Popular Posts

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Trial Lawyers Who Have Never Tried a Case

This month’s Texas Bar Journal has a very good article about the lack of jury trial experience of the majority of lawyers. See Honesty is the Best Policy: it’s time to disclose lack of jury trial experience, by Tracy McCormack and Christopher Bodnar.
The statistics are summarized here:
-       Litigators with 5 years experience – only 30% had tried even one case to a jury
-       With 10 yrs experience – 30% had still never tried a case to a jury
-       The majority of litigators hadn’t tried a case to a jury until they had been practicing for 7 years
Why does this matter? “The strength of a litigator’s bargaining position is at least partially a function of his or her willingness to try the case if settlement negotiations break down.”
The article is more focused on civil litigation, but it applies in criminal law too. If a prosecutor knows that a lawyer will try a case, and has the experience to do a competent job, he will usually make a better plea offer. I have even seen cases where the State dismissed a case when it got down to trial time.
The authors argue that lawyers should disclose to potential clients their experience, or lack thereof, in trying cases. Clients shouldn’t be shy to ask if the information isn’t volunteered.
One way to vet a lawyer is to see if he or she is board certified. I am, in three different areas – Civil Trial Law, Personal Injury Trial Law, and Criminal Law. To get those certifications a lawyer must have significant jury trial experience, verified by the judges and opposing lawyers.
Think of it this way - if you needed surgery, would you want your doctor's first patient? 


  1. An experienced trial lawyer is essential, but it is not the most important element in civil litigation in Kerrville. Politics is supreme. Consider the Cailloux Foundation vs Baker Botts and the 65 million dollar award to the hometown favorite, which was reduce to ZERO upon an impartial look. Also consider the Judge in the case was later convicted of stealing from the County. Baker brought in big firepower in trial experience to no avail.

    The moral to the story is do not invest one penny in Kerr County and stay out of the area.

  2. Good work on filing the second lawsuit. There are quite a few people in Kerrville that will give the benefit of the doubt to the police, and I understand this. Knocking six teeth out of a young girls mouth got my attention, as it should. This time I want to see an impartial investigation. I am really starting to wonder about the KPD and the folks that oversee them.

  3. Like most people with a TV, I have seen the video of the cop in SC police shoot the fellow in the back. Is the dash cam video of the Kerrville cop accused of slamming the girl on the cement and knocking out teeth available to the public? If so, could an open records request be used to obtain a copy?

  4. I can't release or publish the dvd yet, but anyone can send the KPD records custodian Mary Krebs a public information request under Tex. Govt. Code 552.

  5. The kpd and da office are crooked and need to be cleaned up. They dont care about truth and fairness. Check out the convictions of some of the incarcerated right now. It's inhumane.