Basics of Jury Selection
Due to the increased use of judicial arbitration, private arbitration, private mediation, etc. and the high cost of litigation, civil jury trials are becoming more rare (COVID didn't help either). Some cases that have gone to trial recently have resulted in high verdicts. Without the knowledge, expertise, and the ability to conduct a successful trial, a lawyer cannot effectively represent his or her client's interest. An experienced lawyer is often the most successful lawyer. Knowing how to choose a good jury is an important skill. Seeing it done poorly is painful for the judge, jury, opposing counsel, and your client.
So, whether you just want to "knock off some rust" or simply want to learn how to do it, this program will give you information learned the hard way over 49 years from a trial lawyer who has tried many jury trials including several 80-day jury trials to verdict as well as appeals. The program will also include "pet peeves" from anonymous local judicial sources. The program materials will include some generic voir dire questions.
Mr. Watters has tried medical malpractice, personal injury, employment (race discrimination; disparate treatment), legal malpractice, fraud in the sale of a business, fraud in the sale of commercial property, construction defect, elder financial abuse, etc. cases to juries in various jurisdictions.
SCBA Members: $65 | Barristers Club (1st 5 yrs of practice): $45 | Public: $80 | Students: $20
Michael G. Watters
O’Brien, Watters & Davis, LLP
Mr. Watters is a veteran trial and appellate lawyer. He has tried more than 40 jury trials to verdict, more than 30 court trials to judgment, handled many arbitrations, as well as more than 75 appeals.
He has taken or defended more than 1000 depositions in a variety of cases including medical malpractice, personal injury, wrongful death, products liability, employment litigation, real estate fraud, fraud in the sale of businesses, partnership disputes, family law, elder financial abuse, probate and trust litigation, etc.
Mr. Watters has been actively involved in ADR. He was on the AAA Commercial Arbitration panel for many years. He was a Mediator with the American Arbitration Law and Mediation Center. Mike was a long time Settlement Conference Panelist. Michael has also been a court appointed Discovery Referee.
He established a formal litigation training program at his firm and trained more than a dozen local trial attorneys including the first woman hired to do civil litigation in the county, the county’s first woman Superior Court Judge, two Deans of Empire Law School, and several other lawyers who also became Sonoma County Superior Court Judges.
Michael received his B.S. and M.B.A. from Cal and his J.D. from Hastings. Michael Watters has presented a number of SCBA MCLE programs including topics on the deposition.