Getting Ready For Trial Again

It’s that time again, time to get ready for trial in a drug case.  So how do I do it, how do I get ready for trial? Well, it begins much like any other trial preparation, I feel immensely afraid. I feel the weight of the world coming in around on my shoulders. I might lose this trial. I might not be prepared to tell my client’s story and win. It would be devastating to me to lose, not to mention hazardous to my client who is facing real prison time. I might let my client down, I might finish second in this race and this terrifies me greatly.

I feel an enormous burden of not communicating with my client. He is one who knows how to “play” the system and he “plays” the system here again. My client is one who always has a reason, an excuse not to be ready for court. Perhaps it is the birth of his new child this time, perhaps he just wants the court to replace me with a “real” lawyer, perhaps he will be violently ill and need to go into the hospital this time, or whatever reason he justifies in not having to answer the charges against him. But in time, he, as everyone must pay the terrible price of facing your own demons, whether in a court of law or somewhere else, but we all face our worst fears.  We all face that fate known as judgment.

For my client, it is facing a substantial time in the pen. It’s amazing to me that after a few conversations with the DA, I receive the minimum offer for my client. I convey this offer to my client and he says initially he will accept the deal, then he says he will not. I just know it is his choice, not mine. It sure would be easy if he accepts this offer, I would not have to go through any pain and suffering just to get ready for trial, but I respect his decision to go to trial. I must be ready.

So how do I begin getting ready for trial? Well, it already has begun. You see, these articles I write are not just for fun, they remind me about the serious nature of being a warrior about to reappear in the arena. You never see the preparation of the warrior getting ready for battle. You never see the training sessions of a champion. You never see the miles and miles and miles of roads run by the heavyweight champion of the world, all you ever see is the 15, 3 minute rounds in the arena.  You never see the great ones struggle with their own demons or the fears they face, you only see the results and in the end, all you care about are the statistics, the win and loss record.

I must know my client’s story in order to win. I must examine me, the storyteller, to find the innermost truth about me in order to win. It is a very painful journey and it always must be undertaken.  Each case is its own journey and each journey has its own hazards that must be undertaken in order to win. I suspect the DA will spring something on me at trial that they feel will give them an immense advantage in the arena. I suspect they will hold something back from me in order to win, but what?

This is where discovering the client’s story has its benefits. You learn the case even before the DA presents it to a jury. I just hope my client will work with me to prepare for trial and not skip out. I imagine that he feels a tremendous amount of fear, of anxiety just facing the demons, but it will be his choice, not mine,,,, I’ll be ready.

So, how do I prepare for trial? I already am. I am taking that painful road of self discovery and feeling all the fear that comes with it. I hope your lawyer feels his or her fear. Have a nice day, I’m off to court this morning.


One Response to “Getting Ready For Trial Again”

  1. Heidi Rafferty Says:

    I LOVE this blog. I am so fascinated. We rarely hear the story told straight from the lips of the defense attorney. It’s like being a fly on the wall. Love this!!!
    I covered numerous court proceedings when I was a newspaper and AP wire service reporter (back in the day). I was one of those reporters who had struggled with whether to become a journalist or a lawyer when I was in college. So anything related to the law intrigues me.
    I will be back frequently! If you ever decide to write a book, I’m on your list of buyers. 🙂
    I’ve listed my blog site, but my professional freelance writing web site is — now that I’m a mom, freelancing is much better than newsroom life! But I do miss the courtroom drama and writing up stories like yours.
    Best wishes.
    Heidi Rafferty
    Harrodsburg, Kentucky

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