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Your Attorney’s Credibility in Court Matters – Why?

Are you in need of a criminal defense attorney? If so, one of the top qualities to look for is their credibility to a prospective judge and jury – their ability to demonstrate sincerity and command respect at trial. Your attorney’s credibility can have a serious effect on the outcome of your case.

The Components of Attorney Credibility

A criminal attorney’s credibility in court comes from both their skill and their trustworthiness. An attorney who demonstrates extensive legal knowledge and mastery of court rules and procedures is more impactful in the eyes of the jury. Judges also respect attorneys who put in the preparation needed to gain a firm command of the legal issues in a case.

Trustworthiness is perhaps even more important to attorney credibility in front of a judge and jury. Attorneys can prove their trustworthiness in the courtroom by following through on their promises. For example, if a criminal defense attorney says during opening statements, “The evidence will show that…,” the attorney can build trust with the judge and jury by presenting the evidence and case they promised to show.

Nelson Defense Group knows how to leverage these two core qualities into effective criminal defense. Founding attorney Aaron A. Nelson was named to Super Lawyers, a prestigious group comprised of the top 5 percent of attorneys, every year from 2011 to 2023, a testament to his credibility in the courtroom.

Attorney Credibility Can Boost a Case

A criminal defense attorney’s credibility with the jury and judge can also improve the credibility of the defendant the attorney represents and the defense experts the attorney calls to testify. Moreover, a defense attorney’s ability to evince credibility early can shape the outcome of the trial. As a juror becomes more convinced by one side’s case, they may find that side’s counsel more credible than the opposing attorney.

Why Jurors Find Attorneys Credible or Not Credible

Several factors may influence a judge and jury’s opinions of an attorney’s credibility, such as:

  • Insufficient evidence/proof – Attorneys who don’t back up their legal and factual arguments with sufficient evidence and legal authority may harm their credibility in the eyes of the judge and jury.
  • Ego – An attorney who seems obnoxious or self-important can turn off a jury due to their distaste for the lawyer’s personality.
  • Lack of persuasiveness – Credibility often goes hand in hand with persuasiveness. An attorney who can compellingly tell their client’s story is more likely to be viewed as credible by judges and juries.
  • Sympathy, or Lack Thereof – Although a criminal defense lawyer must argue that their client did not commit the crime or that the prosecution’s evidence doesn’t prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the defense’s presentation should not minimize the fact that someone was likely harmed in the process. For example, a defense attorney can undermine their credibility by badgering a sexual assault victim whom the jury believes suffered an assault (even if the defendant didn’t commit the assault).
  • Lack of preparation – Seeming ill-prepared or poorly equipped for trial will quickly diminish a criminal defense attorney’s credibility. Repeated correction by the trial judge, acting flustered, not having relevant documents at hand, or taking too many extended pauses during examination or cross-examination might suggest the attorney is out to sea and can’t be trusted.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney Today

When you need a skilled, persuasive, credible defense attorney to provide compelling advocacy on your behalf, contact Nelson Defense Group. Our firm is prepared to do whatever we can to protect your rights, freedom, and future. Our legal team uses a collaborative approach to case preparation, combining our knowledge and experience to develop tailored legal solutions for your case. We look forward to meeting you and hearing your story during your free consultation.