March 03, 2009
Pretrial stage management: The Art of Creep Control.
See Anne Reed's "Looks Can Kill" and our past post "To jurors, do your trial associates and paralegals seem like creeps?*"
Let's face it. Lots of people in law firms, and some of their witnesses at trial, look like stone "creeps". Many of us in the profession are not attractive to begin with--and some of us seem shifty just reading names out of a phone book. A lot of younger lawyers--young males especially, for reasons which are hard to know--seem like hateful, vindictive, sneaky and rat-faced twerps and cretins every second you look at them. They can't help it. Worse, they don't know even know it. No one will tell them (I will, and have, though.)
Juries pick up on and see all of this. Over the period of a two or three week trial, they will miss nothing about anyone at his or her worst. So (a) don't be a creep, (b) don't bring creeps with you, and (c) if you must have creeps as witnesses or help, dress them up and instruct them on how to "un-creep" themselves.
Posted by JD Hull at March 3, 2009 11:59 PM
There's something about plain speaking that really gets a point across. Great post.
Posted by: Anne Reed at March 2, 2009 09:52 PM
It really is amazing on all the unspoken, unintended detail that juries pick up on that will sway their decisions. It either makes a lawyer's job harder or much easier than it should be.
Posted by: Joe at March 4, 2009 10:23 AM