Learn Winning Trial Lawyer Strategies with Jury Analyst
All too often, both experienced and inexperienced trial lawyers are not adequately prepared for voir dire and jury selection. I have seen many just wing it! You cannot be ill-prepared at such a crucial stage. It’s the preparation and planning that you put into voir dire and jury selection that could make or break your case. Jury selection is the most important part of your case and absolutely crucial to your success in trial. Obtaining a panel of truly fair and impartial jurors, can be the difference between winning or losing.
It is agonizing when you realize too late that you let a potentially damaging juror get on the panel by mistake or you find you missed a crucial factor that may now cost you your case. No matter how good a trial lawyer you are or how many years you have in this profession, no one is immune to making these mistakes. I know first hand how agonizing this situation is, because I lost an “unloseable” case. The error I made 14 years ago almost cost me my career. I was sure I could never recover. The error I made — I left a juror on the panel who was detrimental to my case. One juror, that is all it took, to lose the “unloseable” case.
This event made me second guess myself, my career and terribly disappointed my client. I was lucky however, to turn it all around, taking this unfortunate situation and learning to thrive from it. I swore it would never happen to me again. Everything I knew and ‘thought I knew’ about jury selection changed from that point forward. I became a tireless expert on jury selection, human behavior and psychology…everything needed to never let this mistake happen again, EVER. In doing so, I’ve developed a method for trial success that involves intensive pre-trial preparation. Taking the time and having the knowledge, as well as patience to plan and create a strategy, is critical to your success in the courtroom. You really must take the time to understand, prepare and map out your strategy.
This method of mine I call my “playbook” and I prepare and use one each and every time a case goes to trial. It’s a tried and true method I’ve been using for almost 14 years. It includes a very thought-out plan with an outline/checklist to help you prepare for voir dire and jury selection, which I am sharing for the first time.
Sneak Peek into Preparing Your Playbook:
The Playbook is a very specific book I prepare for each case depending on what the case is about and the players involved. For example, is this a large multinational corporation we’re suing in a product manufacturing case where their drug produced significant injuries? Is this a case where the judge is going to allow into evidence whether the FDA has approved the drug or will he/she exclude that from the evidence? How have the pretrial motions affected what evidence will be presented? Answers to questions like these will vary depending on the jurisdiction you are in and which judge you have. You have to know all of these case aspects before you start jury selection and how this information will be used in order to craft your written questions as well as your voir dire strategy.
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