Mark O’Mara is a dynamic and engaging speaker on matters related to the Criminal Justice System, Media Coverage of Justice Issues, Race and Justice, and Guns and Self-Defense. He speaks frequently to colleges and universities, he conducts law seminars on Criminal Law matters, Family Law matters and Trial Practice presentations, and presents at law enforcement conferences.
Below, you’ll find summaries of popular speaking topics:
Dynamic Jury Selection
Dynamic Jury Selection is the process we use, not just to pick a jury, but to prepare a jury specifically for the case at hand. It is built on a philosophy that a jury is not just an assemblage of individuals, but rather a cohesive unit prepared by the trial lawyer to perform a very important duty. A jury selected this way gives you a head start on presenting your case to a willing and attuned audience.
An indispensable part of dynamic jury selection is social media jury investigations. Many potential jurors reveal significant details about their lives online, and those details are often very helpful to a trial lawyer who wants to get the most out of every question.
In April 2014, the ABA issued Formal Opinion 466 in which they determined that social media investigation during jury selection is ethical — provided lawyers don’t make any attempt to contact or engage potential jurors online. We have found that social media investigations gives lawyers more confidence in their decisions when selecting a jury. As a result, jury selections go faster, there are more substantiated cause strikes, and fewer peremptory strikes are wasted. Social media investigations are, however, labor intensive, and it requires a well-defined workflow to quickly identify actionable information and to deliver this information to the trial only when they need it. This presentation covers the benefits and pitfalls of social media jury selections, and identifies best practices that all is to be practical and effective.
The Use of Social Media as an Integral Element of your Case
The Zimmerman case saw the first active use of social media by a defense team in a high-profile legal case. The decision to create an online presence for the defense (which consisted of a website, Twitter account, and a page on Facebook) was, at first, driven by the need to manage the intense media scrutiny. However, by the time of the verdict, the social media campaign had proven effective for managing the attorney’s reputation; avoiding crises; raising funds; selecting a jury; informing trial strategy; and, perhaps most importantly, distinguishing the complicated legal issues from the critical social issues surrounding the case: race, guns, and self-defense. We explore the decision to use social media, how we crafted our social media policy, and we’ll identify specific examples of how the social media campaign directly affected the case.
Managing the Media In High-profile Cases
Once the press takes an interest in a case, the rules change. Whether they’ll admit it or not — counselors and witnesses, judges and juries behave differently when there are reporters sitting in the courtroom. This presentation explores the ethical considerations involved with the decision to address the press; it illustrates decisions every lawyer should contemplate while drafting a media policy; and it provides practical advice for any lawyer who is approached by the press.
The Zen of Zealous Advocacy
The term “zealous advocacy,” as Mark has come to regard it, is a composite of vigilance and creativity, of tenacity and balance. The Zen of Zealous advocacy is the constant awareness and exemplification of these qualities, and the intuition required to keep these qualities in alignment. This presentation is an examination of the most extraordinary legal issues we faced and an explanation of what each issue taught us about the nature of zealous advocacy.
The Art of Cross Examination
This program focuses on the particularly important task of using cross examination to prove your case and to disprove the opponent’s. While there are hundreds of books and seminars on traditional cross, we start with the premise that, like the rest of your presentation at trial, cross examination has to fit in the context of your overall theme of the case. Cross must also be very issue or witness specific: there is no cross technique appropriate for all circumstances. We do identify some guidelines for knowing how and when to use ‘friendly’ cross and aggressive cross.
We also offer a program specific to excelling at cross examination of Expert Witnesses.