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The Champion

June 2018 , Page 56 

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Book Review: The Brain Defense: Murder in Manhattan and the Dawn of Neuroscience in America’s Courtrooms

By Allan F. Brooke

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The Brain Defense: Murder in Manhattan and the Dawn of Neuroscience in America’s Courtrooms

By Kevin Davis
Penguin Press (2017) 


On more than one occasion in the last 25 years I have asked a client, “Why did you do that?”

I want to understand what made the client think that particular act would make sense, be legal, and be somewhat likely to accomplish the client’s goal. “Why would you have believed the guy promoting that scheme?” “Why didn’t you ask a lawyer if that tax shelter was legal?” “Didn’t you think that that would get the FBI unduly interested in your practice?” These questions sometimes reveal that I have missed some abstruse point of investments, tax law, or professional practice. Sometimes the answer is as simple as “I was greedy,” “I was angry,” or “I was exhausted.”

But in a surprising number of instances, the answer comes back, “I really don’t know what I was thinking.”

I wish there was a test that could tell me just what my clients were thinking — and that I could then use

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