Listening exercise
American Public Media: Marketplace Money
"Day in the Work Life": Interview with Michael Roman, lawyer

Your honor, I object

Y'know...people say all kinds of nasty things about lawyers.
But how many of us really know what they do?
On this week's installment of our weekly series
"A Day In the Work Life," we hear a lawyer¡¦s plea. (03/27/2004)

Source page:
Audio file:

Let's say...
to be a victim of
401k retirement plan
401k scam
to take one's case to court
there is no shortage of
an official number
a bazillion
to hang out with
to lay down the law


to indicate
to stab
Michael Roman
to practice law
with an emphasis in
criminal defense
to be in trouble
to get and know
there is every chance that
to have a bad day
bumper sticker
to give a version of the facts
to question s.o. about
to get on the witness stand
to deal with
all day long
to hunger for s.t.
to find ways around s.t.
to become adept at
initial goal
public defender
kind of
to disillusion
to start one's own practice
the easiest thing in the world
peaks and valley
a fair amount of
to prevent one from
to overspend
to be off and out of the office by
in trial
all bets are off
to take time off
to be consumed by s.t.
I'm not one of them.
to prepare a case
to let oneself
at some point
to let s.t. go
TV program
L.A. Law
to trample on people's rights
in a wholesale fashion
to cheer for s.o.
to be on the side of right
to get sloppy at what one does
from the newspapers
to affect justice
on behalf of
to feel good

Listening comprehension questions:
1. Roman said he tried working as a public defender for a while, but got discouraged and quit and went into private practice. Why did he get discouraged?
2. Roman says that defense lawyers often need to prepare to "have a bad day" when they get up in the morning. Why?
3. Transcribe and explain the bumper sticker slogan that Roman quotes, and how it relates to his work and his clients.
4. According to Roman, how thoroughly must one prepare a criminal defense case?
5. Roman says that sometimes when a client is on the witness stand and is being questioned, he will tell a story that is completely different from the one he told Roman earlier. Why is this such a big problem for Roman?
6. What is the approximate range of Roman's annual salary?
7. What does Roman dislike about so many current TV programs that are about crime and the law?
8. According to Roman, prosecutors and police would "get sloppy" at what they do if there were no good criminal defense lawyers. Why might this happen?
9. What kind of thing makes Roman "feel good" in his job?
10. What are your feelings about lawyers? Do you generally feel they are dishonest and make more money than they deserve, or do you view them as people who give important assistance to people in need?