Ten reasons I'd rather try a case against a good lawyer
An attorney asked me to help try a case a week before trial. Day one I arrived with a notice of appearance. The defense lawyer objected due to "unfair surprise." Overruled.
It was not a complex trial but the defense lawyer struggled. Mightily.
After the good (for us) verdict came in this is what the jurors said. They had a really hard time with how bad the defense lawyer was. They felt very sorry for the defendant for having such a poor lawyer. Closing argument was so awful they could not even "bear to look" at her. They had to make extra sure they didn't rule against the defendant because of counsel. So they tried to even things out. Thankfully they were able to give us a good verdict but this left a permanent impression with me.
Here are the top 10 reasons I'd rather try a case against a good defense lawyer:
10. Don't have to mute normal style and appear almost blase.
9. Don't have to dumb down technique to avoid seeming too smooth.
8. Jurors appreciate an evenly matched fight.
7. Judge gets less exasperated.
6. Easier to predict timing which helps with scheduling witnesses
5. Don't get bogged down (bored) as much with foundation and procedural issues
4. Hate waste of time and it can become difficult to hide impatience (eye rolling syndrome)
3. The jury may decide it needs to do that lawyer's job.
2. Makes the defense look like it doesn't have the resources to hire decent counsel (even though an insurance company is footing the bill); and most importantly
1. It is way more fun to try a case against a really good lawyer.
P.S. This isn't meant to scare new lawyers away from trying cases. Everyone has to start somewhere. But for heaven's sake if you haven't done this enough to be good at it - bring someone to trial to help. Your clients deserve it.
P.S.S. Maybe it isn't completely nice to say that I'd rather not try a case against an inexperienced or poor attorney. But the truth will set you free.