Adventures in federal court in Springfield MO

I tried a ten count wire fraud and money laundering case in the Western District of Missouri in Springfield this past week. The jury convicted. The last 30 minutes was the most interesting, and gratifying:

As we came back for the verdict, the CSO at the courtroom door was really nice and, in a low voice as he opened the door for me, said “good luck, counselor.” I could tell by his face and voice that he was sincere. After court and the room had all cleared out, it was me and two of them chatting, and I thanked him for his comment and courtesy throughout the trial. “No CSO has ever said that to me before.” We got into a discussion of everybody’s role in the process and professionalism, etc.

The way that small federal courthouse is set up, I had to walk past the jurors who were still in the hallway to leave and were talking to the AUSAs, and I waited for them to leave. I prefer not talking to jurors to not invade their privacy. They all hadn’t left yet, but finally I headed out, and the jury foreman was still there with three others, and he saw me and turned and reached out to shake my hand, as did another, and I thanked them for their jury service. [I always mention in close about how the jury trial is now almost uniquely American: It came from the common law, but it’s winnowing away in other common law countries. Only we have a right to a jury trial in every criminal case.]

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