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Category: Jury Trial


Should You Ever Waive Your Right to a Jury Trial?

This is a good question because the bottom line is, a jury trial when it comes to criminal cases, is probably one of our most sacred and important right. The right to a jury trial is protected by the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution. However, you have the right to waive a jury trial in criminal cases in Los Angeles in favor of a bench trial, which is a trial where the judge alone decides the verdict. In most cases, you probably don’t want to waive your right to a jury trial, but there are some situations where… Read More

Cautionary Instructions Given to Jurors in a California Criminal Jury Trial

When someone serves on a jury trial, one of the big instructions that is given to them is CalCrim 101.  That really talks about the jurors’ conduct during the trial.  It also discusses the participants’ conduct.  One of the biggest things they want to make sure that a jury understands is that they’re not to talk to the parties — either the lawyers or the defendant in a criminal jury trial in Los Angeles while the trial is pending.  A lot of times people say you can at least say hi, and be polite, but this is inappropriate. What we’re… Read More

Criminal Jury Instructions in Los Angeles County

Every time a jury trial starts the trial judge is responsible for reading all the pertinent jury instructions throughout the course of the trial.  A lot of trial judges will start right from the beginning when the panel of jurors — fifty, sixty, seventy jurors — are brought into the courtroom and they’ll start to read them the instructions.  It’s pretty much up to the trial court how they want to do that. The first instruction is talking about how important it is for them to serve.  It talks about our criminal justice system – that we have one of… Read More

Role of a Witness in a Jury Trial in a Los Angeles Criminal Case

A lot of people think this is a simple question.  A witness will come, testify, and a jury decides.  But, obviously, it’s more complicated than that especially in a criminal case.  In a criminal case in Los Angeles, or anywhere across the country, the prosecutors have the burden of proof, so they have to put their case on first in a trial and then the defense attorney who is representing the defendant in a criminal case, gets an opportunity to cross-examine those witnesses as well. Basically, this means a defense attorney can ask questions after the prosecutor and the defense… Read More

Jury Selection In Criminal Defense Cases In Los Angeles

I have participated in approximately two hundred jury trials in the course of the last twenty-five years and selecting the right jury to hear the case is crucial from a defense standpoint. There’re all kinds of different strategies and depending on what the rules have been over the years, I’ve had to tailor my strategies when it comes to jury selection in Los Angeles according to what was going on. I remember way back in the day when a lot of the judges would not let the criminal defense attorney or prosecutor ask any questions during the jury selection, so… Read More

Closing Argument In A Los Angeles Criminal Jury Trial

At last count, I did over two hundred jury trials in the course of the past twenty-five years of dealing with criminal defense cases in Los Angeles, throughout California and even some federal cases across the nation. A closing argument is probably the most important aspect of a trial because it’s where the lawyers argue for their positions. I usually like to get a theory of my case at the beginning and then I carry that theory all the way through the criminal trial and then the theory comes to fruition in the closing argument because the closing argument is… Read More

Cross-Examination Techniques In Los Angeles County

One of the most effective weapons that a criminal defense attorney has against the prosecution in a criminal case is their ability to cross-examine witnesses. In order for the prosecutors to prove any case, if the defense challenges them, they’re going to have to put witnesses on the witness stand in order to prove up the evidence of any charges that a person has. The criminal defense attorney will then be given the opportunity to cross-examine each of the witnesses. This is where the rubber meets the road in criminal defense. If you cannot challenge the witnesses through an effective… Read More

Learn How To Pick A Jury In A Criminal Case In Los Angeles

I’ve picked many juries of the course of the last twenty-five years of trying criminal cases in LA and many other counties and states across the nation. Obviously, you want to pick a jury that you think would be sympathetic to your client, the theory of your case and what your case stands for. But the reality is it’s very difficult to tell who is going to be sympathetic to your case and who won’t. There is a lot of guesswork that goes into picking a jury. However, if you know what you’re doing, you have experience and you know… Read More