Ms. Martin, an obscure official in the counsel's office at the Transportation Security Administration, now appears to bear responsibility for undercutting the government's long-running effort to execute the only man tried in an American courtroom for involvement in the Sept. 11 attacks.Is this kind of error on the part of a "courtroom strategist" really credible?
Known among her peers as an aggressive, largely behind-the-scenes courtroom strategist, she is said by the judge in the case to have committed a potentially devastating blunder of the sort that law students are routinely warned about: coaching witnesses.
This simply doesn't add up:
"She's articulate and forceful and aggressive and smart," said Thomas J. Whalen, an aviation lawyer at Condon & Forsyth who has worked on her side in some cases and against her in others. "I'm really surprised about what's happened. It's more than being tough and aggressive."Her excuse?
Ms. Martin's mother, Jean Martin Lay, said she spoke to her daughter Monday night.The article provides stories of an overly-aggressive lawyer; but this is not an error of zeal.
"She was so devastated," Ms. Lay said in a telephone interview from her home in Knoxville, Tenn. "She said she just didn't hear the judge."
It is a complete failure of reasoning. First year lawyers are expected to know better than this. She didn't "hear" the judge? Judges don't usually make rulings like this order from the bench. Commonly such orders are released through the judge's office to the lawyers involved. No lawyer ever "hears" an order like this; they read it in the file.
Nothing about this adds up. Which only increases my paranoia, like looking in my mirror and seeing a police car.