The Final Arrow in the Quiver

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What begins as an investigation, turns into litigation through motions and culminates with trial. As a former public defender, Attorney Brian Jones quickly became versed in efficient trial preparation. From the moment he decided to become a criminal defense attorney, Mr. Jones took every opportunity to practice advocacy skills. From moot court and mock trial teams in college, to the nationally ranked trial teams at The University of Akron and trial skills workshops after graduation, Mr. Jones understands the only real arrow in a criminal defense lawyer’s quiver is trial. In his home jurisdictions, Mr. Jones enjoys a reputation of preparedness and willingness to try cases. Prosecutors understand when he tells them a case will go to trial, they had better prepare and objectively evaluate the case because Mr. Jones does not bluff. When you’re looking for an Ohio Rape Lawyer, you need to find one with trial skills and willingness to use them.

Trial preparation begins with a review of the evidence, the investigation and the law. While many of the best attorneys will touch on two of the three, the attorneys in The Law Office of Brian Jones know all three areas are critical to success in front of a jury. The first step is to digest and organize the evidence and investigation materials for quick reference. Among the members of the law office, the system is known and followed. When a case is going to trial, any fact can be verified with a few clicks of a mouse. Documents, witnesses, tangible evidence, it matters not where the fact came from, our attorneys and staff will be able to find it at a moments’ notice. It may seem trivial, but while other attorneys shuffle through manila files of disorganized mess, we demonstrate how critical organization is to trial preparation.

After materials are in order, the law is broken down to its parts. Statutes are read anew for each case and reviewed repeatedly throughout the litigation. Then jury instructions are reviewed, researched and drafted. Legal defenses are researched and cross-referenced with known facts. Finally, staff and attorneys draft both formal and informal, intra-office memorandum in support of legal defenses and favorable jury instructions. Mr. Jones has succeeded in obtaining dismissal of charges because he convinced a judge to give novel jury instructions.

When the moment of truth arrives and jurors file into a courtroom, everyone is nervous. Attorneys who say they are not nervous at the beginning of a jury trial are ignorant, failed to do the necessary preparation and fail to see how their case can fall apart. Or they are lying. A true trial lawyer understands the elevated heartbeat, the quickened breath and hole in the pit of his stomach are signs of preparation for an intense battle. Like an athlete before a critical contest, the prepared trial lawyer is taut as a bowstring; there is intensity in his gaze. He embraces it, feeds off it and it makes him a better lawyer. Mr. Jones often says he lives for that feeling. That and the feeling of elation from hearing a juror say, “Not Guilty.”

Attorneys from our office take pride in knowing the facts of the case better than any other person in the courtroom, they have put in the hours necessary to understand the law and they have crafted a theme and theory of the case that will convey a particular message to the jury. The theory of the case is why, from our perspective, the charges issued. The theme is the catch-phrase we want the jury repeating in deliberations. Those building blocks create the foundation of the defense. From voir dire through closing arguments and jury instructions, the theory and theme will be repeated to your jury.

Attorney Brian Jones is fond of saying, “I am a criminal defense lawyer, but I make my living as a cross-examination expert.” Each examination is crafted to elicit both favorable information and discredit unfavorable information. Each question has a purpose. Starting from the facts and incorporating all aspects of common knowledge, culture and, occasionally, word play the cross-examination keeps the jury entertained while they learn the facts of the case. Each witness is examined and questioned according to the needs of the case and the qualities of the witness. A lying spouse will be treated differently than a grandmotherly individual who witnessed an assault without her spectacles. The attorneys at The Law Office of Brian Jones take cross-examination very seriously. We know where our bacon comes from and we bring it home.

Building off the cross-examination, the remaining areas of trial are prepared. Direct examinations, opening statements and closing arguments each play a role in the case. Our attorneys take original, creative approaches to each area and prepare for each phase of trial as extensively as the others. Voir dire plays a vital role in that preparation. Voir dire is the process of questioning jurors in order to ferret out potential biases. Many attorneys stand up in voir dire and ask the venire about their political affiliations or what news coverage they most frequently watch. Our attorneys have taken a system of voir dire developed over several decades by Capital Crimes Defense Attorney Jerry Simmons and moved it a step forward. Our attorneys engage jurors in a conversation about the principals upon which our nation was founded (the presumption of innocence, proof beyond a reasonable doubt, the right to remain silent among others) and the unique issues of your case. Sexual assault allegations require a firm, yet delicate hand. Exploring jurors’ experiences with sexual assault is uncomfortable for all involved. If your attorney can not look you in the eyes and talk to you about the allegations, how will he ever talk to a jury about them? You need to find an attorney who can communicate with jurors about the very serious biases they will feel based simply on the allegations in sexual assault cases.

What we see on television and what happens in real courtrooms is often very different. Closing argument offers the defense attorney a final opportunity and talk with the jury. Frequently, characters will yell, scream and point around the room–we call them prosecutors. Telling a story is more effective. We’ve all heard the statement, “the book was way better than the movie.” When we read or hear a story, our mind creates the images and our emotions flourish in that creative process. A trial is often about emotion and closing argument is about stoking the fire in the hearts of the jurors. Facts based in evidence constitute the foundation of the argument and no argument will be successful if not based in fact. Facts alone will not sway the jury. The side that tells the better story wins the day. So the Ohio Criminal Defense Attorneys at The Law Office of Brian Jones, send countless hours honing their story-telling skills at continuing legal education seminars, in the office and in social settings.

Trial is an ordeal. Trial is stressful. To let a jury decide your fate takes guts. When you’re falsely accused of rape or any crime, you must often choose a trial or admit guilt for something you did not do. When the prosecutor refuses to listen to alternative explanations, the only arrow left in the quiver of a real defense attorney is trial. We will not back down from that challenge. If you want a lawyer who will stand and fight for you, come talk to us. You will find our resolve unwavering. You will find our skills honed. You will find someone to defend you as they would their own family.

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