Direct examination is when you call your witnesses and you ask them certain questions. I heard a speaker once say that a trial is very similar to taking a course in college. In order to get the ethos, to have the jury be favorable for the credibility of an attorney, it’s important not to come off as arrogant. You’ve got to take the role of a teacher, as opposed to an advocate. A lot of people think of attorneys as being too aggressive. If you look at a class that you can take in college and compare it to a trial, they are very similar.
The jury selection process is like the admissions process. That’s when you determine who is going to take the class, or what you ask during voir dire. The next phase, which is the opening statement, is sort of like the course outline or the syllabus. That’s where you are telling the prospective jurors what they are going to hear and what the case is about. After that, you are getting into the witnesses, who are basically guest speakers who tell the jury what the facts are. They are going to see exhibits, which are like textbooks.
Then, they are going to go into the final exam review course, which is the closing arguments. The final exam is going to be when they fill out the verdict form and you can show them a copy of this verdict form. The jury takes the verdict form into the jury room and they start deliberations, and they answer the questions and come up with a verdict. This is an interesting way of presenting a case because it presents the lawyer more as an instructor than an aggressive representative.
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