Trial Part 2 #5

(Continuation of my 4th post) Another aspect of trial that I found really interesting was everything that happened while the jury was dismissed. The other summer intern for LACCLA, Sarah, and I, usually hung around in the court room during breaks or stayed for a while after the jury was dismissed for the day, and so we were able to listen in on the conversations that the judge and the attorneys had which would not have otherwise happened with the jury present. Both sides filed motions to dismiss or bring in certain evidence during trial, so we were able to witness the oral arguments presented to the judge, and it was listening to these motions that I realized how important it is to have good argumentative skills. Arguments before the jury were much more curated and perfected since each side had time to prepare for these arguments, whereas, in these circumstances, the motions brought before the judge during trial were more or less thought of on the spot. In addition to having to improvise, the judge is a much different audience than the jury. Whereas arguing before a jury requires good presentation as well as a good argument (and sometimes the presentation is a better persuader than the actual argument), arguing before the judge seems more about the argument itself. It was during these motions that I felt demonstrated the debate skills of the attorneys, since they had to put together a cohesive and convincing argument with little preparation.

Watching this case both as an audience member. and being able to witness the behind the scenes of the trial, gave me a more accurate picture of what a career in law actually entails, and made me more confident in my decision to pursue a career in law.

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