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Should an ESL Witness Testify Through an Interpreter?

When presented with a witness who speaks English as a Second Language (ESL), it is difficult to predict how they will be perceived by a jury.  In a previous post, we examined the challenges of identifying juror bias against foreign witnesses, but that raises a separate, yet related issue as to whether that witness is […]

Out-of-Town Attorneys Vs Local Attorneys: Accents, Impact, and More

Our shadow jurors sat in an East Coast courtroom listening to opening statements about “Earl.”  Earl was a bad person, they thought:  He had polluted the groundwater and now the public was in danger.  We convened as a group at lunch that first day of trial, and our shadow jurors confessed that they had been […]

What are the Best Types of Clothes for Lawyers to Wear in the Courtroom?

Everyone wants to look their best when standing before a group of people, and lawyers are no exception. At trial, counsel is going to be getting up before the same group of people (the judge and jury) day after day and, understandably, wants to make a good impression. And effective impression management is important as […]

Ensuring Witness Attire Makes the Right Statement

While witnesses’ verbal and non-verbal behaviors affect their credibility, another factor in juror’s perceptions of them is their appearance.  Witnesses often ask us, “What should I wear when I testify in court?”  Of course it is important to remember that a courtroom is a very conservative arena; therefore, our golden rule for witness fashion is: […]

PART III: Characteristics for Improving the Credibility of Your Witness: Positive Witness Characteristics

While well-credentialed witnesses’ messages can be undercut by their engagement in undesirable witness characteristics (as discussed in our previous two Insights), the result of adopting good witness qualities can have the opposite effect: jurors are more likely to believe witnesses are telling the truth when they are telling the truth. Working with witnesses to help […]