Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Trial and Error


Yesterday, besides being my 31st birthday, was my first trial. I'm a student attorney at my law school, and in Massachusetts (just like in Legally Blonde) a student attorney can represent clients under the supervision of another attorney.

Well, I think I did pretty good. First, most students either don't have the chance or aren't allowed to do a trial. So I feel pretty fortunate. I had all my things together, and was very organized. When we got to the courtroom in front of the judge, the opposing party did some things that pissed off the judge (incorrect paperwork and the like) so that made me look a lot better. And my direct and cross-examination was very smooth. I got the information that I needed to get from the witnesses, and I think I made great arguments. My client was excellent on the witness stand.

But, I'm still a student, and not everything went right. I thought my supervisor would be objecting to things, but when she tried, the judge said that I had to do it. So, she'd kick me when I needed to object, but when the judge asked me why I was objecting, I'd sometimes have no idea, and he'd overrule me. He did, however, sustain many of my objections, which always makes you feel good. I wasn't really prepared to make a closing argument, and when I should have just restated my opening argument, I got a bit flustered and bumbled.

BUT, as the defendant, we didn't have to prove anything, and I'm not sure if the opposing party proved their case. In fact, I don't think they did at all, and told the judge so. He took everything under advisement, and hopefully I made my case to get what my client deserved.

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