Most lawyers do not go to court. A small percentage of lawyers regularly try cases in court to judges and juries. These are trial lawyers. Like most work and professional specialties, it takes years of experience to be a proficient trial lawyer.
It is impossible to know exactly what will happen in a trial. Even if you think you know what a witness will say, there are often surprises. Unexpected legal issues may appear from out-of-the-blue. Judges may make unexpected rulings that hurt or help your case. Appellate courts may make a ruling near or during a trial that changes the law that applies to an aspect of your case.
Just choosing a jury requires years of experience to know: (1) What kind of juror you want on a particular case. (2) What kind of questions should be asked of the jury panel to learn what you need to know about the potential jurors to choose the best available panel for your case. (3) What kinds of jury instructions to request to advance your theory of the case to help obtain a favorable verdict.
Experienced trial lawyers not only strive to win the client’s case using the knowledge learned in the courtroom over many years, but strive to build a “safety net.” Appellate courts do not review a case to see if they would have decided it differently, they review “legal error.” Legal errors are legal mistakes that judges make in ruling on motions, ruling on the admissibility of evidence or jury instructions for example. If the case turns out badly for the client in the trial court, good lawyers have preserved questions of law during the litigation that provide a path to undo the unfavorable result in the appellate courts.
Lastly, experienced trial lawyers are in the best position to properly evaluate a client’s case. This means to be able to realistically predict what will happen as the case proceeds through the trial court. This seasoned judgment gives the client the ability to weigh whether to accept a plea offer or not.
Being charged with a crime is arguably the most horrific experience a person will have in life. Deciding to initiate a lawsuit comes in a close second. Having an experienced trial lawyer to assist you through the process makes all the difference in the result you want to obtain. Our firm has 70 years of experience between the partners. We are ready to put that wealth of experience to work for you.