What makes a good trial attorney?

Trials can be extremely nuanced, and involve a complex interplay between the judge, jury, lawyers, litigants, and witnesses. Then, you must add the hard evidence and determine the tenor of the trial, which may be based on the composition of the jury, the political climate, and even the current events at the time. While a critical understanding of the legal elements and facts of a case is crucial, a skilled and well-prepared trial attorney must first obtain the trust of the judge and jury and will then pick up on what is left unsaid in order to persuasively tell his client’s story.

From the very first moment he steps into the courtroom, an effective trial attorney comes prepared to shape his client’s narrative. By the time a jury is seated, the foundation and theories of one’s case should be laid. By the time the first witness is called, the jury should understand and be willing to accept the client’s version of the case. At every step, a skilled trial attorney knows how to layer his case with further evidence, creates doubt in the opposing party’s theories through succinct cross-examination, and strives to build then keep the momentum. By the time the matter is argued, the jury should be emotionally invested in the case, and a powerful attorney is ready to present a passionate and effective summation that will provide the jury with the tools it needs to return a righteous and deserved verdict.