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» Entries tagged with "jury selection"

Life’s Too Short

Scott Greenfield at Simple Justice put up a post earlier today about the disturbing phenomenon of new lawyers teaching continuing legal education courses. It’s a must-read that brings a story to mind. Pretty much every year I attend the Arizona Public Defender Association’s Annual Statewide Conference. I am perpetually surprised by the lack of the experience of many of the presenters and the depth of experience of most of those who sit in the audience. One particular situation arising from that continues to amuse me years later. For a few years, I’ve frequently sought advice from an appellate public defender I met through my wife. To say I admire him greatly would be an understatement. He’s amazing. He’s been licensed since 1975 and is an encyclopedia … Read entire article »

Filed under: CLE

Blurring Lines

I picked a jury last week. During voir dire, I noted something that struck me as particularly interesting. I wondered if there was much to read into it. I noticed most members of the panel drew no distinction between law enforcement experience and military service. When the judge asked the jurors if they or any close friends or family had any law enforcement experience, most people who answered in the affirmative did so because they had friends or family in the armed forces. My impression was that they viewed the two as being the same because they view both soldiers and cops as protectors. I found the lack of distinction troubling. Maybe it’s the libertarian in me, but I’m bothered by the increasing police militarization in this country. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Trogdor!

Figuring out when and to what extent to involve a client in the inner workings of a trial can be tricky. It’s his life and they’re his objectives, so you obviously can’t ignore him. He should know what’s happening and at times even have a say in what you do, but you also shouldn’t spend all of your time leaning over explaining why you can’t use your peremptory strike on the prosecutor or why the prosecutor’s “prejudice against gang-bangers” doesn’t bring up equal protection issues. Like pretty much everything in the world of criminal defense, it’s all about balance and exercising well-reasoned, independent, professional judgment in the midst of the institutional chaos of trial. Voir dire is a time when client input seems most important to me. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Clients, Trial

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