{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "finally going to trial for the first time in about two weeks! What are your trial necessities, for an out of town trial? Aside from the legal stuff I mean.\nI’m generally a pretty prepared person, but having never been to trial, I’m sure there are things I won’t think of that can make all the difference 😬. Thanks I’m advance!!", "post_id": "61dccd5b2326c70028616370", "reply_count": 41, "vote_count": 9, "bowl_id": "5da60c126e5f0d001f32f497", "bowl_name": "Women in Law", "feed_type": "bowl" }
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finally going to trial for the first time in about two weeks! What are your trial necessities, for an out of town trial? Aside from the legal stuff I mean.
I’m generally a pretty prepared person, but having never been to trial, I’m sure there are things I won’t think of that can make all the difference 😬. Thanks I’m advance!!

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Put deodorant in your purse to take to court with you. There are dress shields that stick to your dress or jacket on the inside of the arm holes (basically just like a maxi pad) to help further fight the sweat. It’s amazing how much you can sweat in a trial - particularly when you are new to it.

Stay hydrated and make sure you snack when you can. You may otherwise forget to eat and then realize too late that you are starving.

Take a notecard or two and write down everything you have to prove (or disprove), what evidence you intend to use to meet each thing, and then check off each item as you hit them in trial. Or, even better, have someone else check them as you go - or both of you check and compare your lists.

It is ok to pause and take a moment. I would typically say “judge, if I could have a moment to review my notes” before I passed a witness so I could make sure I hit everything I had planned to. This makes you look prepared rather than scattered.

This was what I was told by co-counsel at my first trial: “just get through it and we’ll worry about what happens after that once you’re done.”

Be in the moment and try to enjoy it if you can. It can be really fun sometimes if you can live in the moment of it.

Set two alarms to get up. Maybe have the front desk call you at a specified time. That way, if your phone alarm fails you have a back up. Bring at least one more suit than you think you will need.

Good luck!

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Also, once you get in town assume everyone you interact with is a possible juror. So, be polite to everyone, be well dressed at all times, and if it is a small town then assume they are all watching you when you are picking up your coffee at Starbucks.

Hold doors open, hold elevators, etc. but don’t talk about anything about court, being an attorney, or the trial with anyone.

If you go out to eat at lunch then assume everyone there will be listening and don’t discuss anything about the trial, court, etc. or anything of “ill humor.” If it’s a small town then I highly recommend not eating out and have lunch brought in somewhere (your hotel, an empty room available at the courthouse, etc.) because you do not want to spend your lunch in a fish bowl. It’s weird and awkward.

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I absolutely agree with this. I once went out of my way to help a disabled gentleman pick up something he'd dropped in the court house. We exchanged no words other than thanks and your welcome. He ended up being on my panel.

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Big sticky boards for writing themes and prepping with witnesses.
A printer for your hotel room if you don’t have access to an office.
Mini state rule book. The jury loves that stuff.
Easy trial day snacks.
I actually don’t love a coffee thermos at Counsel table. There’s a chance your jurors don’t get the same option. And I never want to look like I have something the jurors don’t have.
A three hole punch and extra binders to put your copies of admitted exhibits in.

Prior to AGC, I had 21 jury trials. My last one in august was two weeks out of town. Message me if you want to chat. It’s hard. But you’ve got this. And it is so much fun.

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Yes! I was going to say that because it's out of town, I recommend bringing a small printer, whatever chords you might need, sticky notes or something to easily pass notes between you and your team. An iron or steamer for your clothes. Lint roller.

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I always have a section of my trial binder with scripts for seeking admission of various exhibits, anticipated objections (ie: hearsay) and responses to objections (rule xyz states this is not hearsay or rule abc states this is an exception to the hearsay rule. I usually go through all exhibits and have these sections for each exhibit.

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This is great. Saving this tip for later.

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Not sure if your trial is in person. So! For what it's worth: Juries care about women's overall look, including: suit, stockings, and shoes. If you are using a notepad while reading your opening statement or with your witnesses, make sure it's not super close to the microphone area. Otherwise, the jury will get annoyed at the noise everytime you move through the pages. If your trial is a judge trial, then ignore. I was a federal clerk and juries say the darnest things after the trial is finished. Good luck! And may the odds be in ever in your favor.

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I will quit the entire profession before I wear those leg prisons

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Downy wrinkle release. You can spray it and rub wrinkles out. Great for if you don’t have time to iron or are sitting for long periods of time before heading into court.

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Do NOT bring a single clickable pen with you. It will inevitably find its way into the courtroom.

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Pre-packaged snacks you can throw in your bag - granola bars, Fibre1 bars. I’ll add more as I think of it but that one stuck out to me during my first out of town trial 😅

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On a practical note, retinol eyepatches for the mornings when you’ve had to stay up all night. Also, ibuprofen/pepto/Imodium just in case. Lots of dry shampoo, and earplugs for the hotel. Nothing worse than only have 3 hours to sleep and you can’t. I also bring a yoga mat to move a bit in the morning if I can to wake up…

Second monitor and mouse for the hotel (if you don’t have a war room).

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Every once in a while, I find questions that I never thought to ask. This is one of them. Just hanging around to see responses 😊

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My assistant has told me to always have a roll of quarters on hand.

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Good point!

After reading the comments, I think your biggest issue is being a lawyer from out of town, whether its a jury or bench trial. Not in terms of your set up at the hotel, but your understanding of the culture of the court and community: do the judges like aggressive or more genteel lawyering; are pants suits shunned; will your accent, dress and mannerisms give away to the jury that you are not part of the community and, therefore, may not trust you as much as your opponent who I'm guessing is from the community. If you have time and budget, spend some time in the judge's courtroom while she is on the bench, preferably in trial or hearing, and get a sense of things. What are folks wearing. Let the clerk know who you are. Hang out in the cafeteria. And, most importantly, how long is it going to take to get your stuff through security.

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Great point, and something I’d definitely be concerned with if it was anywhere else. Fortunately, this town is only 3 hours away from where I live now, I’ve been in this judges Court many times on other matters (she’s awesome btw), the locale is really close to where I grew up, and culturally nearly identical since it is also a border town.

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My take on all of the back-and-forth about pantyhose, dress code, etc. is that the goal of your appearance should be to blend in - that is, bring as little attention to your appearance as possible. You want jurors focused on what you're saying, not what you look like. That being said, bring pre-packaged easy to eat snacks, extra pens (not the clicky kind), and a water bottle you don't have to screw the top off of (god forbid it fall off the table and roll across the floor). The scripted exhibit admissions/objections is a great idea too!

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Coffee thermos with enough to get you thru the day if you need it. Can’t count on getting a break long enough to buy a cup. Extra cup for those that will want to lean on you for coffee when they didn’t plan ahead😀

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* remember to check whether the courthouse allows plastic only, or metal containers

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I have my first ever trial next week, and it is also out of town! Good luck to you and these are all great tips. I’m glad I came across this!

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So how did it go?!

High calorie/high fat snacks in case you get stuck somewhere without food for a long time ok. Good to have on hand for clients and witnesses too. Comfy sweats and other creature comforts for evenings. Good luck!

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This! And mints. Lots of mints (you’ll be in close quarters whispering and also keeping quiet and getting bad cotton mouth lol).

There was a time I was assisting at trial where the judge went on a power trip and dismissed everyone for lunch…. Except the counsel/staff with them. We had to “sort out” our exhibits because one was out of place. Didn’t dismiss us at all once we finished 10 minutes later. We had to go a full opening day on granola/almonds, cliff bars, and caffeinated drinks. 😩

Also, make sure to eat a high protein breakfast. Worst thing to happen is you get the sleepy eyes from a big carb one.

Everyone else is on point with extra supplies, printer in your room, and being near a copy center. But food is your fuel and keeps you focused, so make sure you take plenty of snacks.

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Cases of water for your hotel room during trial prep and to throw into your bag when you go to court. Vitamins. Stapler, extra staples, binder clips, lots of sticky tabs, hole punch, colored markers if you are drawing on an easel, colored highlighters, tape.

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Wow so many awesome responses already! Thank you all - I’m fortunate to benefit from all of this wisdom 😀

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Nice lounge clothes that you’re comfortable being around coworkers in for late night prep sessions in hotel rooms.

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Have an extra suit in the car just in case.

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