Inadmissible Evidence May Still Get In for a Limited Purpose

78494947It may not be favored by courts or be the parties’ preference, but there’s a place for evidence to be admitted for a limited purpose. It can be seen as either a creative solution to an evidence admissibility problem or a way around the rules, depending on your perspective. Continue reading

Keep Cross-Examination Short (Unless You Shouldn’t)

153165013A successful evangelist once said about his sermons: “Nobody ever got religion after the first twenty minutes.” His time estimate may be wrong, but every evangelist and trial attorney has wrestled with the short attention span of their audiences. Continue reading

Like Steve Jobs, Unavailable Witnesses Can Still “Appear” at Trial

451334569In the trial of an antitrust case against Apple, Steve Jobs will come back to life as a key witness—if only in the form of his videorecorded deposition. Continue reading

Make a Plan for Each Witness

85449216Before you prepare a witness for trial, you should know precisely what you expect to accomplish through that witness. In other words, have a plan. Continue reading

Getting Edited Video into Evidence

458909277With court time and patience at a premium, it may be best to introduce an edited version of a video recording into evidence instead of the whole—possible very long—version. But before you do this, you’ll have to authenticate your truncated video. Continue reading

How to Use Technology for Effective Cross-Examination

presentationAA049409The following is a guest blog post by Jeff Bennion, a solo practitioner in San Diego who specializes in personal injury and consulting on e-discovery and litigation technology.

A good cross-examination should come off as scripted. California Evidence Code §767(a)(2) allows for leading questions on cross-examination, and a good trial attorney should lead the witness through the narrative using only questions that he or she knows the answer to. But things don’t always go according to plan. When a witness gives an answer that you did not expect or that is contrary to what you learned in discovery, you need to have a plan for showing your impeachment evidence to the jury. Continue reading

To Call or Not to Call an Adverse Party or Witness

witness_87617035In civil cases, you can call an adverse party or witness in your own case. Evid C §776(a). But just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Before deciding to call an adverse party or witness, definitely check out this chart laying out the strategy considerations—reasons to do it and reasons to steer clear. Continue reading

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