This is a testimonial we received from local personal injury attorney Joshua Wagner, who was called into jury duty on a day firm partner and criminal trial lawyer Aaron Delgado was selecting a jury for trial. This testimonial details Mr. Wagner’s assessment of the jury selection process he experienced, including Mr. Delgado’s strategy for and mastery of the jury selection process.
No one likes jury duty. I am the exception.
I was happy to get my notice of jury duty again for the third time in my life. It would be great for me professionally to be selected to serve so I can have the experience to know what goes on in the jury room as an actual juror. However, like the previous two times, I knew that the attorneys would strike me in the jury pool because I am also a trial lawyer.
I went into jury duty this time with the mindset of being fair and impartial, like I usually do. Once my group was called in to be questioned by the judge and attorneys, I was happy to be #2 on the list. That meant an attorney would have to use one of their strikes to get me off the pool.
I entered the courtroom and I knew the judge, one of the prosecutors, and the defense really well. Over and over I let everyone know I can be the most fair and impartial person on earth. The judge’s questions were very straight forward. She is a great judge and I consider her to be one of the finest attorneys I have ever met. When I was a prosecutor 15 years ago, I was assigned to her courtroom. I learned a lot from watching her.
Next, the prosecution asked questions. It was not the prosecutor I knew (I knew the other prosecutor at his table from when I was a prosecutor), but I could tell the prosecutor asking me questions was very new. He was very likable, but I could easily tell he did not really know the jurors he was looking for. There was one time where the defense counsel asked to approach the judge for a line of questions that the prosecutor was asking. As a trial attorney, I knew what the defense was arguing behind the white noise blocker and that the judge would have the prosecution stop. The defense did a good job picking up on the issue and the judge did indeed stop the line of questioning.
Next, the defense started his questioning of the jury pool. It was obvious that he was very well prepared and had a clear strategy. Within one minute, I figured out his defense and knew where he was going. At minute two, I knew the defense had already won the case and the future jury didn't even know it yet. He masterfully planted information that he would key into during trial. It was enjoyable to watch his masterfulness of the art of jury selection. You do not learn that overnight, nor is everyone good at it even after many years.
As expected, the prosecutor struck me as a juror. I don't blame him because I would have as well. However, I did learn some valuable lessons even though I was not selected to serve.
I think Daytona Beach defense attorney Aaron Delgado won this case before the jury was even sworn in (FYI - the jury came back Not Guilty later in the week). There are many defense attorneys that call themselves trial attorneys. However, there are few like Aaron Delgado that are so prepared and strategic that they can win your case in jury selection.
I guess I will have to wait until next time to get my chance of being selected.
Aaron Delgado is a Board Certified Expert in Criminal Trial Law who truly enjoys the art of the criminal trial. At the time of his rating, Mr. Delgado was one of the youngest attorneys to be “AV” rated by Martindale Hubbell. He was honored by the Superlawyers Publication as a “Rising Star” in 2011 and now holds memberships in several notable legal organizations.
Over the years, Mr. Delgado has been asked to lecture on a variety of criminal law topics, including professionalism and DUI defense, and was selected as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America by the National Trial Lawyers Association based on his “exceptional performance as a trial lawyer.”