One of the most critical aspects of preparing for your first trial is getting organized. In order to be able to present your case to the judge or jury in a competent and clear manner, organization is key. A trial lawyer must appear fully knowledgeable and comfortable with discussing the facts of the case and arguing in favor of his/her client. Just because it’s your first trial does not give an attorney permission to be unorganized and unprepared. In fact, it’s your time to shine and impress right from the start.
The Steps to Take to Get Organized for Trial
The organizational steps of trial preparation must begin far in advance of the trial date, especially when you are first getting familiar with the process. The most effective and efficient way to get organized is with a trial notebook or folder. It should include an outline of the case, and it assists with arranging all aspects of the particular case into separate categories.
The outline should be the first section and should include a story and theme for the case. This helps develop a strategy for arguing to prove your case in court. It should include documents to be presented, witnesses that will testify, the issues of the case, and how the case will be proven in your client’s favor.
The second section should be an “order of proof outline” which details your expectations as to how the trial will proceed and what evidence and witnesses you’ll present at each time period. Of course, the order of presentation of documents and witnesses for proof will have to remain flexible, but it’s still a vital organizational tool to guide you.
What Should Be in the Trial Notebook or Folder?
The trial notebook or folder system should consist of the following separately divided sections:
- Voir Dire and jury selection
- Opening statement
- Direct examination of witnesses
- Cross examination of opposing witnesses
- Legal research and case law
- Motions in limine
- Jury instructions
- Closing arguments
This organizational system will assist and encourage you to prepare properly for trial. You will feel confident and organized because you’ll be in control of your case.
Working with a Court Reporting Firm
When preparing for trial, be sure to seek out the expertise of a court reporting firm to help with depositions, exhibit maintenance, synchronized text to video, realtime reporting, and more. Schedule services with Stevens-Koenig to get the best Denver stenographers for your case. Our experienced Denver stenographers strive for perfection to help you and your clients with your trial needs. Contact us at (888) 728-3356 or (303) 988-8470 to schedule your deposition.