Rumberger Partners Give Advice: What New Litigators Can Do To Win Their First Trial

05.05.15

Law360, New York published a feature asking seasoned trial attorneys what advice they would give to young lawyers getting ready for their first trial. Law360 published comments from 45 veteran attorneys.   Rumberger partners Rob Blank from the Tampa office and Scott Kirk from the firm's Orlando office offered the following advice:

Robert L. Blank, Rumberger Kirk & Caldwell PA “Overprepare. Prepare for every contingency. Research all legal issues. Study all jury instructions; ensure you understand them and why each side requested them. Investigate every witness’s background. Proofread direct examination and cross-examination outlines multiple times. Rehearse your opening statement. Relax. Getting to trial does not happen often so embrace the opportunity. Remember it is just a room with furniture and people — nothing you cannot handle because you know your case. Picture yourself wherever you are comfortable talking to people; transform that method of communication to the courtroom when you explain your case to the jury. Be yourself and have fun.” 

J. Scott Kirk, Rumberger Kirk & Caldwell PA
"Prepare. Prepare. Prepare. Make sure that you have thought out every question for every witness and that you have anticipated every potential argument. Then expect that it will not go as planned and be ready for it. Be yourself and be sincere. When you make that mistake and it doesn’t go the way you want, relax and try not to show it. As the judge that taught me in law school used to say, 'If a witness drives a dagger into your heart, you turn and face that jury as if you placed that dagger in your heart every morning.'”