Sean Brown – TLC ’11 Grad. 

This week I traveled down to Dillingham, Alaska, a small fishing town in Southwest Alaska for a Felony DUI/OUI trial.  The District Attorney dismissed a Vehicle Theft prior to the jury being sworn.

Overview:  An officer spotted a pickup truck in the brush alongside the road, upon investigation he spotted my client in the cab of the truck asleep/passed out on the bench seat.  My client confessed to the initial investigating officer that he was driving, and later at the hospital confessed to another officer that he was driving.  My client’s BAC was 0.4.  Five times the legal limit in Alaska.

My client’s history:  3 prior DUI convictions; 4 prior vehicle theft convictions; plus 11 other various convictions. 

I based my voir dire on Gerry’s “Ugly Client / Confession” and  “Reasonable Doubt” voir dire examples that are on CD/DVD I purchased at the ranch this summer.  The jury let me know their thoughts on confessions, and what they would need to know regarding whether to believe the confession.

To address their concerns, during trial, I used a table in the courtroom as a hospital bed where the most damning confession was obtained, and I pulled witnesses off the stand to testify around it.   Another important scene regarding who was driving/operating the truck occurred at my client’s home.  For that I pulled a witness off the stand and I directed the scenes.

During the directed conversations, the DA repeatedly objected on the basis of hearsay and counsel may not testify.  Eventually the judge said he had enough of my theatrics in his Courtroom.

At one point during my closing, I had my client stand with me before the jury and I asked them to judge him with their heart.

The verdict:  Not Guilty.

Following the trail, the judge actually complimented the style, and said he believed it helped the jury better understand the evidence.