CU Gives a Lesson From Vinny

A litigation survival guide as told by Patrick O'Rourke and 'My Cousin Vinny'

Before his first murder trial, Vincent Gambini had never gone to court during his legal career. He took the bar exam six times before passing, and he and the trial’s judge hated each other from their first meeting.

But by the end of “My Cousin Vinny,” Gambini’s razor-sharp perception and devastating cross-examination skills saw his clients’ murder charges dismissed.

The 1992 film starring Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei served as the basis of Tuesday’s CLE session at the University of Colorado South Denver, titled “Litigation: A Long Story Made Short.” The university put on the presentation as part of its EduTalks series.

“When you go to law school, they teach you the substantive law,” said university General Counsel Patrick O’Rourke, who gave the presentation. “But then a lot of what lawyers do is they go to court, and you don’t really learn that much about how to go to court in law school.”

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the August 14, 2017 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.