my first trial is tomorrow

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usuaggie
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my first trial is tomorrow

Postby usuaggie » Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:19 am

juvenile court, bench trial. A pretty simple assault/disorderly conducts from two separate fights in school.


Any advice? I'm splitting it with the main juv. attny. I have the opening statement, direct of two eye witnesses, and cross of the defendant if he testifies.


I'm not overly nervous or anything, just looking to learn from some other students' first trial.

lukertin
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Re: my first trial is tomorrow

Postby lukertin » Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:33 am

If you don't feel like throwing up in the morning while you brush your teeth you're doing it wrong

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usuaggie
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Re: my first trial is tomorrow

Postby usuaggie » Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:55 am

haha, it is pretty straight forward. this is my 2nd year interning for the prosecutor's office, and the kid has admitted to everything when talking to the officer in the principal's office. The judges here are really friendly too. Only four of them in the entire courthouse, and this one happens to be my friend's dad.

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eandy
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Re: my first trial is tomorrow

Postby eandy » Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:12 am

They would never give you something you can't handle. I'm guessing your directs are to police officers. Those guys are pros. They will basically do the whole thing for you 90% of the time. Just write down the things they need to cover, check them off as they say it.

Say everything with confidence. If you say it with authority, it counts for a LOT.

ETA: Some people think that if they aren't sure about something that they should convey that with their voice so that they don't look stupid if they're wrong. Trust me that it is better to say it with authority first. If the judge asks you about it, then THAT is the time to be unsure. Always sound 100% correct.

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usuaggie
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Re: my first trial is tomorrow

Postby usuaggie » Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:26 am

good advice. both of my witnesses are other kids at the school who saw the fight. maybe i'll write how it goes on here how it goes for people after me to learn from.

kenji
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Re: my first trial is tomorrow

Postby kenji » Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:10 am

You should PM people from the "Prosecution/PD Gunner" thread.

Given TLS's major hardon for biglaw, the vast majority of this site knows nothing about trials.

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LAWYER2
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Re: my first trial is tomorrow

Postby LAWYER2 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:08 pm

eandy wrote:They would never give you something you can't handle. I'm guessing your directs are to police officers. Those guys are pros. They will basically do the whole thing for you 90% of the time. Just write down the things they need to cover, check them off as they say it.

Say everything with confidence. If you say it with authority, it counts for a LOT.

ETA: Some people think that if they aren't sure about something that they should convey that with their voice so that they don't look stupid if they're wrong. Trust me that it is better to say it with authority first. If the judge asks you about it, then THAT is the time to be unsure. Always sound 100% correct.


Good advice!

CanadianWolf
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Re: my first trial is tomorrow

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:13 pm

Hopefully you look older than your client ! :D

abc12345675
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Re: my first trial is tomorrow

Postby abc12345675 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:16 pm

usuaggie wrote:good advice. both of my witnesses are other kids at the school who saw the fight. maybe i'll write how it goes on here how it goes for people after me to learn from.


I envy the good ol' days when kids could duke it out at school and resolve the differences the manly way without interference from the authorities.

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fatduck
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Re: my first trial is tomorrow

Postby fatduck » Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:18 pm

they say a picture is worth a thousand words:

Image

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lnllnl
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Re: my first trial is tomorrow

Postby lnllnl » Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:14 pm

abc12345675 wrote:
usuaggie wrote:good advice. both of my witnesses are other kids at the school who saw the fight. maybe i'll write how it goes on here how it goes for people after me to learn from.


I envy the good ol' days when kids could duke it out at school and resolve the differences the manly way without interference from the authorities.


Kids don't fight like they used to.

My friend who is a HS teacher said that some of her kids got jumped by other students as they were walking to the transit station. The bigger kid beat the shit out of the other one (enough to send him to the ICU) and then tried to curb him. Luckily people in cars were yelling and getting out to scare him away and he ran off. This of course could have been stopped if the authorities interfered early while it was just a stupid prideful misunderstanding in the hallways of the school.

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usuaggie
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Re: my first trial is tomorrow

Postby usuaggie » Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:29 pm

first, the supervising attorney told me the secretary didn't file the motion to let me participate, and the judge was refusing to let me do it even though the rule lets us submit the motion the minute trial starts. so that was disappointing.

second, the kid just pled to everything as charged anyway. so nothing really mattered.

SchopenhauerFTW
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Re: my first trial is tomorrow

Postby SchopenhauerFTW » Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:08 pm

usuaggie wrote:the kid has admitted to everything when talking to the officer in the principal's office.
This wasn't an issue?

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usuaggie
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Re: my first trial is tomorrow

Postby usuaggie » Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:28 pm

SchopenhauerFTW wrote:
usuaggie wrote:the kid has admitted to everything when talking to the officer in the principal's office.
This wasn't an issue?


nope. the principal asked the questions and the officer was just in there with him, writing down what happened. I summarized it a little too simply earlier.

lynch
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Re: my first trial is tomorrow

Postby lynch » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:52 am

Interesting thread.

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Br3v
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Re: my first trial is tomorrow

Postby Br3v » Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:13 am

usuaggie wrote:
SchopenhauerFTW wrote:
usuaggie wrote:the kid has admitted to everything when talking to the officer in the principal's office.
This wasn't an issue?


nope. the principal asked the questions and the officer was just in there with him, writing down what happened. I summarized it a little too simply earlier.


This explanation still doesn't satisfy my suspicion that this could have been an issue.

But this is irrelevant to your case tomorrow, good luck you'll do fine

beardown_tho
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Re: my first trial is tomorrow

Postby beardown_tho » Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:18 am

if you want to be a total boss, waive opening

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eandy
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Re: my first trial is tomorrow

Postby eandy » Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:40 am

beardown_tho wrote:if you want to be a total boss, waive opening

It is a bench trial, so waiving opening isn't really boss. It's keeping judge happy.

BeautifulSW
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Re: my first trial is tomorrow

Postby BeautifulSW » Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:21 pm

I've done a great many criminal trials on both sides over the last twenty-five years. I just wanted to say that I never lost the sick to my stomach feeling just before trial begins. Never. But in time, once I would start picking my jury or, better, got into a spirited argument with opposing counsel, the nerves would go completely away.

They don't for everyone, though...the best defense lawyer I ever knew (did death penalty stuff) once confided to me that he still threw up before every jury trial.

Well, the nerves would go away until after closings when the jury retires to the jury room to deliberate...THAT'S when I always felt like losing my lunch!

beardown_tho
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Re: my first trial is tomorrow

Postby beardown_tho » Sun Jul 01, 2012 3:38 pm

eandy wrote:
beardown_tho wrote:if you want to be a total boss, waive opening

It is a bench trial, so waiving opening isn't really boss. It's keeping judge happy.


keeping the judge happy is pretty boss

jml8756
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Re: my first trial is tomorrow

Postby jml8756 » Sun Jul 01, 2012 3:53 pm

eandy wrote:They would never give you something you can't handle. I'm guessing your directs are to police officers. Those guys are pros. They will basically do the whole thing for you 90% of the time. Just write down the things they need to cover, check them off as they say it.

Say everything with confidence. If you say it with authority, it counts for a LOT.

ETA: Some people think that if they aren't sure about something that they should convey that with their voice so that they don't look stupid if they're wrong. Trust me that it is better to say it with authority first. If the judge asks you about it, then THAT is the time to be unsure. Always sound 100% correct.


I disagree with some of this. At my office, they'll give trials to students whether or not the student is ready for it. But the safety valve is that the supervising attorney will basically just start whispering everything into their ear if the student is doing a poor job. And they won't usually let any student do a high-stakes trial, so in that sense I agree with eandy.

Also, I've encountered quite a few police officers who make very bad witnesses. They lie, they use jargon, they "can't recall," they'll contradict each other, etc. They might require more prep than you think.

Not to make you nervous or anything. But all that said, it helped me a lot to remember I don't have to be perfect in my first trial. The student license exists for a reason: to let students learn by doing. They expect the students to make some mistakes. And you'll have the supervisor there if things start to go awry.

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SemperLegal
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Re: my first trial is tomorrow

Postby SemperLegal » Sun Jul 01, 2012 3:57 pm

usuaggie wrote:
second, the kid just pled to everything as charged anyway. so nothing really mattered.


Always TCR

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usuaggie
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Re: my first trial is tomorrow

Postby usuaggie » Mon Jul 09, 2012 11:16 am

BeautifulSW wrote:I've done a great many criminal trials on both sides over the last twenty-five years. I just wanted to say that I never lost the sick to my stomach feeling just before trial begins. Never. But in time, once I would start picking my jury or, better, got into a spirited argument with opposing counsel, the nerves would go completely away.

They don't for everyone, though...the best defense lawyer I ever knew (did death penalty stuff) once confided to me that he still threw up before every jury trial.

Well, the nerves would go away until after closings when the jury retires to the jury room to deliberate...THAT'S when I always felt like losing my lunch!


this is what i wanted to hear today. i have my 2nd first trial today, and i woke up feeling dizzy and nervous, even though it is another easy juvenile case that shouldn't bother me.




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