Trial craft

Brother Bill sent me a link to this Onion piece.,30790/

It is a good teaching tool for those of us who go to court and actually try cases in front of members.

I did a Marine case some years ago where the feedback was interesting.  The members spent a lot of time looking at the trial counsel’s belt and gig-line that was off during his closing argument.  Something of a distraction.

I did another Marine case even longer ago where the feedback was also interesting.  We had a Marine E-8 defense witness.  The trial counsel thought he’d try out some recent trial advocacy tips.  Apparently the tip included turning away from the witness and facing the members while asking a question, and then being somewhat derisive in tone.  After ward the members asked the military judge to counsel the trial counsel that it didn’t help his cause to disrespect a SNCO, even if she was a defense witness.

There you go – tears all around.

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