I wanted to take just a moment and write about an experience going on right this moment, April 11, 2013 at 12:00 noon. I just completed the presentation of an auto accident lawsuit and am awaiting the verdict of the jury. The waiting time is the most difficult part of a trial because everything is out of your control. Frankly, unless I am flying a plane, or on a cruise ship, I don’t like being the person not in control. You might call that silly, it is just reality.
So in a trial, what do I as a trial lawyer “control.” I control the presentation of the opening statement and closing argument. During the presentation of evidence, I control the timing of the presentation and the viewing of the documents, as well as the presentation of the testimony to support my client’s position. When I release my witness for cross-examination, I let go of the steering wheel again and hope that my witness can drive the testimony home without to many mistakes. It is so difficult to be a witness in a case, because unless you are a professional witness, the circumstances are so unfamiliar and frankly so contrived that so much can be missed and so much can be misconstrued.
Once I finish the closing arguments, and make my plea to the jury to award my clients reasonable and proper compensation, I let go of the wheel and turn it all over to the jury. Now I will say, that with proper preparation and the best presentation I can put on, I give that jury a road map to drive a verdict home to where I want it, or at least somewhere close.
So here I wait, hands off the wheel and hoping we won’t crash and burn.