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First Jury Trial

Minneapolis criminal defense attorney, Ryan Garry, reflects on his first jury trial.

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I had just graduated law school. I was anxious to get in the courtroom. I was a rookie and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I had a client who was charged with a DWI and refusal to test and she was a young corporate executive from Chicago. And she was up in the cities on business, gone out drinking, and that night was arrested and in her short miniskirt basically offered sexual favors to the police officer to get out of the case. And it was all on video and the prosecutor was so upset about it he wouldn’t give me a deal. So we went to trial and it was all on video tape and the jury got to see everything and what was equally obvious to the jury is I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know how to be a trial lawyer. So we get done with the case and prosecutor closes and then I close and the prosecutor gives a rebuttal close and then I stand up and start my rebuttal and the judge screams at me in front of the jury. And in Minnesota, defense lawyers can’t make second closing arguments. And the jury’s laughing at me and the prosecutor’s laughing at me and the prosecutor had all of his buddies in the courtroom laughing at me. And the jury came back 15 minutes later with not guilty verdicts on everything even though my client was clearly guilty. And I’m convinced that they only reason they did that is because they felt so sorry for me.

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