The Public Defender Card Game

A game of chance and skill, just like real life, invented by our friend Caroline, underpaid public defender extraordinaire of Minnesota. The goal is to pick a white card that answers the question on the purple card. Blank cards are supplied for write-ins.

Here’s a very small sample. Which would you choose?

The game comes with two disclaimers: 1) No card in this game references a particular person or event, no matter how improbable that may seem. 2) This game is not meant to encourage anyone to go to law school or become a lawyer. You should do that only after giving up on your dreams.

How to play: The person who most recently won a jury trial reads a purple card out loud. The other players pick a white card that answers the question. The person who read the purple card picks out his or her favorite answer and that person keeps the purple card. At the end of the game, the person with the most purple cards gets probation! Everyone else goes to prison.

Advice to defense attorney players: If the other players are getting out of hand, feel free to tell them yet another war story where you did something brilliant then lost anyway. If you want to appeal another player’s decision, remember you’ll be sitting in prison for years before your case gets affirmed.

Advice to prosecutor players: Unless there’s a judge presiding over the game, you’ll have to follow the rules. If there is a judge presiding, then don’t worry, they’ll make sure you win.

Advice to judge players: If at any point you notice a defense attorney in the lead, you can support “game reform” and allow any prosecutor or judge to play two cards per round. You’re the one who interprets the rules.

There are only 5 sets of cards in existence, which cost Caroline $111 each to produce (and she gave us one!) She says PD’s all over Minnesota have enjoyed it and the Board of Public Defense is thinking of buying one for each district if she doesn’t get disbarred first.

Any ideas on how to make the cards available to every public defender?

About Appellate Squawk

A satirical blog for criminal defense lawyers and their friends who won't give up without a squawk.
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3 Responses to The Public Defender Card Game

  1. Eddy Schwartz says:

    This reminds me of “ The Brooklyn Rules of Evidence.” It starts with:
    Def: objection! Hearsay!
    Judge: Was the defendant present! I’ll allow it.


  2. Kathryn says:

    I didn’t go to business school because I heard it involved math, but what about either: (a) crowd-funding production of these decks; or (b) having Caroline tell us how many decks would have to be produced to bring down the cost, and what the up-front costs would be?


  3. Anne Goldstein says:

    I recommend finding (or becoming) an app coder and porting the game to phones. That would solve the cost-of-printing problem by eliminating printing.
    Alternatively, market it to trial evidence, trial simulation (etc) profs and through them to their students. Scaling up should reduce per-unit costs.


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