72 episodes

Hosted by leading Texas appellate lawyer David Coale, each "Coale Mind" episode offers concise, lively, and practical exploration of today's hot-button constitutional issues.

Coale Mind David Coale

    • Government
    • 5.0 • 24 Ratings

Hosted by leading Texas appellate lawyer David Coale, each "Coale Mind" episode offers concise, lively, and practical exploration of today's hot-button constitutional issues.

    Interview with Dr. Ben Voth about James Farmer, Jr.

    Interview with Dr. Ben Voth about James Farmer, Jr.

    In this episode, I interview my old friend Ben Voth, a professor of rhetoric and the director of debate at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. In 2019, Ben wrote a book called James Farmer Jr.: The Great Debater, which discusses how the strategies of civil-rights icon James Farmer were shaped by his debate training (the subject of Denzel Washington's The Great Debaters). I hope that Mr. Farmer's thoughtful eloquence can provide us with some guidance for the difficult discussions of our times. 

    • 26 min
    What is the Fifteenth Court's Precedent?

    What is the Fifteenth Court's Precedent?

    With apologies for the pun, the Fifteenth Court of Appeals faces an “unprecedented” situation. 
    Unlike the other intermediate courts of appeal in Texas, the newly created Fifteenth Court of Appeals has no immediate predecessor.  The Legislature gave it statewide jurisdiction over specific kinds of cases, as opposed to general jurisdiction over cases from a particular geographic area. As a result, that court does not start with an “inherited” body of precedent. 
    The Fifteenth Court thus faces a novel—and fundamental—question: what is its precedent?  
    This episode examines five sources of insight for answering that question: (1) English common law (as defined by a Texas statute dating back to the Republic); (2) “vertical” precedent, as described by a 2022 supreme court case; (3) federal practice about the Erie doctrine; (4) generally recognized conflicts-of-laws principles; and (5) historical examples from the 1840s, when the Supreme Court of the Republic of Texas confronted a similar problem with a lack of precedent. 

    • 14 min
    How Good is Generative AI? ChatGPT and I Co-Author a Tale

    How Good is Generative AI? ChatGPT and I Co-Author a Tale

    About a year ago, in a popular episode I had ChatGPT as my guest, and we discussed several issues of the day.  To start this year off right, I invited ChatGPT back—now updated to version 4.0—and asked it to prepare a short story for listeners to enjoy.

    Specifically, I asked it to prepare a “noir” story, in the style of Raymond Chandler and his immortal private eye Philip Marlowe, but set in a courtroom and involving lawyers. 

    Here it is. The characters and plot—such as they are—are entirely of ChatGPT’s making. I gave ChatGPT the initial prompt to get it started and then had it rewrite several paragraphs for additional detail and continuity. I did only minimal style editing. Again, I think that the resulting product shows some things that ChatGPT does very well—and some others, that at least for now, it does not do well at all. 

    • 6 min
    Can the Texas Supreme Court do that? "Adminstrative stays" in the state courts of Texas

    Can the Texas Supreme Court do that? "Adminstrative stays" in the state courts of Texas

    In mid-December of 2023, the Texas Supreme Court resolved a high-profile abortion case in which a woman sought an emergency injunction to immunize her health-care providers from liability under Texas's strong anti-abortion laws. During the brief time that the matter was before that Court, it issued an “administrative stay” against further enforcement of the relevant court order. 

    This episode considers the history of the “administrative stay” concept in federal court, where it originated and is reasonably well-developed, and then examines how well that federal-court concept transfers into the Texas state system. It concludes by urging cautious use of this tool, in order to properly balance the power of central and local courts as envisioned by Texas's highly decentralized constitution of 1876.

    • 9 min
    University Presidents, Calls for Genocide, and Aristotle

    University Presidents, Calls for Genocide, and Aristotle

    While the furor over recent Congressional testimony by three prominent university presidents has died down somwhat (after the president of the University of Pennsylvania resigned), there are still important lessons to be learned from what went so badly wrong. In this episode, I consider how the presidents (and their litigation counsel) could have used Aristotle's three principles for successful communication (the balancing of ethos, pathos, and logos) to craft a more persuasive message ... and at least, avoid a public-relations disaster. 

    • 12 min
    Jury Consultant Jason Bloom Returns - The "New Normal" of Jury Selection for 2024

    Jury Consultant Jason Bloom Returns - The "New Normal" of Jury Selection for 2024

    Favorite guest Jason Bloom, one of the country's most respected jury consultants, returns to offer his insights on jury selection for 2024 (and with them, insight on how our modern society makes decisions). Topics include the (overwhelming) effect of social media, the legacy of the pandemic and the concern it left jurors with about corporate "accountability" -- and his new book! I think you'll find this to be our most informative and practically useful conversation yet. 

    • 26 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
24 Ratings

24 Ratings

MGN12345 ,

Engaging and Thought-Provoking

David’s short episodes provide information about a current legal issue in a format that encourages the listener to consider the issue from a more educated position (thanks to David’s concise discussion of broader constitutional and legal issues) and come to his/her/their own conclusions or spur the listener to read more about the subject before jumping to a conclusion.

As a mom of a teen and a tween, I want to add a different kind of review. I particularly like the concise way David sets the table on a current legal issue and poses questions for the listener’s consideration. I have had lively family discussions about topics while or after listening to an episode. The kids are engaged and the discussions are open and more interesting because David gives the listener new and vital context around a subject without telling the listener how or what to think.

donomail ,

Great show!!

Short, easy to understand, neutral analysis of little bits of the law. Sometimes current events, sometimes just interesting historical topics, always well-done. Love it!

paqqqqs ,

Coal Mind/ Can a state require vaccinations? And is the Supreme Court's 1905 answer still good?

Superb. Informative, well researched and easy to understand! Great podcast.

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