Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Legal Experts Weigh in on Proceedings; Attorneys: Defense Came on Too Strong with Some Witnesses

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Legal Experts Weigh in on Proceedings; Attorneys: Defense Came on Too Strong with Some Witnesses

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Daraskevich

As the nation watches Jacksonville, two attorneys gave their analysis Thursday night on the court proceedings so far in the Michael Dunn murder trial.

Attorneys Richard Kuritz and A. Wellington Barlow, both of Jacksonville, were guests on an evening broadcast of First Coast News on Thursday and spoke to the Times-Union after their appearance.

The two applauded both sides in the courtroom drama but found more flaws with the defense than the prosecution.

"We thought the defense lawyer [Cory Strolla] was a little more aggressive in cross-examination than he should have, or than we would have been," Kuritz said.

Barlow agreed with Kuritz about Strolla's tactics and said there are times for aggression but other times it's better to play things cool.

"It seemed like he was going after just about every witness in some way, shape, form or fashion," Barlow said.

"The ones who need to be challenged, you challenge them very well but everybody else doesn't need to be," Barlow said. "You make some points with them real quick and you sit down."

Kuritz agreed.

"When you cross-examine every witness aggressively you run the risk of losing credibility with the jury and that could change the trial for the prosecution or the defense," Kuritz said.

Barlow liked what the prosecution did in laying out facts.

"The State Attorney's Office did a very professional job of presenting the case in a very, very methodical, slow, deliberate way that the jurors could understand," Barlow said.

He made the point that opening statements are supposed to be statements, not arguments.

"As for the defense attorney, the only demerit I give him as far as the opening statement is he was really arguing. It's opening statements and closing arguments. He was making some arguments in opening statements that, quite frankly, I would have objected to some of them," Barlow said. …

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