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My First Trial and Why You Can Hire the New Guy

Posted by Brandon Lauer | Oct 10, 2019 | 0 Comments

On Tuesday of this week, I started my first jury trial. On Wednesday, the jury came back in less than an hour with a verdict of "not guilty" on both counts.

The charges were Gross Misdemeanor Domestic Assault, Intent to Cause Fear, and Gross Misdemeanor Domestic Assault, Causing Harm. The reason why these charges were Gross Misdemeanors rather than standard misdemeanors was because the Client has a prior conviction for Domestic Assault back in 2018. Against the same alleged victim too! The Judge permitted the jury to hear about how Client had assaulted the alleged victim once before, and yet I still got through to them that said prior offense did not mean Client did THIS offense.

Thankfully, I had a recanting witness. However, the State tried hard to undermine the complainant's recantation. The state wanted the jury to focus on the fact that she initially reported it as a domestic assault and that she was motivated to take it back, to recant, to lie, because she needed her ex-husband out of jail.

But as I told the jury, "perhaps" and "maybe" are not proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Both the complainant (who I helped coach), and the Client (who I also made sure I coached) got up on the stand and gave the jury a believable story about what happened, why they accused each-other of domestic assault, and why they now realized it was just an accidental collision in the midst of a silly fight.

Why am I telling you all this story?

Because some might hesitate to hire the new guy. It's totally your right and business to shell out big bucks on the old dude in the big suite. But within my first year of practice, I won my first jury trial. I put in a lot of time and effort and worry into this case. My client was about to take a last minute deal that I firmly believe he would have regretted. And I had to assure him that his chances at trial were decently strong. 

And I won. So, why can you hire the new guy? Sure, I may not be as old and experienced as the others. But I can promise you this: I'll do my damnedest for you.

About the Author

Brandon Lauer

-Mitchell Hamline School of Law, Juris Doctor, Magna Cum Laude -University of Minnesota Duluth, B.A. Political Science, Cum Laude -During law school, I spent time as a Student Attorney at both the State Public Defenders and the Wright County Public Defenders Offices -I also law clerked under b...


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