One of the major side effects of the vanishing trial phenomenon in federal court is that of the vanishing trial lawyer. As a trial judge for over 26 years (the last 17 on the U.S. District Court bench in Seattle), I can attest that there is an inverse ratio between experience as a trial lawyer and length of time to present your case. Attorneys who have seen jurors reward brevity and efficiency while punishing repetition and inefficiency realize that it isn’t only trial judges who don’t appreciate tactics that waste time.
Experienced practitioners watch the jury and sense when they have seen enough. They also understand that jurors do not reward verbosity or gestures that display a lack of respect for the court, opposing counsel, the witness, or the jurors themselves. A few points of presentation should always be considered by the effective trial attorney.
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