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3 Best Trial Attorneys I Have Seen – by Mike Bruno

I’ve been working in and around trial courts for 44 years. From 1980 to 1983, I sat in a courtroom every day as bailiff to a trial judge. In 1983, I became an attorney and took a job as a felony prosecutor. I left that job in 1989, and since then, have handled civil cases in state and federal courts. Of the many trials observed or participated in, here are my top three trial lawyers:

■ Terry Jones – During the early 1980s, no one tried as many cases as criminal defense lawyer Terry Jones. He was flamboyant and moody, but what separated Terry from the others was that he excelled in two areas of trial work. First, he had a fantastic memory in jury selection. He would stand up, without a simple note in front of him, and address each of the 12 jurors by name. Talk about a good first impression. Secondly, he took shorthand of the testimony, which allowed him to effectively confront a prosecution witness with their exact testimony during his cross-examination. No one conducted a better cross-examination than Terry Jones.

■ Ruth Anne Franks – Before she became a judge, Ruth Anne Franks was a felony prosecutor. Although small physically, she was a giant when it came to getting convictions. Ruth Ann was best at relating to her trial jurors. She never exhibited any signs of being superior. Instead, she talked about herself in a folksy, homespun way that caused jurors to bond with her. She convinced jurors that she was no different from them. I never saw her lose a trial.

■ Jamielle Jamra – By the time I got to see Jamielle Jamra in court he was already in his mid-60s. He’d been primarily working as a defense lawyer in civil cases. Always a gentleman, Jamielle came to the court well-prepared and conveyed the idea that he was honest and trustworthy, while never raising his voice. Trials can be unpredictable – stuff happens. Nothing seemed to phase Jamielle Jamra. It was as if he was meant to try cases

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