So You're Going to Try Your First Case…Fifth Edition 
A Primer for Federal and State Jury Trials, Workers' Compensation Hearings, Fast Track Jury Trials, Mediations, Arbitrations, Supplemental Proceedings, and Grand Jury Appearances 

E. Warren Moise

Have you yet to try your first case, or has it been awhile since you've been in front of a jury? Are you an out-of-state lawyer getting ready to try a case in South Carolina? If so, here's good news for you! One of the South Carolina Bar's most popular and important books is now fully updated in a fifth edition! It includes a trial primer for state and federal courts, and from magistrate's court to general sessions. Even better, it includes new chapters about supplemental proceeding and what to expect when your client is called before a grand jury.

It couldn't come at a better time. Advocacy of South Carolina's trial lawyers is unsurpassed in the nation. But it's no exaggeration to say that trial practice itself is on the decline across America. Legal journals cite statistics showing the number of jury trials diminishing dramatically. Trial advocacy is no longer a required course in South Carolina's law schools. Because most cases settle, very few lawyers try jury trials anymore. In large firms, it's not uncommon for litigation associates and partners alike to practice law for a decade or more without ever trying a case to a verdict as lead counsel. Just as common are lawyers in smaller firms who shy away from the courthouse rather than having their own lack of courtroom skills exposed. Hundreds of new attorneys are graduating from law schools, and being unable to find work in traditional law firms, they must try cases without the benefit of advice from more-experienced partners.

Fortunately, trial procedure is not rocket science. However, until you learn the rules, a courtroom can be quite unnerving to new trial attorneys. If you have yet to try a jury trial, or haven't done so in a while, So You're Going to Try Your First Case . . . . (Fifth Edition) is for you! This book is designed to give lawyers the up-to-date procedural rules and insider knowledge they need to get through a federal or state jury trial in South Carolina. So You're Going to Try Your First Case . . . . is written by veteran trial attorney Warren Moise, recipient of the South Carolina Bar's first Trial and Appellate Advocacy Award. He was formerly an Adjunct Professor at USC Law School and Charleston Law School. So You're Going to Try Your First Case . . . . gives you strategy, tactics, and courtroom basics such as: How do I strike a jury? How do I make a Batson motion? What is an "offer of proof," and how do I make one? Which magic words do I use for directed verdict motions or for asking experts their opinions about causation (a.k.a the "most probable rule")? Should lawyers rise when jurors enter the courtroom? What can I say and not say?

This updated version includes an appendix, an index, and trial-related articles such as a roadmap about how to navigate the confusing pretrial procedure used in South Carolina's federal courts.

If you've never tried a jury trial, haven't done so recently, or are an out-of-state lawyer about to try a case in South Carolina - you need this book!

Summary of Contents

PART I: Jury Trials

Chapter 1: The Judicial System in South Carolina

Chapter 2: Written and Unwritten Rules, Myths, and Truisms About the Courtroom

Chapter 3:  Case Strategy

Chapter 4:  Some Evidentiary Concepts and "Terms of Art" You Should Know, and the Primary Evidence Rules

Chapter 5: Where to Go When You're Scheduled to Be in Two Different Courts at the Same Time

Chapter 6:  Trial Rosters, Dockets, and Bar/Roster/Docket Meetings and Continuances/Protection

Chapter 7:  The Steps in a Jury Trial, and How to Try a Bifurcated Trial

Chapter 8:  Pretrial Preparation

Chapter 9:  How to Strike a Jury

Chapter 10: How to Act, How to Dress, and Where to Stand in the Courtroom

Chapter 11: Opening Statements and Closing Argument

Chapter 12: Direct- and Cross-Examination of Lay and Expert Witnesses

Chapter 13: To Sequester or Not to Sequester

Chapter 14: Admitting Trial Exhibits Into Evidence - The Basics

Chapter 15: Hearsay Made Easy (and a Word or Two About the Confrontation Clause)

Chapter 16:  Introducing a Criminal Conviction Into Evidence, and How to Make a Miller or Joseph Motion

Chapter 17: Typical Trial Motions

Chapter 18: How to Use a Deposition at Trial

Part II: Litigating in Other Tribunals 

Chapter 19: How to Try a Fast Track Jury Trial 

Chapter 20: Trying Cases in Magistrate's, Small Claims, and Municipal Courts 

Chapter 21: How to Represent Your Client at a Mediation and an Arbitration

Chapter 22: Supplemental Proceedings

Chapter 23: When You Client Is Called Before a Grand Jury


                A: Trial Guide 

                B: Client Pretrial Handout 

                C: Trial-Related Articles 

                D: Sample State Court Juror Strike Sheet 

                E: Recommended Publications 

                F: Checklist for Fast Track Jury Trials