Here comes the New York Times with a piece about a day of trial stuff — the lawyers’ opening statements — in the Samantha Perelman lawsuit against her uncle. I always find testimony intriguing to read (or read about, in this case) because it’s usually so persuasive. Yet you have to wait until the actual witnesses testify and are crossed before you understand how persuasive it really has been.
The article by Susanne Craig begins:
Robert B. Cohen, the founder of the Hudson Media empire, whose last wishes are at the center of nasty legal battle here, was either a gravely ill old man unable to speak in his final years, or an opinionated octogenarian who enjoyed attending family bar mitzvahs. Those were the clashing portraits presented in state court on Monday of the man, who died in 2012, leaving behind a fortune that is now the subject of a bitter fight that has drawn in some of the ultrawealthy of New York society.
By the way, this trial is not before a jury. It is a banc trial, i.e., before a judge alone. I believe it’s the plaintiff who gets to choose judge over jury, but sometimes it’s the law or rule binding a case. So parties in a lawsuit don’t always have the choice; the choice is pre-ordained.