H/T to Public Defender Revolution for putting a label on “Trial Chicken:”
Also, one way I can sometimes achieve good results is by capitalizing on the volume of my cases and my experience with the system: that is, I play Trial Chicken. And while Trial Chicken isn’t pretty–the Best Practices People would surely frown on it–I get more dismissals out of trial chicken than I do any other way.
In the context of criminal defense, prosecutors and sometimes judges threaten trials like it is a bad thing. The truth is, they don’t want your case to go to trial – if everyone insisted on their constitutional right to have the evidence against them tested in a trial by jury the system as it is now would break down. The system is best served when every person comes into court, their attorney negotiates the best guilty plea possible, and all stand in line to enter their guilty pleas one after the other.
For the most part, that is what I see happening in our courts.
Trial Chicken implies that each side does not want a trial, and so one or both will swerve at the last minute. But, if we’ve done our investigation and preparation and the case is ready for trial, we are not likely to swerve. If Billy and Sue are playing “chicken” in cars, but Sue is bound and determined to smash into Billy’s car, Sue is going to win every time. Even when they crash.