Should I Allow Jurors to Ask Questions of Witnesses?

On more than one occasion, I’ve been in court when the judge asked counsel if they would like to allow jurors to submit any questions for witnesses following their testimony. In most cases, judges have indicated they would allow juror questions if both parties agreed, yet attorneys are rarely sure if it is a good […]

How Body Language Can Impact Witness Credibility

Your hands shake. Your voice trembles. Your face reddens. We’ve all been there, having to give a presentation in front of people and fighting back the nerves that come along with it. Whether in front of your peers or in front of a jury or judge, public speaking is a high-stress situation. And testifying in […]

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 […]

How to Make Sure Your Expert Witness Isn’t a Lemon

We once had a client come to us with an expert witness who needed some serious prep work.  He was a great guy, very approachable, and extremely knowledgeable about his industry.  As it turned out, however, he had major problems with short-term memory and would buckle under cross because he couldn’t remember basic details related to the […]

Are Jurors Biased Against Foreign Witnesses?

To say that America has a complicated relationship with “foreignness” would no doubt be an understatement.  After all, the vast majority of us have relatives or ancestors who immigrated to the United States at some point in time (I, myself, am a first-generation citizen).  Yet, there remains a great deal of political controversy and social tension between Americans and the foreign born (or […]

What Should I Do When My Witness Wants to Outsmart Opposing Counsel?

In my career, I have never seen jurors give a witness in a mock trial as low an evaluation score (1.3 out of 7) as one witness we encountered named Tim.  In fact, one of my fellow consultants on the project confessed, “I once worked on a case that involved [an accused] child molester.  The […]

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 to Best Connect Trial Evidence and Witness Testimony to Case Themes

It is not unusual to hear questions or comments similar to the following from a member of a trial team.  “I get all this about ‘themes’ and, of course, we have them, but what do they have to do with all the evidence we need to get in and the witness testimony we have?” Such […]

Developing a Reliable Mock Trial: Critical Factors You Must Consider

It is easy to put on a mock trial.  But what isn’t as easy is paying attention to, and properly implementing, the many factors that could skew the mock trial feedback you paid a lot of money to obtain.  There is nothing worse than conducting a mock trial and have unbalanced presentations or unevenly matched […]