Two Criminal Lawyer Lessons from the Casey Anthony Trial

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I’m a Seattle criminal attorney. I’m about as far away from Florida as you can get and still be in the United States. Yet I, like most people, watched a little bit of the Casey Anthony trial that concluded with her being found not guilty of all of the charges related to her daughter’s death. But, unlike most people, I wasn’t surprised by the verdict. I’m never surprised by any verdict—juries are unpredictable.

In thinking about the outcome of this trial I was reminded of two important lessons that the public, as well as criminal lawyers, can take heed of. Here they are.

The first lesson I took away from this is that any case is winnable. From listening to the pundits and everyone on television, you would have thought they’d have Casey Anthony strung up to be hung by now. But no, her criminal defense lawyer pulled a rabbit out of a hat. He had a great closing argument that allowed the jury to find reasonable doubt. So, the next time you think you’ve got a case that can’t be won. The next time you think you’ve got a case that has no outs, remember this case, put your nose to the grindstone, and do your best. You never know what will happen.

The second lesson I learned was that it’s important to remind prosecutors that anything can happen at trial. Their worst fear is losing a case like this one, that appears to be a slam dunk. Everyone’s talking about a sure conviction and then something like this happens. For every criminal lawyer out there this gives you some leverage. Use it.

I don’t know Casey Anthony’s lawyer. From what I understand he is pretty inexperienced compared to some others out there. But experience only counts for so much. You’ve got to have guts, be able to push forward against great odds, and fight your butt off for your client. Maybe that’s lesson three.

Note: This is a guest post. The owner of this website is not an attorney.

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