I love games. From ancient classics like chess and Go to more modern favorites like the Settlers of Catan I enjoy the challenge of head-to-head strategic competition. As a criminal defense attorney, I am often called to engage in another kind of strategic competition: trial. But where board games can at best win you some bragging rights, the stakes of a criminal trial are much higher: a client’s life and liberty.
While trials are not games, what a trial before a judge or jury shares with a game is a set of rules. In the next series of blogs, I will be highlighting and discussing some of those key rules, such as the various burdens of proof, the need for juror unanimity in their verdict, and the rules of evidence.