“The jury is always right.”
It’s an expression I often find myself saying to my associates as we prepare for trial. Many of my trials involve intellectual property rights; in turn, these often depend on complex factual issues, like how an automobile cooling system works, or how hardware and software combine to regulate the operation of aircraft engines. Invariably, as we prepare to present these issues to a jury, one of my less experienced colleagues will worry about how the average lay people on the jury will possibly understand the complex engineering involved.
The answer, in short: if they don’t, it’s our fault, not theirs. A skilled advocate should be able to present any issue, even an enormously complex one, in terms an average lay person can understand. Indeed, you can make a good argument that the ability to do so effectively – not to talk down or up to the decision-maker, be it a jury, judge or arbitrator, but to meet them exactly where they are – is the core skill of a trial lawyer. If we fail to do so, and the jury finds against our client, it doesn’t make sense to complain that the jury got the facts wrong. Invariably, juries do the best they can with the information presented to them by the trial lawyers. The jury, as I say, is always right.
I’ve been asked by some Sidebar Saturdays readers how juries fit into a court case, both in real life and in fiction. I’m going to try to address those questions here, with the added perspective of historical research I conducted about juries for my recent historical novel.
For the full post, see here:
Biglaw Partner Turns Author In Historical Debut Novel
By KATHRYN RUBINO
Aug 9, 2016 at 1:10 PM
Biglaw life is not for the weak. It takes countless hours (scratch that, the hours are meticulously counted and billed out accordingly), hard work, and dedication to be successful there, and the biggest Biglaw prize is partnership. Not that the hard work is over when you make partner — much like a pie eating contest where the prize is more pie, once you reach this summit of the profession there is work to be done to stay there.
But what if you don’t want to do it anymore? Perhaps you have other goals in mind, ones that are not compatible with time requirements of a Biglaw partnership? Would you have the guts to turn your back on the only professional life you’ve known and take a chance on a creative dream?
Meet Jonathan F. Putnam, a former litigation partner at Kirkland & Ellis. His longtime dream of being a novelist is finally coming true with today’s release of These Honored Dead (affiliate link), a historical mystery featuring the adventures of Abraham Lincoln and his friend, Joshua Speed.
See full profile here:
As many of you know, I’ve worked on my novel for years. Thanks to you and your support, it will be published next month.
From the start, I’ve had the same idea: a mystery series starring young Abraham Lincoln as a brand-new lawyer, as told by his real-life best friend Joshua Speed. But figuring out how to tell a Lincoln and Speed story that people would want to read proved a challenge.
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