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The Order of Trial is Important to Remember - Part 3 - Trial Strategy - Going Last

Posted by attorney Theodore Robinson

So the first thing you want to do is tell the jury as soon as you have your first chance to address them (usually during jury selection) of this problem and the solution which is for them to be abundantly aware of the problem and to keep their minds open at all times. That starts them off right and they are then more on guard than if they just sit there starry eyed listening to whatever a prosecutor tells them - without filters. So when you first stand up to talk to them the prosecutor will have just finished speaking to them and effectively advising them of "what the case is all about" and you have to immediately correct that misunderstanding by outlining your case to them. This is extremely important to do early so they don't get the other story too stuck in their head. However, you may not want to commit yourself to any one story because you may have a guilty client who doesn't quite know what to say or if he/she wants to say anything in front of the jury. These are all important considerations to deal with ahead of going to trial. You must know if he/she intends to testify ahead of time so you can tell the jury to hold off thinking about the prosecutor's story until they hear your client's side of the story. That way, they will be waiting to hear from you later before they start to consider who did what. However, its important to say it that way and not that they should wait to hear from the Defendant, because he/she may not want to testify by the time all the other evidence comes into the trial. So hold that trump card out until you absolutely must use it.

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