My Experience Interning for Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers
To the outsider, the legal system may seem very complicated and daunting. When you see it firsthand, though, it doesn’t seem so bad. My name is Jimmy Peccie, and I am entering my second year as an undergraduate student at Washington and Lee University in Lexington. Over the past four weeks, I have worked as an intern for Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers in the main office in downtown Norfolk. The legal profession has always intrigued me, and this summer I have been fortunate to explore these interests and have my questions answered while working for a law firm.
As part of my internship, I have observed several daily and weekly operations of the firm. These range anywhere from simple staff meetings to day-long depositions and court hearings. However, one of the most interesting events of the summer involved my watching of a jury trial.
I traveled with a few of the attorneys and paralegals at Cooper Hurley to Hampton for this particular case. It had been building for a while, and the trial was the culmination of all the prior events. The issue in question concerned a motor vehicle accident and the extent of injuries it caused. The defendant did not dispute liability for the accident, so both sides instead danced around how much money the plaintiff deserved for the injury and future treatments.
Selecting the Jury for a Car Accident Trial
As with all jury trials, this trial began with the people manning the side box. The large cast of jurors was either in awe of the spotlight of the judicial system or visibly frustrated to be spending their time performing a civic duty. The attorneys patiently studied each and every juror, hoping to find the ones that would yield them the best possible verdict for the case. Once they had asked enough questions to get a sense of any potential biases or conflicts for the case at hand, counsel and the presiding judge retreated to the corner of the courtroom to discuss. When they returned, the court nonchalantly dismissed the vast majority of jurors back to their normal lives outside the courtroom.
Once the juror pool had finally been set and the judge had given the remaining jurors a sense of what was to come, it was time for the trial to begin. The attorneys came out of the gates swinging with their opening statements. Right away, it was clear to me that this was going to be a contentious and difficult case. Both attorneys spoke with confidence and conviction, and their introductory arguments were strong. At this point I realized that the jury had a tough case on their hands.
Witnesses in a Hampton Auto Wreck Trial
The two parties then began to call witnesses to flesh out their arguments. The plaintiff, who understandably was a little nervous throughout the trial, took the stand first. The plaintiff and other witnesses endured hours of intensive questioning. Both attorneys patiently navigated the testimonies trying to catch any slip-ups to wield for their arguments. Doctors were called as “expert witnesses” for each side, and their testimonies highlighted the divisiveness of the case. The plaintiff’s expert witness discussed the surgery performed on the plaintiff and his observations about her condition. On the other hand, the defense’s expert, upon examination of several medical reports from various practitioners regarding the plaintiff, witnesses argued that the surgery was not necessary and that the injuries stemmed from normal chronic conditions rather than the accident. The two sides went back in forth until they had exhaustively asked the witnesses what they needed to ask.
After the attorneys delivered fiery concluding statements, it was time for the jurors to exit and decide on a verdict. This period was the toughest part of the trial. The jurors understandably took their time deliberating on a verdict given the complex nature of the case at hand. Everyone else had to wait in the courtroom during this time, completely unaware of the discussions and the general feeling of the jury behind the walls. For all we knew, the jurors could lean either way; there was no way of telling. All we could do was anxiously wait for their decision. After a while, the jurors came to their decision, to the relief of everyone trying to move forward from this incident. The verdict concluded a certainly eventful day.
Since I did not really know a lot about the facts of the case beforehand, this jury trial was a truly unique experience for me. I not only got to observe the procedures of a trial, but I also got a glimpse inside the art of building a convincing argument in a court of law. In many ways, I was like a juror myself. I was hearing the facts of the case right along with other jurors and had no connections to either side, aside from my status as an intern for the firm. I removed the bias that came with working for the side of the plaintiff so that I could obtain a truly objective experience in the courtroom. As a result, I found that my opinion shifted back and forth as the day proceeded. Both attorneys did an excellent job of crafting a convincing argument. As with most jury trials, there was not a perfect solution or one side that is clearly right or wrong. It was fascinating to watch unfold and definitely a worthwhile experience.
What It Is Like to Work With Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers
During my time here as an intern, I have seen what it takes to become a paralegal or attorney of a successful firm. Simply put, the entire staff at Cooper Hurley is fully dedicated to helping the people of Virginia and the Hampton Roads area. They treat every case with the same amount of respect and intense effort, and this shows in their impressive results.
If there was one word to describe Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers as a whole, it would be family. Whenever someone steps into the building, they instantly feel like they belong. Mornings at the office always begin with warm greetings. People at the firm are more than just coworkers; they care about each other and know each other on a very personal level. This hospitality extends to people outside the office as well. Any client who enlists Cooper Hurley for its services automatically become a part of that family. The clients instantly become priority #1. They all receive the firm’s undivided attention and an equal amount of respect, no matter the case at hand. I am extremely thankful that the people at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers welcomed me into their family during my time as an intern.