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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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

5 Things to Consider When Presenting Witness Testimony: Adding Impact to Your Next Cross Examination

As every trial attorney knows, there are many strategies for cross examining a witness. Among the most effective is confronting a witness with his or her previous deposition testimony. Nothing beats an opportunity to use their own words against them. In order to get the most impact from this practice, a savvy litigator will read […]

“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 […]

Selecting Your Corporate Representative

Over the years, we have received questions about how to select a corporate representative to sit at counsel table during trial.  All eyes are on the corporate representative.  He or she represents the company – everything they do and say reflects back on the culture, philosophy, values and mission of the company.  In post-verdict interviews, […]