I’m not sure if anyone has ever conducted a study on the topic, but there’s no question that if given a choice, lawyers always want to get the counsel table that’s closest to the jury. I’m no exception, but I’m not exactly sure why. I guess the theory is that jurors are more likely to bond with whatever lawyers are right in front of their noses, as opposed to those other lawyers all the way across the room.
Some judges dole out the counsel table by tradition or by rule; usually, the plaintiffs’ counsel gets the table nearest the jury. Others assign the tables on a first-come, first-served basis.
If table location is something you care about, be sure to find out the judge’s practice well in advance of the trial. And if it’s first-come, first-served, be sure to send someone to the courthouse when it opens to secure the table closest to the jury.