With a Little Help from My Friends: Second Chair

Criminal Defense is Best When Shared

Edible Arrangment Gift for Help with Trial

Over the years, I have sat as second chair to many great lawyers. Likewise, I have had many great lawyers sit second chair during my criminal trials. Traditionally, the criminal defense bar is made up of solo practitioners or very small firms. This along with the tremendous commitment required for trial has left many attorneys of all skill levels sitting alone at counsel table.

Friends don’t let friends go to trial alone. It has been a while now since I “needed” to sit second chair to gain trial experience to qualify for higher level court appointments (i.e. First Degree Felonies) or to obtain experience for Board Certification. Still, if a fellow lawyer needs a hand in trial, I jump at the chance. Despite the gracious thanks I receive, I always feel as though the other lawyer is doing me a favor.

Nothing beats getting in the courtroom and mixing it up for sharpening your skills. This isn’t the only, or even greatest, benefit. The friendships forged during the battle of trial are not easily dissolved. I’ve become great friends with co-counsel and opposing counsel during trial and jury deliberation. The action in trial fills my tank with new energy to keep fighting for my clients. The interaction with fellow trial warriors fills my heart, so I my love for the profession does not wane.

This post is basically a public service announcement to remind trial lawyers: Ask for help, even when you don’t think you need it. If you stop learning from other lawyers then it is time you got out of the game. If you have a criminal trial coming up, remember me. Got Law Books. Will Travel.