Inside My Head

The Lawyers Needed Better Writers – Part 1

by on Sep.29, 2008, under Observations

Recently, I got a look at the Justice system up close and personal from a new perspective – a juror.  I have been called for jury duty many times in my life, but have successfully managed to dodge the bullet.  I was either lucky enough not be chosen as a prospective juror on a case, or I was dismissed by either one of the attorneys or the judge for reasons that, to this day, are unknown to me.  However, this time, I was selected for a criminal case.  I was officially Juror #2.

Let me tell you – it ain’t like on TV. 

Some quick impressions of real court – the judge looked bored most of the time (when his face wasn’t subconsciously reacting to the antics of the ADA or defense attorney – I would love to play poker with this man).  Both attorneys were in dire need of better scripts.  And they seemed to have developed their strategy 5 minutes before court started. 

The defense lawyer must have gotten his degree from DeVry – he seemed unclear on how to act in a courtroom, what were the grounds for objections, how to ask appropriate questions, and so many others things.  He dressed like Atticus Finch, but looked like Beaker from the Muppets.  And his name was Funk (I rest my case). 

The ADA was dressed for success – dark blue suit, well groomed, and an an air of competence about him.  He seemed to know a little more about “lawyering” than Funk (gotta love that name), and probably graduated from a real law school – I assume somewhere in the lower tier.  His name was Mr. D*n**nville (through the whole trial I never really caught his name). 

During jury selection they looked like they were trying hard to get the best jury for their side, but were unsure of how to do that.  Of the first 17 prospective jurors (the judge kicked 3 during his questioning), only 3 were chosen (remember, I was Juror #2). 

Those that were not chosen were sent back to the jury waiting room.  Those they were (like me) were sent home – the judge felt that the rest of this day and all the next would be taken up with jury selection, so we didn’t have to come back until Wednesday morning (early enough to get there, park, get through the metal detectors and up to the 4th floor by 9:30am when the trial began).

NEXT – The Lawyers Needed Better Writers – Part II  (The Evidence Wars)

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