There are a lot of “lawyer” shows on television these days. These shows often introduce a new and interesting case for each week and they always seem to get the trial done by the end of the hour-long episode.
Unfortunately, real trials are not always as entertaining and as swift as those portrayed on television. In real life, trials are lot less exciting and can take weeks instead of an hour to complete.
On television, lawyers sometimes lose their temper and yell at witnesses or argue with the judge, but this doesn’t happen so often in real life. Furthermore, on television, every case goes to trial, but in real life, most cases are settled outside of court.
Most of importantly, television doesn’t show you all of the real things your lawyer must do before and during the trial to convince a jury to vote in your favor. That being said, here is a list of 5 things that your lawyer must do (in the real world) to win a jury trial.
He Must Be Prepared
Television doesn’t always show you the preparation a lawyer goes through before going to trial. On television, a lawyer just shows up, performs and wins the case. However, in reality, a trial is a lot like preparing your taxes––the better your documentation, the greater your chance of winning the case. Therefore, your lawyer can take months (sometimes years) to make sure that he has the right documentation to win on your behalf
He Must Get the Right Judge
There are ways to avoid judges that are likely to make it difficult for you to win, or even be given a jury trial. Your lawyer must be aware of a particular judge’s proclivities and take action to avoid them, or to present your case in a way that encourages the judge to make an exception to the way he normally rules over cases such as yours.
He Must Get You the Right Jury
Jury selection is an extremely important part of any trial, and your lawyers must investigate the background of all potential jurors. Most lawyers skip this task because it can be very time-consuming. But, by vetting potential jurors, your lawyer can dismiss those who may be biased against you for whatever reason, such as people who work for insurance companies.
Your attorney must also simplify the issues for the jury. Defense attorneys in Anchorage try to obfuscate the issues in order to confuse the jury and delay the trial. But, a good attorney will be able to simplify the issues so that the jury can easily understand, and in this way, substantially increase your chance of winning the case.
Know When to Be Dramatic
There is a bit of a performance aspect to a lawyer’s role in a trial, and you attorney must know when to use dramatics to persuade the jury. He may be able to dramatize or reenact elements of the accident in order to demonstrate that certain aspects of a witness’s testimony cannot be true. For example, in an auto accident case, he might ask the jury to close their eyes for 10 seconds, in order to give them an idea of how much time they would have to crash their vehicles and kill someone if they were to take their eyes off of the road for this length of time.
He Must Know When to Settle
Your lawyer must be able to gauge the jury’s reaction to the evidence. Witnesses testifying differently than they did in their depositions and other unanticipated turns of events can have a negative effect on the outcome of your case, and you may need to settle if things are going badly. Remember, a settlement is still a win.
Likewise, the defense may offer a settlement during the trial if they see that the trial is going badly for them. Sometimes, a defendant doesn’t realize that he has a chance of losing the case until he is at trial, and when he or she does, they may wish to settle in order to cut their losses. Your lawyer must then decide if it is in your best interest to settle, or not.