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Trial advocacy programs show you how to dazzle, impress and even persuade a jury. What about bench trials? Does one prepare any differently? Are simple themes as important? Should one pay less, or greater, attention to exhibits and chalks? What makes for effective openings and closings, when the judge is the only one who counts? Should one still sequester witnesses? Should direct and cross-examination proceed differently? What about experts?
Judge Michael Vhay shares his thoughts about these issues now that he has seen them from both sides of the bench. He has been a justice of the Land Court since March 2017. Before then he had tried cases to juries and judges in federal and state courts for 24 years.