What Lawyers Can Learn From Jury Duty
A short time ago I read about Austin attorney Gavin Villareal’s recent jury duty experience. There is another interesting article written by Benson Varghese “10 things I learned as a Juror“. Varghese sat on a civil trial but the lessons he learned are still valuable for criminal trial lawyers.
Most important, use emotion when advocating your cause. A recitation of the facts alone will not always win the day. Jurors need to know you really care about your client and your case.
Vargheses also noted that jurors were reluctant to share their opinions with the lawyers during jury selection. This comes as no surprise to an experienced criminal lawyer but the story reinforces the need to establish report with jurors and get them to tell you their true feelings.
Varghese experienced also taught him that when there is a dispute in the jury room it is the loudest juror who usually wins the argument. Be careful of putting strong personalities on a jury. If you put someone on the jury with strong leadership traits you better be sure that juror is going to be open to your defense. A strong leadership personality in a juror can be devastating to the defendant. They are usually pro-state and will go out of their way to convince other jurors to convict.