Snacks – Watch out WHERE you eat. In some court houses, like the Fairfax County Judicial Center, there is one cafeteria, where counsel, claimants, defendants, witnesses and JURORS often eat. This is because there is not enough time to get to the parking lots and go “off site” to a restaurant observes Herndon trial lawyer Doug Landau. Because the jurors may be in line with you, watching you and listening, WATCH WHAT YOU SAY AND DO !
Super Lawyer Doug Landau recalls the World War One warning, “LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPS !” Do not discuss the case, testimony or strategy unless your lawyer initiates the conversation. Consider bringing a snack or easily digested lunch in a brown bag. But, warns Landau, find out if the court allows food (and cell phones, palm pilots, PDAs, camera phones, beepers, etc.), because you do not want to have to make an extra run to the car or be delayed returning from a lunch or other break. Juries, Court personnel and especially judges do not like tardiness. You do not want to be seen running back to court if you are claiming you cannot walk normally ! You do not want to be out of breath and red-faced when you take the witness stand because you were hurrying back from a long lunch or smoking break. Even an All American Triathlon Trial Lawyer like Doug Landau tries not to arrive in the courtroom sweaty, out of breath and late. Landau warns juries have a way of blaming the person bringing the case for any wasted time or delays. Since that person is the Plaintiff, you do not want to be late for any court proceeding. Ever.
If you are in trial at a Court house where there are outside dining options, do a “scouting trip” BEFORE the day of trial emphasizes Virginia Trial Lawyer Landau. This way, Herndon Super Lawyer Landau suggests, you will know where you will be eating, whether reservations are needed, if the service take forever and whether there are private booths or rooms where the case proceeding can be reviewed without fear of being overheard by jurors or your opponents.
CONTINUED TOMORROW !