What Makes a Great Trial Judge? Podcast #1 – Judge William Earl Brit

Published on Mar 9, 2023
Welcome to the “What Makes a Great Trial Judge” podcast, part of the Lawyer Minds ecosystem. We’ve paired up with Lisa Blue, a practicing psychologist of 46 years and trial attorney of 44 years, to discuss some of the ways trial judges—especially those dealing with trauma-intensive cases—can improve their techniques and social practices, making the litigation experience more meaningful for jurors and litigants alike. So, how do you tell the difference between a great trial judge and one who needs to work on their social intelligence skills? Let's find out.

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Lisa Blue, a lawyer with the Dallas firm Baron and Blue PLLC, received her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and two master’s degrees from the University of Virginia in Counseling Psychology. After a brief teaching career, she returne …

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In this first episode of “What Makes a Great Trial Judge”, Lisa Blue interviews Judge William Earl Brit, a senior district judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. He was first nominated for a district seat by President Jimmy Carter in 1980 and served as Chief Judge from 1983 to 1990.

With his many years of previously practicing as an attorney at a private practice in Lumberton, North Carolina from 1959 to 1980, he approached his career as judge following years of spotting issues during trial. As judge, he did everything he could to correct those issues and not let them be part of his courtroom.

During the pod, Judge William Earl Brit shares some of the famous cases he played a pivotal role in and talks about his mentor and some of the advice he was given early in his career. He shares this advice with viewers.

Included in this advice is information on how to handle the decision making process as judge, how to best move from one case to the next, the importance of having a mentor, the value of patience and impartiality, and more. He also discusses the importance of building a good relationship with the jurors and how vital it is for judges to constantly maintain control of the courtroom.

Tune in to hear this valuable advice, along with specific examples from cases Judge Brit oversaw.