After a recent jury trial we spoke to the jurors and I can understand why, in the end, the jurors really know so little about how the jury trial actually works and worked. They sit and watch the performances of the plaintiff, defendant, and the attorneys, but they don’t see or hear anything that has gone on behind the scenes, before the trial, during the trial, with the judges and,even after the trial but before they render a verdict. So they are almost deciding in a vacuum.
Litigating in front of a jury is, I believe, the most pressure packed area of the practice of law – there is no greater pressurethan being in that courtroom and having to make split second decisions that definitely can affect the outcome of the trial.. Yet there are many factors that influence the outcome of the trial and those are what we will focus on in our up-coming blogs.
In my next few I will discuss a jury trial – beginning with why and when you would choose to take a case to trial rather than settle. From there we will discuss actual trial prep, including voir dire, jury selection, direct examination, cross and finally jury instructions.We will also touch on opening and closing arguments. Failure to adequately prepare for any of these areas can lose a case so attention must be paid to these seemingly mundane parts of a jury trial.
>The anatomy of a trial -It’s pretty interesting and certainly worth knowing if you are somehow involved in a trial as plaintiff, defendant or juror.