I have always thought it was important to get the scouting report on a new judge , venue , or even the prosecutor before a trial just so you know what to expect.Here is today’s tip. Just because you have appeared before the judge that does not mean you are aware of his trial procedure. Recently , I got the change-up during a trial because I did not get the scouting report. The judge wanted both sides to give a opening statement before voir dire. In my career as a lawyer , I have never been asked to do the opening statement prior to jury selection. I hadn’t reviewed the scouting report because I felt comfortable with the judge . A good trial lawyer adapts and off I went. However , the question is should that be the practice.

So before you try a case with a judge that you have not appeared before get the scouting report. Call the clerk , call some local lawyers , or even call the judge’s staff . You need to know if a curve ball is coming .