Against the real news of the year -- an African-American president in our lifetimes on the one hand, and most of us significantly poorer on the other -- Deliberations' 2008 accomplishments are small. But it was a good year here.
Deliberations was named to the ABA Journal's Blawg 100 list again, and for days I worked their phrase "smart, captivating blog" into every conversation I could. I had a second article in TRIAL magazine, trying to bust some myths about mock trials and encourage a simple, useful approach to them. I was on the radio again, and look forward to my next stint in January. I was honored to be elected to the American Society of Trial Consultants' board of directors, for a term starting next year. (Is this starting to sound like a family Christmas letter?) And there was the unforgettable chance to take part in a symposium in Japan on that country's new jury system -- which takes effect in 2009. Good luck to those who have worked so hard to give citizens a voice in Japanese criminal trials.
--"Your Honor, I Move To Strike Your Mother For Cause", picked up by both Above The Law and Gideon, and thus responsible for the highest one-day traffic I'll probably ever get;
My own favorite was Ready For Anything, an April post about a transgender juror who wondered how the judge and lawyers would react when they realized the man on their list was the woman in the jury box. It gave me a chance to stress some of the things I think are most important in voir dire, and perhaps in preparing for a new year as well: flexibility, an open mind, attention, compassion, kindness.
Wishing you generous portions of all those qualities in 2009.
Necessary note: Mark Bennett's discussion of the transgender juror post is better than my post itself. It's well worth rereading, at least a few times a year.