Sometimes in life, you have to speak up. Yes, that’s what you pay an attorney for. But no, it doesn’t always work the way it should. And unfortunately, if your attorney doesn’t object when he/she should have–this will create all sorts of problems later.
The good news is, we have appellate attorneys like Patrick Megaro. He solves the problems created by all the things that go wrong during a criminal trial. And yes, lots can go wrong.
Enjoy Part 2 of Patrick Megaro’s warning to we defense attorneys, he’s going to remind us how to keep a criminal jury trial clean enough to reverse the conviction on appeal–should things come to that. I published Part 1 of his article a few weeks ago, it deals with pretrial motion issues and voir dire.
Look, I know that you attorneys out there think you know everything–but you don’t. Quit being so cocky. You can’t learn anything if you think you know everything.
Patrick Michael Megaro is a criminal appellate and post-conviction relief attorney, who practices in New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Florida, Texas, and Washington State, and numerous Federal courts. A native of New York, he started his legal career with The Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division in New York City as an institutional public defender before going into private practice. As an attorney, he has tried over 50 cases to verdict in various State and Federal courts, and has handled thousands of appeals and post-conviction relief petitions. He is a partner in the Orlando-based firm Halscott Megaro, P.A. and Appeals Law Group.
Opening Arguments and Summation
To preserve for appellate review an issue relating to an alleged improper comment, a party must object to the comment when it is made and obtain a ruling on the objection. If a party objects to the comment, but fails to secure a ruling from the trial judge, the issue is waived unless the judge deliberately and patently refuses to rule on the objection.
If the trial judge sustains the objection, the objecting party must make a timely request for a curative instruction or a motion for mistrial to preserve the issue for appellate review. The motion for mistrial must be made before the jury retires to deliberate. Continue Reading