Which came first?
The chicken or the egg?
Ahh, that age-old question.
But the better question to ask is "Does it really matter?"
Why do I say that?
It's because it's extremely relevant when I ask the question about what makes a great trial attorney.
Are trial attorneys born with qualities that make them great?
Or can someone to learn how to become a great trial attorney?
Let's go back to the better question I asked a moment ago...
Does it really matter?
I'm going to suggest that it does not matter.
Having been in practice almost 28 years now I can tell you that nobody is born a great trial lawyer.
Nobody comes out of the womb ready to try cases.
There are laws to be learned.
There are legal strategies to be learned.
There are tactics to be implemented.
Even after going through three years of law school, nobody is a great trial lawyer at that point.
It's just the beginning.
It's the starting point.
Just as a medical student who graduates medical school is not a great physician yet, the same thing is true of lawyers who graduate from law school.
They're just starting their careers.
They're eager to learn.
They are eager to gain knowledge.
Yet there is one thing these professionals lack at this stage in their career.
You know what I'm going to say, don't you?
Of course you do.
They lack experience.
That, in my opinion, is what makes a great trial lawyer.
Years and years of experience.
Years of practice.
Years of getting results.
There is no substitute for experience.
There is no substitute for learning from your mistakes.
There is no substitute from learning what to do and more importantly what not to do.
I'm not knocking lawyers who are just starting their career.
Instead, I'm pointing out that as someone who is searching for the right lawyer to help you solve your pressing legal problem, your one goal is to try and find the best lawyer for you and your case.
If you feel that the best lawyer for you is one who has minimal experience in the courtroom, that's fine.
He might be right for you for other reasons.
However, keep in mind that many civil lawsuits go to trial.
A novice trial attorney may be lucky and get a good result.
A jury may take sympathy on the young novice trial attorney who makes many mistakes.
On the other hand, ask yourself whether your case is important enough to warrant the best, most experienced lawyer you can find?
In my opinion, the best trial lawyers are not born with great knowledge and experience.
Instead, they are made.
They're made by hard work.
They're made by their tireless dedication.
They're made by their effort.
They're made by fighting the good fight.
They're made by standing up to opponents who are trying intimidate, delay and frustrate the legal process.
As you know, no lawyer can ever guarantee you a particular result.
However, an attorney who has 20 years of experience trying cases just like yours compared to an attorney who is one year out of law school, is a significant difference.
When you find attorneys with similar credentials and similar experience, choosing among them will be challenging.