Witnesses

20Sep2016

Witnesses, Know When to Use Your Own Words

  • 1 Tags
  • 0 Comments
I frequently travel around the country to meet with attorneys in order to help them get witnesses get ready for deposition. As we share our best practices, I will sometimes notice that there is a difference of opinion over how much or how little a well-prepared witness ought to say.
04Feb2015

Six Expert Witness Mistakes to Avoid

  • 1 Tags
  • 0 Comments
Your expert might be one of the most qualified people in his field, but that alone won’t guarantee that he will be an asset to your case. The fact is that even the best experts are still human, and the stress of deposition or trial can result in critical mistakes that might have been avoided with proper coaching and preparation.
01Nov2014

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

  • 1 Tags
  • 0 Comments
By Robert Gerchen
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 Act Testifying is an unnatural act.
10May2014

Calm Your Clients’ Jitters About Their Deposition

  • 1 Tags
  • 0 Comments
A deposition is an unfamiliar and intimidating experience for many people. Help your clients calm their nerves with the following tips and information.
What happens at a deposition? Start by explaining that the client will be giving testimony under oath, that the client will be asked many questions, and that the answers will be recorded.
01Sep2013

Know When to Pursue Witness Inconsistency and When to Let it Go

  • 1 Tags
  • 0 Comments
By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm
If you’ve spent any time in civil courtrooms, you’ve seen it before. The witness in the box fudges an answer and says something that differs a bit from their deposition, and the solemn ritual of impeachment begins. With great fanfare, the official copy of the deposition is unsealed.
01Aug2013

Tune Your Witness’s Tone of Voice

  • 1 Tags
  • 0 Comments
By Dr. Shelley Spiecker
A few days ago I was helping prepare a successful CEO for testimony in an upcoming arbitration. The case boiled down to a dispute between two shareholders with one advocating for dissolution of their agreement and the other seeking to keep the agreement in force. 
01Jun2013

Test the Credibility of Your Turncoat Witness

  • 1 Tags
  • 0 Comments
By Ken Broda-Bahm, Ph.D.
Not all witnesses are saints. While this is especially well known in the realm of criminal prosecution, it applies in civil trials as well. A witness may carry some unsavory background, or the context may simply be such that their testimony – truthful or not –
01Jun2013

A Potted Plant? Eh, Not So Much.

  • 1 Tags
  • 0 Comments
By Alex Craigie
Two blawg posts last week caught my eye. Both discussed preparing and defending witnesses at deposition. At the Lawyerist, Chris Bradley talked about his experiences defending a client in his first judgment-debtor examination. His title for the piece, which I mistakenly took to be ironic, was: How To Defend A Deposition: Just Show up.
01Jan2013

Consider a Blind Expert Witness

  • 1 Tags
  • 0 Comments
By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm
Justice may be blind, but hired experts can see pretty darned well in our litigation system. No, a responsible expert won’t lie in order to support their client. But, yes, a knowledge of who the client is can’t help but have at least a subtle influence on the resulting testimony.
01Nov2011

Be a Potted Plant: Sanctions For Deposition Coaching and Witness Conferences

  • 1 Tags
  • 0 Comments
By Max Kennerly, The Beasley Firm
During the Iran-Contra hearings, Brendan Sullivan, a senior partner at Williams & Connolly who represented Oliver North, famously responded to Senator Daniel Inouye’s criticism of Sullivan’s repeated objections during the Congressional hearings with, “Well, sir, I’m not a potted plant. I’m here as the lawyer.
01May2010

Detecting Witness Deception

  • 1 Tags
  • 0 Comments
By Brad Bradshaw, Ph.D., Bradshaw Litigation Consulting
Lie detection, although far from being an exact science, has come a long way over the past several years. The problem is that many of the ways liars reveal themselves is not easily identifiable in a court setting. For example, polygraphs (i.e.,
01Mar2010

Dealing with Witness Anxiety

  • 1 Tags
  • 0 Comments
By Brad Bradshaw, Bradshaw Litigation Consulting, Nashville, Tennessee
For most people, testifying under oath is an anxiety provoking experience. However, there is nothing wrong with a witness being a little nervous. From an evolutionary perspective, anxiety is an innate function that plays a vital role in survival. That is,
01Apr2009

Preparing a Witness for a Successful Deposition

  • 1 Tags
  • 0 Comments
By Matt Keenan, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, Kansas City, MO
In my 20-some years of working with company witnesses as part of the discovery process, I’ve learned that the prospects of a deposition can stress even the most accomplished corporate executive. One way of lowering their level of anxiety is to give them mileposts to follow as they prepare.
01Dec2008

Dealing with Difficult Witnesses and Attorneys

  • 1 Tags
  • 0 Comments
By Derrick H. Wilson
This article will take a look at both sides – starting off with difficult attorneys defending the deposition and difficult attorneys taking the deposition. Many of the techniques can be applied to both sides. The Difficult Attorney Defending the Deposition The person taking the deposition is in control of the deposition.
01Aug2008

Deposition Trap: The Out of Town Witness

  • 1 Tags
  • 0 Comments
By Paul Sandler forThe Daily Record, Baltimore
There you are in Milwaukee, representing your client, the defendant in a toxic tort case. Counsel for the plaintiff is about to depose a witness who previously lived in the plaintiff’s neighborhood in Maryland. Now, as the plaintiff’s counsel questions the witness,