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This blogpost is written by Garima Jain, a Delhi-based lawyer. She explains the three important rules that you must consider while practising criminal litigation.

Criminal litigation is a challenging career option. Not only do you have to learn different criminal laws but also how to counsel clients and how to manage your practice. Taking a holistic approach and learning all the aforesaid skills is an effective way to go about it. In this blog post, I will discuss three cardinal rules that you should consider while practising.

If you are a lawyer specializing in criminal law or aspiring to be one, you would be able to relate yourself or learn from the three thumb rules that I understood while assisting my husband on his cases:-

Rule No. 1 – Your Client will NEVER tell you the whole story

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Client counselling is the first lengthy interaction session you have with your client where you build a lawyer-client relationship. No matter through whom the case has come to you, the retention of the client will depend on this interaction because  you are not the only lawyer he can consult for his case. It’s important for you to take a stand for imparting justice to your client. The first step towards achieving this is to convince him/her to tell you the FACTS as they occurred to prepare your case.


Rule No. 2 – READ and UNDERSTAND the Charge sheet

A charge sheet is a document of 4-5 pages and the technique of understanding it lies in how you read and understand it. The document has the capacity to alter your case even if RE-READ at the last stage of your trial, provided you read it AFRESH every time you decide to go through it.


Rule No. 3 – Chief examination is the source of your defense

I have found my husband stressing up often when his cases reach the stage of cross-examination and may be he is not the only one. cross-examination holds the key to your success of the case and mastering the art of cross-examination lies in your understanding of chief examination. I have discovered that paying attention to chief examination eases your preparation of cross – examination.


My husband’s and my journey of building our own criminal practice has just begun but I wish the thumb rules that we learnt after our cumulative experience of 4 years were taught to us while we were studying criminal law in law colleges.

The decision of a client on whether she will give you work is made in the first few minutes of a meeting. You need to be prepared beforehand – you need to practice these thumb rules to master them.

Fortunately, there is a systematic way to learn these skills now. National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS), Kolkata, a top national law university, brings you a certificate course on criminal litigation, dedicated to skill-building instead of only bookish knowledge accumulation.

The certificate course gives you an in-depth practical understanding of criminal laws, how to start and manage your practice, how to acquire clients and retain them, drafting of various criminal law documents, how to create a litigation strategy, careers in criminal law, how to argue your cases and many other things.


For more details about the course and to enrol, please click here.

For more information, please send an e-mail at [email protected]


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