It’s the First Day of Trial: What do I do?

The purpose of this paper is to collect together as many hints, tips, and anecdotal pieces of wisdom as possible dealing with the first day of trial. If you are like me, you will find that the first day of trial is often the most stressful or anxiety-provoking day of the whole trial process. I find that, once that first day of trial is under my belt, I get into a groove, develop hopefully) a rapport with the Judge or jury, begin to understand opposing counsel, and embrace the rhythm of the trial. That first day, however, especially the night before the first day, can often leave me feeling uneasy.

Let’s face it, the way that cases settle mid-trial, you are never going to see as many “last days of trial” as you do “first days of trial”. Instead of being anxiety-provoking, the first day of trial should proceed smoothly and according to the plaintiff’s plan. It should be defence counsel who is worrying about the last day of trial, and not you worrying about the first day of trial. Since the remaining days of trial take on a rhythm of their own, which is usually fairly predictable, this paper hopes to embolden us all to cover off that first day of trial smoothly, effectively, and without stress.


Available Document(s)

Presented at the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association Conference, May 27, 2005
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