AAJ Convention Day 2 just when I've given up hope, something neat happens
Today I go to the traumatic brain injury seminar. We're putting on a mock trial. I get there at the begining (a rare occurrence) but even more amazing, I don't leave until 5:30 pm. Unprecedented attendance for me. Initially I stay because my role is to do the closing argument so I need to know what the facts and arguments are. I have little expectation but Gary Pillersdorf does the plaintiff opening and you already know how much I love him. He is very transparent, perhaps a tad too flippant and New Yawkawrish for these west coast jurors. I do catch them smiling at him, because he is so darling.
But even when Gary is done, the rest of the day is fascinating. My friend Gordon Johnson put the program together and I must say bravo Gordon. The lawyers are all really good and Stewart the judge adds the right tone. There's also a consultant who runs a live jury of real people. She converses with them throughout the trial, getting their impressions. They are a little timid at first, but then get the hang of it, break out and speak with great frankness. Ouch! I love hearing their criticisms and viewpoints - they pretty much match many of my snap opinions - except the young 'un. He's way better than I thought he would be. The case is framed within the scope of the dreaded "admitted liability" scenario. Which means they are zeroed in on judging the plaintiff.
Most of the lawyers stay the whole day, even when their role is done. We are such a competitive breed us trial lawyers. We want to see what the jurors have to say. We want to know if we are going to win. Even though this is not the real deal.