The day trial preparation begins is the day an individual is accused of committing a crime. The day the allegation surfaces trial preparation begins and needs to have a positive direction. Trial preparation indicates to everyone involved that there will be weekly meetings to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the case; discuss how the investigation is being handled; discuss how the forensic interviews were conducted and whether or not the State interviewers followed the proper protocols and guidelines; discuss how the interviews are coming along i.e. are they on schedule and is the information being circulated to the team; as well as has the investigative team exhausted all resources? Is everyone on the team on the same page? Is the commitment as strong now as it was in the beginning? As each step of the investigation and analysis is completed everyone involved should discuss the strengths and weaknesses that been uncovered so the next step can be evaluated so the best interest of the client is always at the forefront of each and every decision that is made in going forward.
Trial preparation can also involve the preparing of a Power Point Presentation with the Interview Analysis results. Questions will need to be prepared so that the strong and weak points for each witness is clear whether it is a State witness or a client’s.
There are many steps that can be done prior to the trial beginning so that the attorney is well prepared and armed with the necessary information regarding each witness, protocols, guidelines so that the attorney is not caught off guard for the most part. However, there could always be information that has not been presented that could be brought up during trial. But with beginning the trial preparation from the beginning the attorney will have information to be able to counter or alleviate any surprise testimony that might take place.
There is no such thing as being too prepared for trial.