Trial Experience & Ability - Your Virginia Criminal Lawyer Needs Both
Trial experience & ability separate battle-ready Virginia criminal lawyers from the pack.
Trial experience and ability separate battle-ready Virginia DWI lawyers from the pack. As a Fairfax criminal lawyer / Virginia DUI attorney, I have successfully taken hundreds of criminal trials to court, to conclusion. This experience is backed up further by my having been one of the small percentage of criminal defense lawyers who has attended the intensive multi-week Trial Lawyers College and the two-week National Criminal Defense College's Trial Practice Institute. On top of that, to this day, I have organized and attended many local trial preparation sessions that include TLC alums and sometimes one of the nation's best psychodramatists / trial consultants that include applying the Trial Lawyers College's hallmark persuasive approach of storytelling and incident reenactment through psychodrama techniques.
How does my Virginia criminal lawyer get sufficient trial experience with the more favorable settlements happening with Northern Virginia prosecutors?
As much as I was not fond of the overall more tightfisted settlement negotiating approach of the Fairfax and other Northern Virginia prosecutorial administrations that were in place before four self-styled progressive commonwealth's attorneys / chief prosecutors took over nearly four years ago, the fringe benefit of that less criminal defendant-friendly negotiating approach by the prior chief prosecutors' administrations was that I was regularly going to trial. I still take many cases to trial, and am happy that I did not start today rather than many years ago doing criminal defense, because lawyers starting to do criminal defense in Northern Virginia today are not going to get as much trial experience per year as I was doing even five years ago. (And lawyers practicing in federal court go to trial even less often for felony cases, due to the high federal felony conviction rate and
How does my Virginia criminal lawyer obtain the right trial experience?
As I understand it, my late friend Dax Cowart delivered an amazing performance during the entirety of his first jury trial, fully connecting with the jury after total immersion into preparing for the case, including visiting the courtroom in advance so that his colleague could walk Dax through the courtroom, which was all the more important with Dax's having been blinded many years before in an explosion from a leaked underground gasline. His closing argument included singing a relevant song to the jury; how he loved singing. In other words, great trial experience needs to be coupled with great trial ability. I still remember my very book-smart opposing co-prosecutor who read his closing argument to the jury word for word. Granted that this and most federal prosecutors get little trial experience, but persuading jurors and judges comes from having a conversation with them, not from parroting back written words. At the Trial Lawyers College that I attended for four weeks and the National College of Criminal Defense Trial Practice Institute that I attended for two weeks (both were very competitive to gain admission to), we focused on doing whatever is necessary to win as much justice as possible for our clients, which includes fully engaging with our clients, burning the midnight oil, discovering and telling the most persuasive story through every stage of the trial, and bringing ourselves and the jury and judge to the center of the story, rather than orating in dry and non-human lawyer-ese and legal-ese. Of further benefit from the Trial Lawyers College is the tight-knit years long friendships and relationships that resulted, where some of our fellow alums will drop what they are doing not only to help us work through hurdles in achieving a win in our cases, but also for working out serious personal issues with which we are dealing. As TLC founder Gerry Spence aptly teaches, an expensive saddle is of no use if the horse will not rise to its occasion. At the TLC and with our ongoing lives, great trial lawyers keep working on the horse / ourselves as people.
How do I know whether my Virginia criminal lawyer will rise to the occasion in court and not choke like the initial defense lawyer in My Cousin Vinny?
When My Cousin Vinny was released, I was already handling exclusively criminal defense work. That movie's initial criminal defense lawyer who was so suave when meeting them at the jail but a nervous wreck in front of the jury represented plenty of lawyers I see holding a swagger outside the courtroom but losing their composure before the judge, right down to when a prosecutor (who often would deride my settlement proposals) was in literal tears urging the judge to deny my motion to suppress my client's arrest, which motion I won, thus winning my client's criminal case. It is interesting how masterfully the fictitious Vinny performed at his first trial, and how masterfully the very real and caring Dax Cowart performed at his jury trial. The deep caring that both of them had for their clients helped offset their absence of trial experience and to provide that oomph and energy to find the way to victory and to transcend the obstacles in the way.
When your Virginia criminal lawyer is friendly with prosecutors and police outside the courtroom and their worst nightmare at trial
One of my greatest criminal defense teachers once described herself as her clients' greatest friend and prosecutors' worst nightmare. I add with my clients that when prosecutors agree to what my clients want for a settlement, they avoid a Jon Katz trial experience, which is worse than having hot needles plunged into their eyeballs. Yes, you can catch more flies with honey -- which is where being friendly with prosecutors and police outside the courtroom, unless they do not merit it -- than sandpaper, but when trial proceeds, the kid gloves must be left in the hallway.
Fairfax criminal lawyer Jonathan Katz is single-focused on you, his client, pursuing your best possible result against Virginia DUI, misdemeanor and felony prosecutions. You will learn that for yourself through your free in-person initial strictly confidential consultation with Jon Katz about your court-pending case. Call 703-383-1100 to meet with Jon, who can usually schedule you to meet the same or next business day.