Monday, November 07, 2011
STOP THANKING JURORS
DR. Conrad Murray found guilty. But you probably already knew that.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SY GAER. We were remiss in not reporting that yesterday, Sunday, was Sy's birthday. But it seems appropriate to remember it today, Monday, the start of the trial week in the building Sy spent his life working in. Stop by his picture on the second floor (across from the elevators) and read the wonderful words of Judge Milt Hirsch and share a few thoughts about our wonderful friend.
Roy Black looks at the closing arguments in the Dr. Conrad Murray case. His analysis, as always, is worth a read, but his first point is something we have been harping on for years: DON'T WASTE TIME THANKING THE JURY!
The most dramatic moment of the case arrives. The attorney stands up with his/her case on the line. Those first few minutes of persuasive argument may well swing the jury. Come out with your best points. Make a dramatic statement so powerful that it will ring in the jury's ears long after you've sat down. The jury will never be more ready to hear it than in these first few moments.
And what do most attorneys do? "I want to take a few moments and thank you for your service. It has been a long and hard case and we all know that you've been paying attention and the case is almost over and on behalf of (insert your client here) I want to thank you for blah blah blah blah blah blah blah..."
Here's what Mr. Black says:
If you want to thank the jury do it in the body of the argument not at the beginning. Everyone knows you really don’t mean this. It is condescending and pandering. They know this intuitively. So stop it. It sounds and is phony.
Mr. Black is right. Stop it. Nobody cares and nobody really believes what you're saying. Do you really think the jurors go into the back and say "Well I think the defendant is clearly not guilty but the prosecutor took the time to thank us for our service and the defense attorney didn't so maybe we should teach her a lesson and find her client guilty?"
Dolphins win! Nuff said.
See You In Court.