48 Hours in the Mind of a Trial Attorney


48 Hours before the trial begins:

Alright, I better go over my trial prep for the trial tomorrow

5 seconds later

Shit! I don’t have enough prepared! I’m going to mess this up and my client’s entire life will be ruined! Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!

10 minutes later

Hahaha, this question is so going to make this witness look like an idiot! I’m owning this thing!

5 minutes later

I need to make sure this evidence doesn’t get in . . . What’s a good way to do that . . .

. . .

. . .

. . .

Oh crap, there’s no way to keep this evidence out! I’m so screwed. My client’s going down.

Or . . . Maybe there is a way to keep this evidence out and I just can’t think of it because I’m the worst attorney in the world and I’m going to ruin my client’s case and lose my bar card and have no job and  . . .

1 hour later

Man, I am just going to kill it at closing argument. When you put all of this together, there’s no way anyone is going to disagree with what I’m saying. And I’m going to look so awesome doing it!

Half an hour later

I think I’m going to win this case!

2 hours later

What was I thinking? Why did we take this trial?! We are never going to win this case! This was a total mistake!

Fitful Sleep

Day of Trial

Ok, I’ll know where the judge or jury is when I do my opening . . ..

After opening

Shit! I have no idea where the judge or jury is at!

During opposing counsel’s case

OMG, that’s so bad for me, I’m totally going to lose . . .

Shit! Crap! “Objection!”

That was humiliating . . . Why are all the words out of my mouth so dumb?!

That’s not even true! Why are they even asking these questions!

What does that have to do with anything going on here?!?!

Hey, jerks! Stop being so mean to my client!

shit! crap! “objection!”

Urgh, they are missing the whole point of this trial!

During Cross Examination of their Witnesses

Ahaha, I got you now don’t I!?!

Is the judge/jury even noticing how awesome I’m being right now?!

I’m totally going to win!

Hey! That’s not  what you were supposed to say!

I’m destroying them!

I own this court room!!!!

During Direct Examination

We’re just friends here aren’t we? Just having a little chat that will totally smash the other side’s case . . .. wait what?! Why did you say that?!?! I told you like 3920483 times to never ever say that!!!!

Ok, back on track

Yep, that’s a great answer, just like I thought it would be, we are awesome!

Dude seriously!?! Do you just want to lose your case?! Why would you say that?!

Oh please do tell me more about that one part that is very damaging to the other side’s case . . . oh no! How dare they!

Crap, I’m at the end of my questions! What if I didn’t ask enough?! What if there is one golden question that I just didn’t include because I’m a terrible attorney?!

During Cross Examination of Our Witness

Shit! I forgot to ask about that one thing . . . I wonder if they’ll notice if I ask during redirect even though it’s completely outside the scope of cross . . . (eyes other counsel suspiciously)

No no noooooooo, don’t ask that!!!!!!

You guys are just so mean! Why are you doing this to my client?!?! I hate you!!!

Ha! Totally knew you going to ask them that and they were totally prepared, weren’t they?! Bam! Do Not Mess With Me!

Yeah, yeah, you made your point, shut up already!

During Their Closing

Urgh, that’s a bit of a stretch of the truth . .

What the hell are you even saying?

Shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up!!!!!!

Oh yeah, that’s how you wanna play? I got a response for that!

Crap, that is a good a point

Lol, what a dumb point, you are silly, I’m totally going to win

Nooooo, I’m going to lose. My client’s life is ruined and it’s all my fault!

During My Closing

Oh yeah, and by the way this is what is really going on here! BAM!

I’m totally going to win! Everything is in my favor now!

Crap, that sounded way cooler in my head . . . stupid voice . . . and stupid hands, why are they moving like that?!

Oh yeah, were you prepared for that?! Didn’t think so, because I spent the last month thinking about this case and I have the best argument ever!

And look how well thought out everything is! You have nothing on me!

And yeah, that point they made earlier, dumb dumb dumb . . .

Dear Court Room: anytime you want me to come back and wipe the floor with opposing counsel, just ask! Because I just ruled that!

While judge/jury deliberates

We are winning!

We are losing!

We are winning!

We are losing!

We are winning!

We are losing

. . .

After Court

Must . . .  have . . . beer/wine/straight shots of vodka

 [Image: Stressed Female Lawyer Looking at Laptop via Shutterstock]

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