Colleagues far more experienced than I have told me that when you are trying a case in front of a jury that it is essential that every thing you do has a purpose. Don’t stare at the jurors, don’t be a nuisance in the courtroom during breaks, don’t give off a vibe of superiority, don’t wander around aimlessly and so on and so forth. The lesson is that juries are taking everything in while they share the courtroom with the lawyer and that will directly impact how your client fares during deliberations.
I hope this is not actually true.
Picture with me, if you will, a courtroom full of lawyers, a judge, clerks, clients and a jury. The courtroom is stone silent and the trial is about to get underway. Yours truly is sitting at counsel table conferring with the client when the partner taps me on the shoulder. I swivel in my chair so that I can address her request and any other that she may have. It is in this simple movement that I am so focused on what my boss requires that I forget that there are devices mounted underneath the table that are at the same height as my knee.
A simple equation: metal object plus my kneecap moving at speed equals extreme pain.
I wish I could say that I did not react to what felt like a knife entering into my kneecap. I wish I could say that I was able to remain silent as it felt. I wish I could say that I was able to hold back from crying in open court. Sadly, I cannot say these things. Nor can I say that I refrained from profanity. When the metal underhangy-thing of the table impacted my knee, I saw a flash of light, nearly fell out of my chair turning away from the jury, gritted my teeth, covered my mouth and let fly as quietly as possible a certain four letter word that rhymes with a variety of water fowl.