This is the third portion of my conversation with U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin. The first two sections in previous “Mediation Circus” columns, explored trial strategy, negotiation tactics and evidence preparation. For this final portion with my former classmate, we’ll dive into a few final pointers on embracing courtroom technology, acing criminal proceedings and what tunes he rocks out to away from the courtroom.
Panter: Any other advice for lawyers?
Durkin: You need to make your case interesting. The older lawyers get, the younger their jurors get. They are technologically savvy, so they do not appreciate a lawyer getting up, “Oh, I’m sorry. I don’t understand technology,” and “I don’t care,” as if it’s charming or somehow endearing. No, it’s infuriating to a jury.
It is no longer the charming old rogue of a lawyer who says, “I don’t go out for any of that technical stuff.” Well, the jurors do. They expect PowerPoints. They expect documents being displayed on screens. They expect highlighting of documents on the spot. They expect magnification or blowing up of portions of documents so they can read them.