Monday, July 11, 2011

Sharpening my sword

Oh, don't be so filthy minded. No indeed, today I'm going back into battle, putting on my serious face for a jury trial. This will be my first since the Big One in April, and I couldn't be happier about it.

For one thing, I'm sitting second chair, which means I am the trial's eye-candy, just sitting there and doing what my first chair tells me. And it'll be especially interesting because my first chair is Geoffrey Puryear, the newest member of the 167th District Court team. He came from a different jurisdiction and this will be his first felony trial. I always enjoy working with new lawyers in trial because I get to see their personal styles, and maybe learn a thing or two. Mine is pretty set, I just try to be me (apart from the inappropriate jokes and arriving places not wearing trousers) but you're never too set in stone to learn a little something.

And the frightening thing is, I've been doing this long enough I may even be able to teach some small things (lesson one: show up to trial wearing trousers). Actually, the one thing I always say when asked for "style" advice is precisely that: be yourself. Don't wax poetic if your normal vocabulary is made up of four-letter words, and don't try to be funny if you've had no practice at making people laugh. That's just painful. Jurors are like guard dogs - they smell fear and they know a door-to-door salesman when they see one.

Looks like we're off to a good start today, though, I just checked: Geoffrey's wearing trousers.

Although the eye-candy thing may not work out. Not only is he trousered, he's also a very handsome man.

I'll just take notes.


  1. Thanks for the chuckle, and good luck with the trial.

  2. This is probably terrible form, but I can't find your email address, so I'm using the combox.

    I'm a forensic science teacher here in Austin, and I've become a fan of your blog in the course of researching for my class. Would you be willing to come to my class and give a talk sometime this Fall about what you do with a focus on how a prosecutor uses forensic evidence? Let me know! alexa.mouser {at}


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