Attorneys throughout the state need various tools to help better ensure they can provide good representation for their clients. Two important tools include a basic understanding of happenings at the state’s highest court as well as basic knowledge on the importance of building an ethical jury.
True Guarnieri Ayer, LLP is proud to help attorneys throughout the state build these tools. Partner and Kentucky native J. Guthrie True recently took the time to help achieve this goal by giving two presentations during a conference widely attended by lawyers licensed in Kentucky.
Every year he returns to this conference and provides a summary to the bar of the important criminal cases that went through Kentucky’s Supreme Court. He has been making this presentation to the bar yearly for approximately 15 years! Guthrie also presented on the importance of an ethical jury alongside other members of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a current Court of Appeals Judge based in Lexington.
Why do attorneys need to know about cases that go through the Kentucky Supreme Court?
The Kentucky Supreme Court releases hundreds of holdings every year. Attorneys need to stay up to date note only on these holdings but also on how each justice approaches legal issues. The holdings impact future cases, and they serve as precedent for other courts in the state. This means that these holdings provide other courts with guidance on how to apply the law for similar legal issues.
It is also important to know how the justices approach legal issues because it can impact how the attorney builds their case. An attorney who knows what the judge is likely looking for when making their decision is more likely to gather needed evidence and structure their arguments more wisely.
What does it mean to have ethical jury selection?
Jury selection is an important part of any trial. This is the opportunity to make sure the jury represents the community. To put together an ethical jury, an attorney must be able to achieve two goals:
- Challenge wisely. The attorney needs to be able to justify a challenge to a potential juror, referred to in the legal world as a peremptory challenge.
- Remedy an improper strike. There are times when use of a jury strike, or striking the juror’s name from the list, is wise, and others when it is improper. An attorney needs to know how to remedy an improper jury strike to help better ensure the jury reflects the diversity of the community it serves.
Having a diverse and accurate representation of the community is an important part of an ethical jury selection process.
This is just one example of how Guthrie continues to use his extensive trial experience not only to help his own clients and firm but to help make the practice of law better throughout the state.