The Champion

May 2017 , Page 44 

Search the Champion Looking for something specific?

Preview of Member Only Content

For full access: login or Become a Member Join Now

12 Myths About Trying Criminal Cases

By Daniel E. Bertolino

One lesson learned from a lifetime of exposure to criminal trial work is that nothing works all of the time. Yet some techniques have a better chance of succeeding in the courtroom, and some, despite their popularity, are simply not effective or advisable. Here are 12 myths about trying criminal cases, which may prompt the reader to question the conventional wisdom.

1. Use the ‘shotgun’ or ‘buffet’ approach to keep your options open.

Some defense attorneys cannot resist the temptation to advance at trial every conceivable defense they can think of, even those that are mutually exclusive.

The reason that this approach does not work is that it does not pass the “living room test.” In other words, if something does not work in defense counsel’s own house, it probably will not work in the courtroom either. Imagine that a neighbor knocked on defense counsel’s door and said that counsel’s son had thrown a baseball through the neighbor’s picture window. When confronted about

Want to read more?

The Champion archive is reserved for NACDL members.

NACDL members, please login to read the rest of this article.
login

Not a member? Join now.
Join Now
Or click here to see an overview of NACDL Member benefits.

See what NACDL members say about us.

To read the current issue of The Champion in its entirety, click here.

  • Media inquiries: Contact NACDL's Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan J. Dominguez at 202-465-7662 or idominguez@nacdl.org
  • Academic Requests: Full articles of The Champion Magazine are available for academic and research purposes in the WestLaw and LexisNexis databases.

In This Section

Advertisement Advertise with Us
ad