Gerald Uelmen of Santa Clara University Law School writes here about the importance of exhausting federal due process claims at trial by intoning "magic words." He says, "I frequently compare trial lawyers to wizards who must recite precise magical incantations before they wave their magic wands and attempt to make evidence disappear."
Of course, he is talking here about wizards like Merlin and Harry Potter, and I must point out that as far as I know, there are no such beings in the real world. What's also interesting is the assumption, common in popular culture, that these wizards must 1) pronounce magic words and 2) wave magic wands in order to obtain a particular result. I'd be interested to know what might happen if they left out one or the other. In law, we know. Generally speaking, the lawyer must 1) speak the words and 2) perform the act (for example, speak the words in the correct order or at the correct time or in the correct place). See also my prior post on getting exhibits admitted.
Secular magicians, by contrast, make objects disappear, but not permanently. When a lawyer "attempts to make evidence disappear," as in Professor Uelmen's examples, she wants it to disappear completely. If she gets the outcome she wants, it will no longer have any effect (or should have no effect) on the outcome of the trial. Lawyers and judges actually do have great powers, by their agreement, by our agreement, and through use of these magical words.