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Schauermann Thayer attorneys Scott Staples and Ben Melnick recently had the pleasure of spending a few hours with a team of students from a local home school cooperative, advising the group ahead of its upcoming appearance in a mock trial competition being held at the Clark County Courthouse.

We like to do anything we can to help students with an interest in the law, and particularly in trial work. While Mr. Staples was more than happy to give some pointers on evidentiary issues and witness examination techniques that carry across many areas of law, he readily acknowledged (having worked as a civil attorney handling personal injury cases and trials for his entire career) that he lacked any meaningful experience in criminal law. The law problem the students were charged with tacking: a murder trial.

Enter Mr. Melnick to save the day. Ben’s past experience as a criminal defense attorney proved to be an invaluable resource in working through some of the particulars of the problem, and saved Mr. Staples from many sheepish answers beginning with “I’m not really sure….”

We hope these young people got something out of our time together- we certainly did, and we wish them all the best at the upcoming competition.

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About the Author

William K. Thayer

Bill Thayer is one of the founding partners of the Schauermann Thayer Jacobs Staples & Edwards law firm. Bill is licensed in both Oregon and Washington, and actively practiced law from 1980 to 2021. He is now "of counsel" with Schauermann Thayer and serves as an arbitrator when appointed by the courts or litigants. During his more than 40 years of active law practice, Bill advised and represented clients in personal injury and wrongful death claims and litigation, including automobile collision, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian injury and death cases, dog bite cases, construction site injury claims, and a myriad of other types of injury and death claims. While many claims were settled through negotiation or mediation, Mr. Thayer litigated, arbitrated and/or tried to verdict many cases for his clients. He continues to occasionally be appointed by courts and other lawyers to serve as an arbitrator of tort claims. Bill enjoys writing as one of his varied recreational interests when he is not working.

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