Pretrial, Trial, Appellate & Evidence Blog

Latest from Pretrial, Trial, Appellate & Evidence Blog

The Critical Importance of Practicing Your Voir Dire By Thomas M. O’Toole, Ph.D.             Despite what Allen Iverson might say (search “Allen Iverson” and “practice” on YouTube if you do not get this reference), practice is essential to the successful development of any skillset. In competition, competitors get better by practicing. This is why it is surprising to me that most attorneys do not practice their voir dire before the day of jury selection, particularly…
Why is Paper Still King in King County? by Larry Johnson Even though the first 20 years of my practice were spent in civil litigation, my real love since the 1980s was computers, and then, in the 1990s, the emerging Internet.[1] So in 1995 I gladly accepted the invitation from Presiding Judge Dale Ramerman and King County Superior Court Clerk Jan Michaels to join the Steering Committee on Electronic Court Records.[2] We were…
This month’s Around the ABA summarized an article by Ross Guberman who is the president of Legal Writing Pro and the author of “Point Made: How to Write Like the Nation’s Top Advocates”. After interviewing over 1,000 federal and appellate judges about dos and don’ts for writing motions and briefs, Guberman wrote the article “Judges Speaking Softly: What They Long for When They Read” that was published in the Summer 2018 issue of Litigation Journal.…
The Appellate Prosecutor: A Practical and Inspirational Guide to Appellate Advocacy is a book for appellate advocates. However, its nuts and bolts coverage of how to be persuasive is valuable for any attorney who will write a brief or argue before the bench. Its pointers on brief writing and argument are invaluable. Judge Charles Moylan, thirty-year veteran of the appellate bench and renowned lecturer put it this way: “This work in my judgment will find an…
If your case calls for a diagram of a floor plan or landscape or a crime scene diagram involving a landscape or floor plan or a timeline, SmartDraw is for you. It is inexpensive at $119.40 per year and easy to use with no artistic skills required. Naturally you could hire a litigation consultant to create these, but that could be expensive. SmartDraw has a set of short video tutorials that you can watch to…
The Snap Shots tool on this site enhances links with visual previews of the destination site. Sometimes Snap Shots brings you the information you want and other times it lets you look ahead so you can decide if you want to follow the link or not. If you decide this is not for you, just click the Options icon in the upper right corner of the Snap Shot and optout.…
In 2018, Washington adopted GR37, which is a new general rule that changes how racial bias in jury selection is addressed. The rule is designed to provide courts with guidance for effectively eliminating racial bias in the use of peremptory strikes. The purpose of this article to explain GR37 and what it means for litigators and judges in Washington courts. What is the rule and does it change the jury selection process? GR37 outlines a…
“Jury Selection Handbook starts with an overview of the jury selection process that covers every facet of getting jurors to the courthouse and in the box. It beats how we did it when I was a baby lawyer: watch and learn. “But the book covers more than basics. It is sophisticated enough to be useful to seasoned trial veterans. “I view this as the best single volume available on jury selection.”…
South Texas Law SchoolHouston Texas Last week I spoke on “Great Cross-Examinations and Techniques” at the 2018 Hurricane Harvey Regional Training conducted by the Texas District and County Attorneys Association. My half-day presentations were at Victoria College in Victoria, Texas on June 6; South Texas College of Law in Houston on June 7; and the Jefferson County Courthouse in Beaumont on June 8. The Hurricane Harvey Regional Training program was developed because hurricane Harvey devastated…