April 2005 Issue
Steve Johansen must have a demeanor that trial lawyers trust. How else to explain why Johansen, called for jury duty three times, was chosen each time--twice for short, one-day criminal trials and once on a civil case that lasted three weeks?
Litigators are supposed to know all the ins and outs of a trial --what’s allowed and what makes compelling evidence. But talk to experienced lawyers about electronic evidence in litigation and they start to get vague. Talk to them specifically about using evidence from a database in court and it might sound like listening in on a late-night college bull session about the meaning of life.
As the two-week trial in a condemnation case was winding down, a juror asked a question. This being Arizona, which 11 years ago embraced much of the jury reform now picking up speed as it moves across the country, Judge Pendleton Gaines accepted it in written form through the bailiff and read it to the lawyers: “How much repetition do we have to listen to during closing argument?”