Sunday, January 25, 2009

Always expect the unexpected

This morning while running from my house down to 610 and Memorial I saw a male peacock strutting in someone's driveway near Memorial and Silber.  Needless to say, seeing a peacock wandering around was one of the last things I expected to see on my run.  I stopped and watched it for a couple of minutes before getting back on my way -- when I returned twenty or so minutes later, it was gone.

Trial lawyering is all about dealing with surprises, because no matter how much you may prepare, someone is going to say something you never expected to hear.  While some of the surprises may help your case and others may hurt your case, you're going to have to deal with them just the same.  If you go into trial with a rigid script you're not going to be paying attention to what the witnesses say and you won't know how to react when the unexpected occurs.

Trial is very fluid and you can't afford to sit down at the table and not be flexible enough to deal with the surprises that will be thrown your way.

Work from an outline, not a script.  List the admissions you're looking for and check them off when you get them.  Live in the moment and listen to what the witness is saying instead of thinking about your next question.  Most important, as Pablo from The Backyardigans once said: "Always expect the unexpected."

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