Friday, August 26, 2016

Jay Hogan obit in the Herald

Jay Weaver starts with a story I just love hearing about every time it's told:

Everyone seems to have a story about courtroom legend James Jay Hogan, who died this week at age 82, but no one will ever forget this surreal moment: In the mid-1980s, the Miami defense attorney got a key government witness to testify that in his previous life he was Hollywood icon Jean Harlow.

The credibility of the witness, it is safe to say, was instantly in serious question.

During the federal trial, Hogan unveiled a blown-up photo of the Roaring Twenties blonde bombshell, who died in 1937 of a brain infection. The man testifying was born five years later. Hogan’s client, a Miami lawyer accused of preparing phony real-estate documents for the witness, was acquitted.

Former law partner Hy Shapiro recalled how Hogan dug up the tidbit about Harlow from a little-known book written by the witness, a revelation that drew gapes and howls from jurors. He said Hogan’s secret weapon was his work ethic.

“He would eat, sleep and breathe a case when he got into it,” Shapiro said on Thursday. “He would delve more deeply than anyone into a witness’ life.”

the newspaper story from the time, which is fun to read.

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