Excerpt from my trial diary - Closing
Every day after trial, I diary the day's events. These are sent privately to members of my attorney listserve groups and friends. There is a trial diary section of the website where the diaries are excerpted. Here's a segment from a trial whose verdict came in today.
Trial day 8
I’m wearing a jaunty little Nanette Lapore white jacket with thin stripes and black piping around the collar. And a black skirt for consistency’s sake. I call Cristina, my eldest daughter, on the way to court. Oops, wake her up. She asks me a few groggy questions. I say, I’ll call you back later. I need to get my thoughts into my head so they can come out of my mouth.
I’ve been thinking about closing since the day Steve invited me to try the case. They are not concrete thoughts. I don’t write them down. They are just thoughts that I let wander in and out as they will. Last night, after getting back from the hospital, I eat left over phad kee mao. Talk to my kids mainly about my mother. Around 8:30 go to the gym. Get on the treadmill and start running. The clock hits 9:00. It is the moment I’ve been waiting for. Oprah (channel 6 replays the show which is on in the daytime). She has something big to tell us. Her mother secretly had a baby and gave it up for adoption. Oprah just learned she has a half sister, niece and nephew. It is a wonderful show. I’m choking up periodically which is a bit challenging when you are running. You actually kind of hyperventilate because you can’t catch your breath if you’re sobbing. And there in the gym, on the treadmill watching t.v. and crying, it comes to me. The way to begin closing.
In my opinion trial lawyers put too much faith that they can learn the craft by reading lawyer books and going to seminars. We also tend to over think. All the lawyerish theoretical data we collect clogs up our brains. There’s no room left for intuition and the human elements to roam freely. The synapses become stunted.
My parents used to shake their heads at some of the things that interested me. Actually, they still do. I read more popular novels than intellectual ones. Devour the gossip rags and other mindless magazines at the gym. Sorry, but I don’t watch the discovery channel even if I’m on a treadmill. I’d rather watch a bad romantic comedy than see a movie about Afghanistan. And (gasp) sometimes the national news bores me. My natural plebian tendencies are helpful when it comes to connecting with juries. Trial lawyers do not belong in ivory towers.
I tell Judge H closing will take 45 minutes. Finish one minute early. I should go ahead and recount it for you. You would enjoy it. But I just can’t. I’m always drained after closing. Like Halle Berry in X-Men after she’s created a gigantic storm. Totally whooped. When it is over. It is simply over. No regrets. No additional thoughts. Just zen-like serenity.