Warming Up The Jury

Now my goodness, you launch right into a discussion about trial, more specifically warming up a jury, without writing about something and then relating it to a jury trial. What gives? Well, it seems that one of the things most lawyers forget to do is warm up the jury. It is my observation from trying cases that most lawyers make some opening remark like, “Welcome, I don’t want to be here, but I am and I know you don’t want to be here, but you are, so can we be fair in the capital murder trial of my client?, or some such nonsense as that.

I don’t know about you, but I vote for the death penalty right now, only I vote to kill that lawyer, not his client. I just wonder what message that sends to a jury,,, do the worst job you possibly can and then go home? Or how about,,, that lawyer doesn’t give a damn about his or her client, so why should I? Or maybe,, I wonder who’ll win that survivor contest on TV tonight?

All these messages that the jury sends out in response to those questions are probably indicative of their vote or their attention span to the upcoming trial. I suppose that even the Judge will be thinking about not wanting to be there and perhaps his or her rulings will be given with less than his or her full attention to the case at hand. Is that what you want as the client? Is that what you suppose the government wants? I can answer this, most people will only assert the minimum effort into something that they don’t  own. That is to say, most people will always feel safe voting for the government or against Plaintiffs in today’s environment. If the jury is not paying attention and doesn’t feel some ownership of their job, you’ve already lost the case, unless you’re the government or insurance defense in a civil case.

I don’t know much about politics, but the collective wisdom is the one with the most propaganda prevails, and who but the isolated few haven’t heard about frivolous lawsuits or known criminals roaming the streets?

So how do you counteract the forces designed to make you lose before you even open your mouth? I will speak more about this in the coming articles, but suffice it to say, every sport I ever involve myself in requires warm-up,, so why shouldn’t trial?

If you are expecting just to show up and run the marathon without warming up, maybe you’ll pull a hamstring or something. You can be the most prepared in the case and without warm-up, you’ll lose. I mean, it would be nice in this world to perhaps go on a date and not have to warm-up, but I doubt you’ll get very far without it. So why should it be any different for juries? Aren’t we really just courting them on a guided tour?

I hope your lawyer knows how to warm-up the jury before the selection process begins. Have a nice day, I’m off to court.

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