Trial Preparation

I get ready for trial by preparing for each one. It is amazing to me the amount of time I spend on trial preparation. I never really know how much time I need to spend until I get ready. What I’ve found out is that there is never enough time to totally prepare for trial.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a civil case or a criminal case, I still prepare more than the other guy. I always know that to win, one must prepare for every situation that might come up at trial. So, how do you know what will come up at trial? Well, it is partially in knowing what your opponent has to prove to win his or her case, it’s partially in knowing what you must do to win your case and it is always about learning the client’s story.

First and foremost, you must learn the client’s story before you can ever win. If you do not know your client’s story, you will never win, plain and simple. You must spend your time getting to know your client and then spend time learning his or her story. The amount of time that is dedicated to knowing your client and his or her story is impossible to measure. I mean, your client, contrary to popular belief, should become one of your family, not some outsider who you will talk about in trial. I’ve never know anyone to win who decides that his or her own words are more important than the client’s story.

Remember, the jury will never care how much you know, until they know how much you care. I have to believe that people are capable of caring, not just wanting money. It is my saying that the money will come the more you care. I am, of course, just hoping my banker shares my philosophy. I’ll let you know. But to be passionate in your quest is to rule the day and your client and his or her story must be your passion in order to win.

It is a good technique to write out all your questions on your computer, but I do not use them in trial, I use outlines instead. I find that this method still allows you to cover all the questions you need, but does not tie you to the exact notes. I believe that you must be in the present, not tied to a notebook. Being in the present allows a free exchange of information and spontaneity on your part.

Anyway, we will talk more about trial preparation in the future. I hope your attorney prepares as much as he or she should. Have a nice day, I’m off to feed the cattle.


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