That's not what the Death card means

I've got my shield
written 2007-03-28 01:42:48

So, that's it for Trial Advocacy. It's really weird to have essentially capped the class in March. Trial took a while - pretrial motions were lengthier than expected, and the judge had to leave periodically to check on grand jury proceedings (?!) downstairs.

The courthouse in Hancock County is gorgeous. It's all Gothic stone and heavy architecture, stained glass and marble interiors. Really nice. A little intimidating, and we were in one of the less fancy courtrooms.

Things went okay. Naturally, we got a little overwhelmed when it was go time, and had some missteps. One of my partners was visibly shaking with nerves, and one missed a number of questions, and a number of objections. I arguably had the easiest job, and didn't get everything I could have (there was a line of questioning to which I objected immediately, only to be overruled just as quickly - left me gun-shy), but I did manage one minor coup that floored the prosecution and sent the judge into an evidence manual for about a minute while I waited to see if I had just scored big or shot myself in the foot. Turned out pretty well for me.

We won, which is not to say we will get good grades, and only indicates that at least one juror voted "not guilty." The split was five/five out of ten jurors, which I think is pretty good. Opposing counsel did a good job, but got rattled by some of the judge's responses ("If this were a real trial, counselor, that would have been a mistrial statement, right there.") and you could tell. Great closing argument though - made me worry about our performance.

The judge didn't have anything too negative to say about my performance in the debrief, so I hope that bodes well for my grade.

Both of my partners and one opposing counsel then hit a wing place for dinner and beers (we got out of court by 11 PM, had started at 6 PM, left Ada at 4:45 PM - that's a long time to go without eating while your body is metabolizing everything in sight for nervous energy). Good chance to decompress and talk strategy. And talk trash about classmates not there to defend themselves.

I've already been asked to be the defendant in someone else's trial, so I should have more stories soon.

Good times.

--1:39 AM, EDT, Ada, OH

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