lawyers at the
time - Amy Sabrin, Bonnie Austin, Abby Raphael,
Ben Klubes, and E. Vaughan Dunnigan. See Robert
S. Bennett, In the Ring: The Trials of a Washington
Lawyer (2008).
3 dcbar.org/bar-resources/publications/washingtonlawyer/articles/legend-bennett.cfm.

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https://www.c-span.org/video/?15702-1/savings-loan-senate-ethics-investigation https://www.c-span.org/video/?15702-1/savings-loan-senate-ethics-investigation https://www.c-span.org/video/?15702-1/savings-loan-senate-ethics-investigation https://www.dcbar.org/bar-resources/publications/washington-lawyer/articles/legend-bennett.cfm https://www.dcbar.org/bar-resources/publications/washington-lawyer/articles/legend-bennett.cfm http://www.dcbar.org/communities/communities-on-demand.cfm

Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020

Digital Extras
Your Voice
From Our President
Election Coverage
Practice Management
Calendar of Events
When Law Firms Go Remote feature
Disaster Preparedness for Lawyers feature
Staying Afloat feature
Privacy Rights During a Pandemic Feature
Hamilton's Enduring Legacy feature
Annual Report
Taking the Stand
The Learning Curve
On Further Review
Member Spotlight -
Worth Reading
Attorney Briefs
Disciplinary Summaries
Women's Suffrage special section
Speaking of Ethics
A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 1
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 2
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 3
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Election Coverage
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 10
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 11
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - When Law Firms Go Remote feature
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 13
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 14
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 15
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 16
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 17
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Disaster Preparedness for Lawyers feature
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 19
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 20
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 21
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Staying Afloat feature
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 23
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 24
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 25
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 26
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 27
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Privacy Rights During a Pandemic Feature
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 29
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 30
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 31
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Hamilton's Enduring Legacy feature
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 33
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 34
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 35
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 36
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Annual Report
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 38
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 39
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 40
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 41
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Taking the Stand
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - The Learning Curve
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - On Further Review
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 45
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Member Spotlight -
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 47
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 49
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Women's Suffrage special section
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 53
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Speaking of Ethics
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 55
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Cover4
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