Courtroom Humor Has Risks But Also Benefits For Attys

Law360, San Diego (January 6, 2014, 9:33 PM EST) -- An ill-advised knock-knock joke in the George Zimmerman criminal trial last year raised the age-old question of whether lawyers should ever try to use humor in the courtroom, and while trial attorneys acknowledge that joking can be a risky move, some argue that being funny at the right moment in a case can help lawyers connect with the jurors and the judge.

In the closely watched trial accusing Zimmerman of second-degree murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, defense attorney Don West began opening...
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