Sex Crime Litigation Trial Preparation
In this article, you can discover:
- The best defense litigation strategy for sex crime cases.
- How focus groups play an integral role in sex crime trial preparation.
- How you can use multiple practice examinations to best prepare you for your trial.
What Is Your Firm’s Approach To Sex Crime Litigation Cases? Does It Make Sense To Go With Focus Groups Or Trial Preparation First?
Both focus groups and trial preparation go hand in hand. At Satawa Law, PLLC, we take a comprehensive, holistic trial preparation approach. We don’t focus on one isolated aspect of trial preparation, but try to cover every possible angle to uncover the facts and the emotions. We start with an initial meeting where you walk us through everything so we can best assess the next steps.
The first question in the defense of every sex crimes case is to determine what issues relate to a judge or jurors brain, vs. those that appeal to the heart. That question is at the core of every case. We at Satawa Law use many different exercises to get to the center of these issues. This starts with the very first meeting with the client – which is an intensive factual review of the case. This introduces the client to a very important idea at the center of our defense of sex crimes – that a successful defense requires real and substantive assistance from you, the client.
The purpose here is to develop our factual story prior to getting the police side of the story and their discovery. We don’t want your review of the case to be tainted by what the police, the prosecution, the complaining witness, and all the prosecutor witnesses say about it. Our commitment and loyalty is to you, our client, and your story. In this way, we can better prepare for your trial.
As the client, you are going to know and understand the facts of the case on a far deeper level than we can as your legal team. You’ve lived through these events in real time.
Certainly, even cases that involved an isolated incident, like child molestation or a date rape allegation, present a level of factual complexity where the lawyer is never going to be able to understand it as well as you do. We are trying to understand the intricacies and facts from your side, and we take the trust you instill in us very seriously.
As your legal counsel, we understand that allegations like sexual assault or sexual misconduct can be life-altering and debilitating. We also understand that there is no way around a traumatic event, such as being accused without due cause and based solely on the word of one person. The damage to your reputation and integrity can be immense, and that is why we at Satawa Law, PLLC are committed to representing the accused with the utmost diligence and urgency.
As our client, you are the best source of information (by far). You are our best private investigator, our best paralegal, and our best (and perhaps only) eyewitness.
You are the best private investigator. You know the best witnesses to talk to, where to find them, and what questions to ask. You also are aware of what leads to follow up on.
You are our best eyewitness. You were there, you lived this. You know who else was there, what they did, and what was said. Your eyes and ears in describing the incident to us are critical in developing the best possible defense strategy.
You are our best paralegal. You are the person who best knows how the case should be organized in terms of reviewing it.
This is all a precursor to the actual trial: getting the facts of the event in question all laid out. From cataloging witness interviews, to the available physical evidence, as well as the trail of voicemails, text messages, and social media posts, you are the primary source to decide the best direction for your defense. You can also help with organizing all of this information and gauging the best way to present these facts and figures.
Focus groups are a great resource to add to pretrial preparation because they present the information in a storyline. This is the way most people process information in their regular lives.
Focus groups are used extensively by civil lawyers, especially personal injury lawyers. Criminal defense lawyers have historically been relatively resistant to using focus groups, but often change their mind when they see one in action. At Satawa Law, our focus groups are designed to mimic the way jurors learn information in a trial.
This is just one of the trial preparation techniques that puts Satawa Law, PLLC, a cut above the rest in terms of your defense – and a very important one. We have the road map so we can stay ahead of the curve.
What Is The Best Defense Strategy For Sex Crimes?
Our best defense strategy at trial is to incorporate a story that is consistent. That is the only defense strategy because the truth is consistent. The truth is difficult to disprove because it happened, and we all know that the difficulty with lying is that you try to make up details, then forget what those details are, and you end up telling a different story each time.
At Satawa Law, PLLC, we take our own integrity as seriously as we take yours. While that means that there are two sides to most stories, it also means that your story matters, and we are committed to telling it honestly.
From the onset of the trial preparation, you must be intimately, substantially, and significantly involved. This means being present in the preparation and review analysis of the facts on both ends, along with the annotation and footnoting of that discovery.
We have the prosecutor’s side of the case, but in most cases, the real advantage lies in getting the client’s detailed version of the events prior to getting the prosecutor’s discovery. Your participation in the trial preparation process on this side of it becomes critically important.
We may ask you to review the discovery three or four times, taking a break in between each time, and then ask you to write a narrative. This gives us the overall factual picture, but it’s also important for the discovery review to include insight into the emotional, psychological, and mental thought process of the situation.
The narrative must cover all of those things: the facts, the emotion, the psychology, the vibe, and more. Then, we go over everything piece by piece, breaking those puzzle pieces into smaller pieces and commenting on every significant piece. The exaggerations, every minimization, every lie, every misrepresentation of a fact, and every inconsistency are all pertinent pieces of information that we can analyze to help defend your rights and protect your freedom.
Equally important are the minute details that you may hide unintentionally. While it is understandable that you want to paint yourself in the best light. But that is our job, as your lawyer, and that’s what we will do by telling the truth. You’ve trusted us with your defense, and we trust that you will tell us every detail you can think of. That is what is really important to your defense strategy.
As hard as we prepare for trial in sex crime litigation, the prosecution is also preparing. They will have their theories and methods of discovery, so we always want to be aware of the situation. At Satawa Law, PLLC, we diligently and compassionately analyze, review, and assess your case with the utmost care. You are involved every step of the way.
This is part of the best defense strategy: telling and sticking to the truth. Change course midstream can be devastating to trial preparation, and should be avoided whenever possible. Being open and honest from the very beginning is a real winning tactic that Satawa Law, PLLC has abided by since our inception. Even if it is something you feel may hurt your case, our commitment to you is to protect you, and we can only do that with your full trust and disclosure.
It can be really tough during this stressful time of being accused of serious and heinous crimes to remain tactful and not reactive. The prosecution has a goal just like we do, and their tactics may be distracting. That is why we take trial preparation so seriously.
You must be unguarded and comfortable sharing all the details, even the details that hurt. When you read it in discovery, and the complainant says something you don’t agree with, it is important not to be defensive.
Reacting to facts that you may disagree with or wish didn’t happen can only hurt your case. We go over all of this in our first trial prep meeting.
How Do Multiple Practice Examinations Help With Trial Preparation In Sex Crime Cases?
Once we have all of the facts, we can look at how to combine everything together and how to best present your story to a jury at trial. The facts include your side, the defense version, the prosecutor version, your annotation review and footnotes of the prosecutor’s version, and, of course, the physical evidence.
We use multiple direct examinations, heavily emphasizing body language and softening your guard. It is okay to be guarded. That feeling is understandable. In fact, nearly every criminal defendant is guarded initially. We work with getting you comfortable telling your side of the story so that you can look at the jury without being reactive and definitively state your position.
We can assess what method and strategy is best for your case during your initial consultation. Call Satawa Law, PLLC, at (248) 356-8320 to schedule an appointment!
What Are The Benefits Of Using Focus Groups For Trial Preparation?
While we assist in many forms of trial preparation, Satawa Law, PLLC boasts a unique trial preparation process by way of focus groups. Partnering with Attorney Steve Palmer in Columbus, OH, we developed a consulting firm, Criminal Defense Consultants.
Our goal is to help other lawyers conduct invasive trial preparation for clients just like you. Using this approach makes it far more beneficial for you as a client because your case is getting more time and attention to prep, fill in the blanks, and hedge against any curve balls.
Our focus group method is designed to mimic the trial process simply but extremely effectively. A very effective way to start a focus group is to list the charge you are facing. Then, we delve deeper into the reactions to that charge.
We want the focus group to tell us what picture comes to mind when they think of that charge. We may get some very negative reactions. However, this is what is going to help us present your case. We want the focus group to tell us how to go about defending the case.
Focus groups offer invaluable information about the case and are helpful with organizing the facts and helping us decide how to present them. The focus group ultimately really shines on how we handle that emotional impact. Getting to the heart of the case is always going to be the best transition to a favorable outcome.
One of the most important things to consider in executing a successful focus group is time. We will spend a good amount of time reviewing the discovery so we can review your side of the story and the prosecutor’s side in a different way. We can only present limited facts to the focus group, so the preparation for the focus group sharpens and focuses our trial preparation in a way that no other exercise of trial preparation will accomplish.
After the focus group, we will adjust some of the ideas we initially had about your defense theme and the theory of the case accordingly. The most important thing is to be on the same page and make sure we have the strongest defense to defend your rights and protect your future.
Lastly, we will finalize your defense strategy, and then it’s time to get you ready for trial. A good part of that readiness is to practice cross-examination.
At Satawa Law, PLLC, we don’t believe that an attorney should do cross-examinations of their client. It really gets in the way of establishing the trust we’ve already built with you. This in-house cross-examination can feel forced since we’ve already removed the barriers and the guardedness between us. It doesn’t mimic what is to come in a real trial.
We wouldn’t be doing you any favors if we didn’t prepare you for when a stranger you’ve never met, the prosecutor, starts asking you questions to get a reaction out of you at trial. True trial preparation starts from the moment you choose Satawa Law, PLLC, as your legal counsel. The single most important goal that every part of this process needs to be focused on is getting you ready for your day in court.
We will be right by your side at every step to ensure you are prepared and supported throughout the process. Let’s get started on defending your rights and protecting your future.
For more information on Sex Crime Convictions In Michigan, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling Satawa Law, PLLC at (248) 509-0056 today!