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Friday, June 4, 2010

Useful lessons from a Lawyer-Turned-Juror

Check out Phillip Hamilton's article, Juror No. 10, Attorney at Law. Hamilton is a trial lawyer who recently served as a juror in Madison County, Illinois (in Illinois, lawyers are not exempt from jury duty). The article is a great perspective on what jurors endure during a trial. It's well worth reading and sharing with students.

Hamilton laments the evidentiary overkill and wasted time in a trial. He notes that the six-day trial could easily have ended in four days. He specifically decries lengthy witness examinations and attorney presentations. He also discusses the importance of presenting exhibits so the jurors can see them, commenting favorably on the use of projectors to display evience.

The article is particularly well-written and insightful. It is a rare occasion indeed when a seasoned trial lawyer has the chance to observe and comment on a trial from an actual juror's perspective. I've spoken to many experienced advocates who would welcome the opportunity to see what a trial looks like from the other side. Unfortunately for most of us, we'll never have that chance. Hamilton's article may be as close as we can come.

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