Advocacy demands diligent preparation, the extent of which may only be appreciated by practitioners and their families.
Every hour of trial time involves countless hours of pre-trial preparation, including:
· Reviewing the disclosure materials;
· Interviewing the accused;
· Conducting any necessary defence investigation, including interviewing potential witnesses and visiting the scene;
· Performing necessary legal research;
· Preparing trial binders;
· Annotating transcripts for ease of reference during cross-examination;
· Memorizing all pre-trial statements to allow counsel to recognize when a witness is providing a different account on the stand relative to what was said before trial;
· Drafting witness examinations and experimenting with sequencing of different topics;
· Preparing the accused and other witnesses to testify;
· Preparing exhibits; and
· Drafting submissions.
What may appear effortless to the casual observer belies the hard work that goes on behind the scenes.