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My First Trial

I tried my first case as a certified legal intern for the State’s Attorneys’ Office in Meriden.

The defendant had no idea what was in store for her.

One of the best things about interning for the Connecticut State’s Attorneys’ Office in a G.A. is that they let you do things – like try traffic infractions.

Traffic court trials are often the bain of a prosecutors existence. He who draws short straw ends up trying a traffic infraction case.

Anyway, that morning I got my case. It was a woman charged with disobeying a stop sign. I diligently prepared my case, researched the law, and had my facts down cold.

The defendant represented herself at trial and she never stood a chance.

I approached the trial as if I was trying a death penalty case. My line of questioning on cross-examination could best have been described as intense.

After about 15 minutes of questioning, I rested my case.  I had 3 witnesses take the stand: the police officer, the defendant and the defendant’s son.

I made a passionate closing argument about how the State had met its burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that this woman had disobeyed a stop sign. I wish there was a transcript.

As I awaited the verdict, I looked up at the magistrate who was clearly amused at the level of zeal that I displayed.

When he convicted the woman of running the stop sign – I was overjoyed. I won my first trial and the residents of Meriden were sent a clear message: obey stop signs and beware of legal interns in traffic court.