Whether as Trial Counsel or Defense Counsel, the goal of the trial advocate is hardly attainable without careful and thorough planning and criminal trial advocacy organization. A well-organized trial demonstration will not guarantee the desired outcome, but it certainly enhances your credibility with your audience and the chances of prevailing. Indeed, the presiding judge, the jury, and client expect it. Moreover, judges abhor surprises and neither the presiding judge nor the jury have much tolerance for any delay caused by an unprepared trial attorney.
Instead, each trial advocate should strive to be the one person in the courtroom to whom the judge and the jury looks for a trusted and most accurate picture of the facts, the law,( Manual for Courts-Martial (2012) and the rules of evidence. To get there, each trial advocate will develop a unique pre-trial organization method. All trial advocates are strongly encouraged, however, to thread common, proven steps into the pre-trial organization procedure. The Criminal Trial Advocacy student is provided very helpful tools to guide the pre-trial organization, and the checklists (e.g., Trial Counsel Checklist, Defense Counsel Checklist, Expert Witness Checklist) are among the most useful. The final pretrial result will be an understandable and credible presentation of evidence elicited from witness testimony and from exhibits.