Hamilton Herald Masthead Attorneys Insurance Mutual of the South

Editorial


Front Page - Friday, December 29, 2017

Judge Thomas’ book proves there is art in jury trial




As a retired trial judge with 20 years of experience on the civic bench and over 25 years of experience as a trial attorney, Neil Thomas has witnessed lawyers who are inexperienced in trying jury trials. This prompted him to write “Imagination and the Art of the Jury Trial.”

Published by Xlibris, the book challenges jury trial lawyers to approach the preparation and trial of a jury case from a different point of view.

“Working on this book has been fun because I’ve tried to stretch our imaginations by melding trial concepts with symphony concepts,” Thomas says. “This is not a book of magical secrets that tells you how to prepare for and try every jury trial. There is no such magic. But there is art in a jury trial.”

The book shows jury trial lawyers how to prepare and try a jury case professionally and in an organized, artistic way. It is not intended to deal with the mechanics but rather deals with creativity.

There are three concepts that are central to this concept. One is imagination – self-creativity. The second is relating – the ability to tell a story and relate it to a jury. Third is learning to overcome the biggest deficit of a lawyer – listening.

“Some judges might not be receptive to the innovation I am suggesting in this book,” he explains. “Before you try to use my theories, make sure your judge will let you. Also, some practitioners may resist what I espouse in this work.

“Both judges and practitioners are comfortable in knowing that the way we presently try cases is the safe way from the standpoint of appellate review. Let me urge the judicial system to at least consider what I am suggesting.”

About Thomas

Thomas graduated from the University of North Carolina and the University of Michigan Law School. He has both lectured and taught on the subjects of jury selection, evidence and trial strategy. He blends his trial experience from his practice in New York City and then in Chattanooga with 20 years on the state court bench, where he presided over more than 200 jury trials involving complex contract disputes, medical malpractice and product liability.

Thomas’ professional involvement has included service on the governing body of the litigation section of the American Bar Association and in the House of Delegates of the Tennessee Bar Association. He founded the litigation section of the Tennessee Bar Association, is a fellow of the American, Tennessee and Chattanooga Bar Foundations, and is a member of the bar of the United States Supreme Court.

Thomas’ community service includes president of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, the Chattanooga Rotary Club, the Brock-Cooper American Inns of Court, the Tennessee Safety Council, Junior Achievement, Friends of both Chickamauga National Military Park and Moccasin Bend Park and the Salvation Army. Thomas has published and taught extensively in the legal field.

“Imagination and the Art of the Jury Trial” is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Source: Xlibris