Abortion and the Conscience of a Nation by Ronald Reagan

While President, Ronald Reagan penned an article for The Human Life Review, unsolicited. “Abortion and the Conscience of a Nation” ran in the Review‘s Spring 1983 issue. Here are some excerpts from it:

Make no mistake, abortion-on-demand is not a right granted by the Constitution. No serious scholar, including one disposed to agree with the Court’s result, has argued that the framers of the Constitution intended to create such a right.

The real question today is not when human life begins, but, What is the value of human life? The abortionist who reassembles the arms and legs of a tiny baby to make sure all its parts have been torn from its mother’s body can hardly doubt whether it is a human being. The real question for him and for all of us is whether that tiny human life has a God-given right to be protected by the law — the same right we have.

Every legislator, every doctor, and every citizen needs to recognize that the real issue is whether to affirm and protect the sanctity of all human life, or to embrace a social ethic where some human lives are valued and others are not. As a nation, we must choose between the sanctity of life ethic and the “quality of life” ethic.

I have often said we need to join in prayer to bring protection to the unborn. Prayer and action are needed to uphold the sanctity of human life. I believe it will not be possible to accomplish our work, the work of saving lives, “without being a soul of prayer.”


i am pro-life

Obama: “When I Was President”

President Obama spoke of being president in the past tense during last night’s second presidential debate with Mitt Romney: “The way we’re going to create jobs here is not just changing our tax code, but also to double our exports. And we are on pace to double our exports, one of the commitments I made when I was president. That’s creating tens of thousands of jobs all across the country.”


Justification is 1) A lawful or sufficient reason for one’s acts or omissions; any fact that prevents an act from being wrongful; 2) A showing, in court, of a sufficient reason why a defendant acted in a way that, in the absence of the reason, would constitute the offense with which the defendant is charged.
See Marschall v. City of Carson, 86 Nev. 107, 464 P.2d 494 (1970) (justification as an affirmative defense to a claim of false arrest). When an existing contractual relationship is involved, justification for interfering with it is an affirmative defense. In Buckaloo, the California Supreme Court observed that privilege or justification is an affirmative defense, and the lack thereof need not be shown by the original pleader. A note of caution, however, crept into the court’s formulation of principles at this point. “Perhaps the most significant privilege or justification for interference with a prospective business advantage is free competetion,” the court wrote. “Ours is a competitive economy in which business entities vie for economic advantage. In a sense, all vendees are potential buyers of the products and services of all sellers in a given line, and success goes to him who is able to induce potential customers not to deal with a competitor.”

–From Elements of Claims and Defenses in Nevada by Day Williams

October 17: Diversity

October 17


So we are to use our different gifts in accordance with the grace that God has given us.
–Romans 12:6

It was he who gave gifts to people; he appointed some to be apostles, others to be prophets, others to be evangelists, others to be pastors and teachers. He did this to prepare all God’s people for the work of Christian service, in order to build up the body of Christ. And so we shall all come together to that oneness in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God; we shall become mature people, reaching to the very height of Christ’s full stature.
–Ephesians 4:11-13


Judicial Estoppel

Judicial Estoppel
The doctrine of judicial estoppel may apply when the following five criteria are met: “(1) the same party has taken two positions; (2) the positions were taken in judicial or quasi-judicial administrative proceedings; (3) the party was successful in asserting the first position (i.e., the tribunal adopted the position or accepted it as true); (4) the two positions are totally inconsistent; and (5) the first position was not taken as a result of ignorance, fraud or mistake.” The purpose of the doctrine of judicial estoppel is to protect the integrity of the judiciary, thus permitting the court to invoke the doctrine in its own discretion. The doctrine is applicable when a party’s inconsistent position amounts to an “attempt to gain an unfair advantage.”

–From Elements of Claims and Defenses in Nevada

by Day Williams

October 15: Risk

October 15

The more chance there is of stubbing your toe, the more chance you have of stepping into success.

This nation was built by men who took risks–pioneers who were not afraid of the wilderness, business men who were not afraid of failure, scientists who were not afraid of the truth, thinkers who were not afraid of progress, dreamers who were not afraid of action.
~Brooks Atkinson


What it Takes to Be a Great Trial Lawyer

What it Takes to Be a Great Trial Lawyer
One of the remarkable advantages of being a member of a multitude and variety of professional organizations is that you can be exposed to a broad spectrum of people who have great ideas. That naturally leads to a better understanding of people.

As a trial attorney, that only helps us do our job better because understanding people is the key to human interaction, which is the heart of what a trial attorney deals with everyday.

At the same time, what it takes to be a great trial lawyer is more than understanding human interaction, although just knowing that much can go a long way toward professional success. Understanding the mechanics of the legal process fulfills the equation of being a great lawyer.
That’s a lesson learned, in a roundabout way, from Nashville attorney John Day. A remarkable trial attorney and gifted speaker, his blog on all things related to Tort Law (quite aptly titled Day On Torts) is worth a regular read, no matter what area of law you may practice. He knows his stuff.
Day has written a series of articles collectively titled “What it Takes to Be a Great Trial Lawyer” and the article is terrific. I won’t spoil the fun of reading it (you can find the entire series on the web and also in the Fall 2008 Ohio Trial published by the Ohio Association for Justice), but here are the 19 points that make up Day’s List:
1. A great trial lawyer knows the substantive law applicable to the cases the lawyer evaluates, accepts, settles and tries.
2. A great trial lawyer has a solid knowledge of the law of evidence.
3. A great trial lawyer has a solid knowledge of the law of civil procedure.
4. A great trial lawyer takes time to think.
5. A great trial lawyer maintains a reasonable caseload.
6. A great trial lawyer does not cheat.
7. A great trial lawyer learns the facts.
8. A great trial lawyer understands the importance of depositions.
9. A great trial lawyer has the ability to pull the trigger.
10. A great trial lawyer has the ability to organize.
11. A great trial lawyer understands the need to be true to one’s self.
12. A great trial lawyer has the courage to tell the client the truth.
13. A great trial lawyer has the ability and willingness to undertake (and share with the client) a cost-benefit analysis throughout the litigation.
14. A great trial lawyer has a passion for the work.
15. A great trial lawyer has an understanding of the human condition and what it takes to motivate jurors to action.
16. A great trial lawyer has an appreciation for the discretion vested in the trial judge.
17. A great trial lawyer has the willingness and ability to delegate.
18. A great trial lawyer is blessed with “luck.”
19. A great trial lawyer knows that he or she is only as good as the next verdict.
His list is, as he has said, “what I must do to become the lawyer I want to be.”

There is not a single thing on Day’s list that should be skipped by anyone wanting to master the craft of being a trial lawyer. And there certainly isn’t much to add either. Mastering Day’s list can take a lifetime, but what a life’s time it would be.

Ron Burdge
Helping Trial Lawyers Help People Since 1978