As part of his own continuing legal education (CLE) and to contribute to the CLE for other attorneys, our own St. Louis personal injury attorney Steve Dioneda has been a featured speaker for the Missouri Bar Association for the last four years.
A certain number of CLE hours are required for all attorneys each year as a way to ensure that attorneys stay current on changes in law, interpretation, techniques, and standards of practice. As part of this year’s Missouri Bar Association CLE seminar series, Steve presented “Evidence at Trial: Everything you do matters, so it should be genuinely valuable.”
The presentation was part of the “Practical Evidence for Civil Litigators and Real-World Applications” section which was held live in both St. Louis and Kansas City in May and has been replayed several times since at video conferences held at various locations throughout the state
Additionally, the written presentation is featured on the Missouri Bar Association website’s free CLE course materials page which is accessible to any lawyer in Missouri and to anyone around the world.
In the presentation, Steve uses his courtroom experience to explain the important role of evidence at trial. This isn’t only good information for lawyers, but also for those of us who have ever been or will ever be in court as a plaintiff, defendant, or witness.
“When preparing for trial, I always view the evidence I intend to admit as having to persuade two different audiences,” Steve says. “As a Plaintiff’s trial attorney, I never forget that I have to present enough evidence to initially overcome Defense Counsel’s Motion for Directed Verdict and ultimately prove the elements of my cause of action as outlined in the Verdict Director. Most of the judges I have been in front of are not going to be persuaded by my wit, flair for drama or my red power tie. At the same time, I feel that my evidence has to convince the jury made up of people like my father-in-law that both my client and I are telling them the truth.”
Because evidence is so essential to effectively communicating a case not only to the jury, but also to the defense counsel and the judge, Steve knows how important it is to have a plan and stay organized.
His three key rules for presenting evidence as outlined in the presentation are to keep it simple, be prepared, and to have your witness prepared. It is this focus on simplicity and effectiveness of communication and thorough preparedness that makes Steve such an effective personal injury attorney in the courtroom.
“Preparation is so important to the presentation of your case,” Steve says. “If you are truly prepared, you will be more confident in presenting your case. You will have anticipated and prepared for the objections to the evidence you need to admit.”
If you have a personal injury case in St. Louis, St. Charles, or southern Illinois and need a lawyer, we can help. Contact Steve or one of our other experienced personal injury attorneys by filling out the contact form on our website or by calling toll-free at 1-800-536-8844.