October 2013 - Pg 13-Attorney
Mark A. Alexander
Mark A. Alexander, P.C.
5080 Spectrum Dr., Ste. 850E, Addison, TX 75001
1. Professionals…preferably people who have started their own businesses;
2. Go thru EVERY Amendment to our Constitution…inquire if the potential jurors agree with ALL of them.
Marc J. Victor
3920 S. Alma School Rd., Ste. 5, Chandler, AZ 85248
This is a difficult question because no two cases are the same. Additionally, the question itself is problematic because not everyone always agrees that any particular case is a “self-defense” shooting case. Just because you believe a case to be a “self-defense” shooting case does not mean the prosecutor will agree. Indeed, this is a disputed matter in every case of this sort that goes to trial.
The reasons supporting the defense position and underlying the claim of self defense will determine what type of people will be sought by the defense for the jury. For example, if the self-defense claim is based on a technical point of law, rule followers, clear thinkers and people likely to feel duty bound by their oaths to follow the law may be the best choices.
On the other hand, if the facts require a stretch of the law to reach self defense, and the defendant is sympathetic, people who are likely to be swayed by their emotion or those more inclined to “do the right thing” rather than strictly follow the letter of the law may be the best choices.
A good lawyer does not employ a set strategy for all cases of any type.
When I speak to groups of armed citizens, I always advise them not to act like a “yahoo.” What I mean by this is to act responsibly at all times rather than someone eager for an opportunity to pull out their weapon. Always remember, self defense generally boils down to “reasonableness.” If your conduct is in line with what a reasonable community member would do in the same circumstances, you will likely be safe. If you are inclined to act unreasonably, you ought to reconsider whether you should be carrying a firearm in the first place.
Peter N. Georgiades
Greystone Legal Associates, P.C.
1712 E Carson St., Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Actually, you begin with a false premise. Jury selection is covered specifically in courses in the third year at many law schools, particularly those which offer clinical programs that allow law students to represent litigants in court (under supervision). As with many upper level elective courses, jury selection would only be covered for those law students who elect courses in trial practice.
First, as the attorney handling a self-defense shooting, what type of people would you want on a jury?
That would depend upon whom my client is, who got shot, and under what circumstances. Factors such as age, race, home-town, and socioeconomic status always matter. So do the facts of the case. For example: if the facts involved the accidental shooting of a bystander child standing in his front yard, I would want to avoid young mothers on the jury, but if the facts involved my client shooting someone who appeared to be menacing a pre-school, young mothers might not be such a bad idea.