Written by Travis Black, TLC 2004

Pychodrama Works!

I just finished a two week trial in Placerville, CA. This is a real redneck town, in fact its nick name is “Hang Town.” The pervasive thoughts are that everyone should carry a gun!

This case involved my two clients who had tresspassed several times on the defendant’s property to hunt for quartz crystals. The defendant confronted my clients with two hand guns and when they tried to drive away he shot at them. Missed one of my clients but hit his truck 6 times in the drivers door. The other client wasn’t so lucky. As he attempted to drive away the defendant shot over 8 times into the truck and hit my client in the left thigh.

There were several issues that made this case difficult, for one, our clients John Steward and Gerald Martin admitted that they had entered the defendant’s property several times in the past looking for quartz crystals even though it was clearly marked with “No Trespassing” signs. Mr. Green’s age and ailing wife (who he brought to court with him everyday) were also obstacles to overcome as potential jurors were sympathetic to the 82-year-old man and the unwell Mrs. Green. During Voir Dire one potential jurors broke down crying saying that no matter what the defendant did she couldn’t find for the plaintiff’s due to the defendant’s age and his ailing wife! Several other potential jurors said they just couldn’t be open minded because they felt sorry for the defendant and his sick wife.

One of our clients lived 6 hours away and we only met with him 1 time for about an hour prior to trial. (Really hard to develop a story!)

What we did do during trial was recreate the incident. The judge allowed us to recreate the scene and we had the client direct how it happened step by step. What was so amazing was that all the jurors were sitting on the edge of their seats listening. This was a little scary as we had absolutely no idea what the client was going to say or do. We just had to trust him. He cried, even screamed when he was “showing” us how he was shot.

After the trial EVERY juror said that our 1st person recreation made the case!!! Several discussed how “showing us instead of telling us, was great.”