In prior posted blogs, I stressed that a good lawyer needs to know the law, but a great lawyer knows the judge. Because I monitor asbestos cases around the country, I have learned that a great lawyer must also know the jury pool. In my experience, the best way to know the jury pool is to partner with experienced local counsel. Like it or not, many jurors are homers, that is they sometimes resent out-of-state defendants and their out-of-state counsel. My best practice is to have local counsel actively participate in the trial by handling one or more witnesses and not let him or her sit at the trial table like a potted plant. The judge will also appreciate the use of local counsel. Often the judge has his or her customary practices that cannot be identified in any other way. When you are a mass tort litigator, you enter your appearance in many different jurisdictions. You need to make the most of your preemptory challenges to seat a fair and open-minded set of jurors and alternates.
Questions about this topic or any other construction law issue?
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