Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Trial, day 5

The trial started off great today. I had two witnesses on cross-examination, a fact witness and an expert witness. I kicked ass on the expert witness. I made all my points, quickly and effortlessly. And the best part was that it was over and done before he even knew what happened to him.

In the afternoon, I had the fact witness. It was going so well. And then, I made two mistakes -- and in the process, did three things that a lawyer should never do.

First, I violated the "one question too many" rule. It's a pretty basic concept. You work real hard to set everything up perfectly, and the witness is going along with it, agreeing with everything you say -- and then you ask the one question that clues the witness into where the questioning is going, and he starts to rethink and backtrack from everything he said previously.

At that point, the judge needed to take a break to take a phone call. So, instead of taking the break, I rested, which was bad on two levels. First of all, taking a break instead of resting would have given me the opportunity to confer with my co-counsel to go over things I may have missed. And second, it was stupid to end on a note that wasn't great. I could have redeemed myself.

Rookie mistake. I'll have to make up for it tomorrow.


Miss Scarlet said...

I think I would make a terrible lawyer. I would get so tongue tied.

matt said...

Though you mentioned on Day 4 that you were tired of blogging about the trial already, I'm finding your recaps of the day good reading. Keep it up!

dara said...

Scarlet: A good outline helps. My outline for tomorrow is 18 pages long. The question of whether it is good is yet to be determined.

Matt: I was frustrated on Friday. It's not really the blogging that I'm tired of; I'm tired of the entire case. But honestly, I'm living out of a suitcase in a hotel in crappy downtown Newark, NJ -- it's pretty much all I have to write about.

mad said...

Hey, maybe you can become one of those expert analysts on Court TV!