How did it happen? How did we switch from DoD expert consultant to trial teacher? The media representative who interviewed me for the article did not seem that excited about my work with DoD. I testified about the role of commanders in the military justice system, and I'll admit you have to be pretty invested in the military justice system to find that topic interesting, let alone excited. Years after I published an influential article on the subject, my wife, who is also a lawyer and law professor, still has not been able to bring herself to read it all the way through.
As the interview progressed, she asked what classes I taught. When I told her I was the director of our trial advocacy program, she suddenly became enthusiastic. After that, all we talked about was trials, trial lawyers, and our trial advocacy program.
She asked me a question I found intriguing: why do lawyers think they have to be so dramatic? She illustrated with a story about her recent jury service in the Chicago area. She was selected for jury duty, made it through voir dire, and was sworn in. The jury heard opening statements, after which the case was apparently dismissed or settled, and the jurors were released before a single witness testified.