In yesterday’s post , I talked about the first R which is to relax. The second R is rehearse . Coach Bosque spoke about thinking about the play before it happened and play in his mind what he was going to do with the baseball if it was hit to him. Preparing for a hearing or trial is the same.
The typical lawyer gets ready by reading the file , meeting with the client , interviewing witnesses , and reading the key law on the topic. It might be a better means of getting ready for a case is to rehearse . I was exposed to some techniques at the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyer’s College.
The core basis of the Trial Lawyer’s College is the use of psychodrama to prepare your case for trial. a blog post can’t cover the topic but I want to leave you with some ideas.
- Rehearse your opening statement. Give it in front of the mirror , your loved one , or any way you choose.
- Know the battlefield especially if you have never been in that court before.
- What will the judge allow ? Will the judge cut you off ? Increase bond if you have a hearing ? Know the judge.
- Know your opponent. Everybody has strengths and weaknesses.
- Rehearse your voir dire. I have even hired folks to play jurors so I could practice my jury selection.
- Do a focus group.
- Have your client cross examined by another lawyer.
- Play the hearing or trial in your mind . Visualize the trial.
- Have your client assume the role of the complaining witness . Then have the client to state the point of view from the complaining witness.
- Talk to friends , other lawyers , or folks you know about the case.
I just mentioned a few ways to rehearse . But think about it. A baseball player stands in the on deck circle. he swings his bat to get rid of muscle tension. He looks at the pitcher throw the ball. In his mind he sees the pitch coming to the plate . He swings the bat and knocks it out of the park. Now he is ready to step up to the plate to face the pitcher when it counts. He is ready because he rehearsed. Criminal trial lawyers should rehearse as well and not just read the file.