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Tips for Preparing the Expert Witness

Working with expert witnesses can be difficult for even the most seasoned attorneys and trial consultants. Oftentimes, egos and expertise can get in the way of an expert’s ability to deliver persuasive testimony, requiring attorneys and trial consultants to be creative when developing solutions that fit both the problem and the expert witness. As trial […]

Why Should I use a Consultant for Witness Preparation?

Many high-stakes lawsuits filed these days often hinge on the behavior of company employees.  Given growing anti-corporate attitudes among jurors, managing jurors’ perceptions of company witnesses and experts is more important than ever.  Most of the time, attorneys conduct witness preparation before a witness is scheduled for a video deposition and certainly before a witness […]

Will My Expert Witness Appear Biased?

The usefulness of any witness depends largely on his or her credibility with the jury.  This is especially true for expert witnesses whose testimony is often pitted against that of an opposing counsel’s expert.  In these instances, each expert’s credibility may determine which of their contradicting conclusions jurors choose to adopt.  It’s therefore perfectly reasonable […]

How Should Scientific Research be Presented to Judges and Juries?

With all their knowledge, training and experience, expert witnesses can sometimes have difficulty explaining scientific research findings to judges and juries, who often lack any formal training in research methodologies. For many jurors, topics such as “epidemiology,” “control groups,” “confounds,” and “confidence intervals” are completely foreign. This can be problematic when cases hinge on these […]

Effective Witness Preparation, Miss America, and the Essence of Communication

When talking to witnesses at the start of our witness preparation sessions, we always tell them that the lessons learned in the process will help them communicate beyond the courtroom and into their everyday and business lives. That is, the themes and strategies necessary to be an effective witness translate directly into the workplace, in […]

Should a Witness Look at the Jury? Keys to Effective Courtroom Eye Contact

Picture this:  You’re in a room with several people.  You’re having a discussion with all of them, but you only look at one person.  Is that how conversations are supposed to work?  No, because when having a conversation, we have been socialized to include everyone in the conversation.  We may not talk directly to everyone, […]

Why Didn’t My Witness Do What I Told Him To Do During Witness Preparation?

It’s a universal experience. Nearly every attorney who has ever sat down for witness preparation before a deposition, or before trial, to provide clear instructions and guidelines about what to say/not say, or what to do/not do, has at some point found himself asking: “Why didn’t s/he listen to me?!” Recognize Testifying Is an Unnatural […]

Witness Preparation Tip: When Is It Appropriate For A Witness To Show Anger?

Many years ago, I was working on witness preparation with a corporate HR Director who was being deposed. It was quickly apparent from the moment that he walked in the room that he was not happy to be there. During his own mock direct examination, when the questions were clearly “friendly fire” from his own […]

Witness Preparation: Beware of the Tricks Used to Encourage a Witness to Volunteer

Most witnesses do not understand the purpose of a deposition and believe their job is to teach the questioning attorney everything they know; indeed, many believe if they did any less, they “wouldn’t be telling the truth.” But a witness who talks too much, either in deposition or at trial, can be a liability because […]

“Line!!” When Your Witness is Too Prepared

Recently, I observed the direct examination of the plaintiff’s first fact witness when I was representing the defense. Within minutes, it became clear the fact witness’ direct had been highly scripted. You are probably wondering, “So what? Aren’t most direct examinations scripted to guide the witness through his/her testimony?” While that is true, this examination […]

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