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The Serial Phenomenon: One Business Litigator's Story

January 27, 2015
Attorney at Law Magazine - Twin Cities Edition
Author: Kristin Rowell

There are few things I enjoy more than being in trial. As a business litigator, I find trial exciting, energizing and tiring all at the same time.

Throughout my practice I’ve often wondered what it is like to sit in the judge’s or jury’s seat during one of my trials. Unfortunately, I’ve never been called for jury duty. What do the judge and jury make of the evidence? Do they believe the witnesses? Which witnesses? Can they tell when the other side is lying? Most importantly, do they believe my client’s story?

The Podcast
While I may never get to experience an actual trial from the viewpoint of a judge or jury, I recently discovered the next best thing – listening to the podcast called “Serial.” (Okay, so that statement might be a little dramatic, but the podcast is really quite good.) I discovered “Serial” while listening to a local radio program. “Serial” is a story told by reporter Sarah Koenig episode by episode as she investigates the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee and the ultimate conviction of 17-year-old Adnan Syed. At the time of the murder, Hae Min Lee was Adnan Syed’s ex-girlfriend.

I downloaded the podcast and listened to the first 11 episodes in one weekend. Considering that I barely find time for television, this was a major feat. I was on a “Serial” binge. It became an allconsuming project that preoccupied the majority of my time that weekend. I listened to Koenig tell me the story of Adnan Syed through various witnesses. I listened to the story while I cooked, did laundry, put up Christmas lights, drove to and from Target and walked my dog. I was surprised by my level of interest in the podcast. Read more.