Correction re Taylor procedural history

About an hour ago, I corrected a date in the procedural history.  The Motion for Psychiatric Examination was denied on July 29, 1975.  My apologies.

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Taylor procedural history

Working from the microfilmed court papers and the microfilmed docket entries, I put together a procedural history of the case:

I included the name of the victim (Kathy Shelton) because she recently went public. (I do not doubt that she was the victim of a crime.)

My next post will discuss the events that gave rise to the prosecution. I rely primarily on the article Glenn Thrush wrote for Newsday in 2008. It is the most cohesive narrative I have found:

There are references in the court papers to a statement made by Taylor when he was arrested. The Thrush account indicates that Taylor, in that statement, denied any wrongdoing but placed himself in the company of the victim — and the two other witnesses she identified — close to the time of the offense.

Stay tuned …


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Arkansas v. Taylor — docket entries

The 1975 case of State of Arkansas v. Thomas Alfred Taylor has attracted a great deal of attention — Hillary Clinton was defense counsel.  The court papers are online:

Because claims have been made that those papers do not substantiate, I obtained the docket entries (a roughly chronological listing of the documents and rulings in the case).  I was wondering if anything was missing from the microfilmed papers.

The docket does show some rulings that are not in the papers.  (Sometimes court rulings are simply entered on the docket, without a corresponding written order being prepared and signed.)

Contrary to what has been widely asserted:

The complainant was not compelled to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.  Hillary’s motion seeking such an evaluation was denied.

No ruling was made excluding any forensic evidence.  In fact, no motion was even made seeking such a ruling.

Here are the docket entries:

More to come …




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crayons as essential office equipment?

I never thought of them that way, and I don’t have much occasion to use them, so I don’t keep them handy.  Something happened to change that.  And no, nobody has taken my sharp objects away from me — yet.

A colleague for whom I do freelance work sent me to court as an observer in a case that indirectly affected his client, with instructions to take copious notes.  While I was taking the notes, my pen ran out of ink.  I switched to the only other pen in my backpack.  A few words later, it also ran out of ink.  I knew some of the attorneys in the room, but none were within nudging distance.  They probably would not have appreciated the interruption anyway.

I kept taking notes anyway, pressing the pen down as hard as I could so that I would be able to read the impressions later.

Afterwards, someone I shared this trauma with suggested I rub the pages with a crayon to improve the readability of the impressions.  It worked.

I was annoyed at having to buy a whole box when I only needed one, but they may come in handy when there are kids in the waiting room — or if my sharp objects are ever confiscated.


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touchpad troubleshooting tip

If you use a touchpad, and one day you discover that the pointer is not responding to your finger movements, here’s what you do:  look at your finger and see if it is actually on the touchpad.  If you discover that you have been moving it about on a coaster, get some sleep.

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Just beginning…

This blog will not be a thicket of links, and I will not be posting daily; that would cut into my FreeCell time too much.  I will share some of my adventures as a divorce lawyer, appellate practitioner, and general gadfly.

For starters, here’s my web site address:


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