Criminal Defense Attorney Kellie Mannette

919-351-5586 (Chapel Hill)
919-972-8390 (Raleigh)

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Who Sits Where in a Courtroom and Why

Who sits where in a courtroom? The DA will sit at the table closest to the jury box. The Defendant will sit at the table furthest from the jury box. The defense attorney will sit at the same table, and on the side closest to the DA’s table.

Why does this all matter? Traditionally, in a courtroom, the party with the burden of proof sits closest to the jury. Here, the State has the burden to prove the Defendant is guilty, so they sit closest to the jury. The defense attorney sits between his or her client and the DA, creating a physical barrier.

I really love this tradition. I love standing between my client and the DA. It becomes a physical manifestation of the concept that the DA can only get to my client through me. I will fight for my client from beginning to end, and ultimately my client will only be convicted if the DA can make their case and prove the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. I will do everything in my power (within the bounds of the ethical rules) to prevent that from happening.

Standing between the accuser and the accused is a privilege. Making sure every right of my client has been honored and every opportunity to point out any holes in the State’s case has been taken. I love this job. I love standing there, arguing, protecting my client. I certainly do not always win. But I always give it everything I’ve got. And my client knows the State will only succeed if they can first get past me, the defender of the client.

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Chapel Hill Office:
301 W. Barbee Chapel Rd.
Suite 309A
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
Phone: (919) 351-5586

Raleigh Office:
5 West Hargett Street
Suite 310
Raleigh, NC 27601
Phone: (919) 972-8390