Reason Not to Go to Law School #33

Posted in Reasons Not to Go to Law School on February 15th, 2010 by bl1y

Professors give shit for legal advice.

Watch the awesomely bad video of Professor James Duane giving a lecture at Regent University School of Law.  Aside from talking so annoyingly fast that you’ll want to kill yourself before making it through the lecture, Professor Duane just gives some flat out bad advice.

While I agree that you won’t be able to “talk yourself out of an arrest” that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can say to a cop that will help you.  When a normal person says “talk yourself out of an arrest” they mean bullshitting your way out; playing on the cop’s emotions, looking for sympathy, or just making up a convoluted story.  But, that’s not the only type of talking you can do when you think you might be facing an arrest.

“It couldn’t have been me, I was across town at the time, have 10 eye witnesses, and a receipt with a time stamp, also the place has security cameras everywhere which will confirm this.  And by the way, I know someone people confuse me with all the time, and I recall one of my friends saying he said “hi” to him at the scene of the crime, thinking at first that it was me, so it’s probably that guy.  Let me give you his name and phone number.”

Technically, you probably just “talked” your way out of an arrest, but not the way Professor Duane means.  Unless you’re really ridiculously good looking, you can’t “sweet talk” your way out an arrest, but you can provide exculpatory evidence.  Your words are not admissible in trial, but most cops are honestly trying to do a good job and won’t arrest you if they believe you didn’t do anything.

Of course, impending arrest isn’t the only instance you might want to talk to a police officer.  Here are some examples straight from my fairly limited experience:

1.  Second night after having moved into my new apartment in undergrad someone tried to break in.  He pounded on the door for a while (which looked like it really might break) and then smashed my window with his hand.  We called 911.  He wandered off after breaking the window (having cut himself pretty badly).  When the cops showed up, you can bet we talked to them.  We didn’t know who the guy was or where he went, and wanted to make sure he wasn’t coming back.  The cops found him a few minutes later, took him down, and hauled him off.

If you’re the victim of a crime, it’s often a good idea to talk to the police.

2.  First summer of undergrad I was in a small car wreck.  My car was hit in a parking lot by a school van.  We reported it to the police who came out and took a statement and did whatever they do.

Need a police report to file an insurance claim?  You’re going to need to talk to the police.

3.  My senior year of undergrad a friend of mine accidentally hit the apartment’s panic button (located right next to the light switch).  A little while later the cops showed up.  I explained what happened, showed them my key and where the alarm button was.  They agreed it was in a bad spot and could be easily pressed by accident and left without further questioning.

Accidentally call the police?  Talk to the damn police!

I’m sure those of you with more colorful life stories have plenty of examples of your own of times when it was a really great idea to talk to the police, but even if you don’t, it shuold be clear that there are plenty of good times to talk to the police.  But yet, Professor Duane says he will “Never talk to any police officer under any circumstances.”

Of course, he then says “With all due respect, sir,” to the cop sitting in the room.  Isn’t that guy a cop?  Is this lecture a circumstance?  I guess Professor Duane suffers from either anterograde amnesia, or hypercredism.  Anterograde amnesia is the rare memory disorder in 50 First Dates, and it’s incredibly unlikely the professor has it.  Hypercredism is the phenomenon where someone states some unconditional hyperbole, such as “I will never talk to the police,” acknowledges that it’s hyperbole and not literally true (such as by immediately then talking to a police officer), and then insists that the unconditional nature of the hyperbole is accurate and factual.  Professor Duane really does believe, even after talking to a police officer, that he will never talk to a police officer.

And this is why he teaches at Regent, a school in a tier so low not even Dante Alighieri could fathom the horrors that take place there on a daily basis.

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