How to Win Jury Trials
Updated: Apr 8, 2019
I get asked a lot about jury trials. Is it really like in the movies and TV shows where prosecutors and defense attorneys can go undefeated? Is there really so much drama? Do people pull out guns or break down on the stand and confess to the crime?
Both yes and no to all these questions.
There's jury trials I've had where I've taken my suit coat off and pounded the table shouting about my client's innocence, where I've picked up the murder weapon and demonstrated its use like they allege my client did the day of the attack (giving the judge and bailiffs a heart attack): I've juggled bricks of cocaine to show the jury that it's just a powder and not some mystical demon to be feared. I've had clients break down on the stand and, despite all my preparation with them, unwittingly confess to another crime that makes them look worse to the jury.
But I've also had jury trials where an expert witness gave two days of testimony on human physiology and anatomy before even getting to the injuries of the victim in the case. I've had white collar trials so boring I glanced over and a good half the jury had nodded off. I had a trial where the prosecutor asked eight hours of questions that consisted of a dozen questions he just kept asking in different ways trying to trip the witness up. I even had a trial that had over a hundred witnesses saying the same thing (thank goodness the prosecutor was a reasonable man and we cut the list down to like eight).
Needless to say, snooze-fest.
So I wrote a novel where the protagonist is writing a book (as well as dealing with a brutal murder) about how to win jury trials and the rules that govern the game. These are real tactics I use and live by in jury trials.
Am I revealing too much? Maybe. I have a feeling some defense attorneys will be bugged that I'm just giving away our "secrets," but, hey, my choice.
So if you really want to see what jury trials are like and what tactics we defense lawyers are looking to use, check out the book, which comes out on July 1st and is available for cheaper price right now on pre-order.