What to Do about an Incompetent Interpreter

455104761A witness who would otherwise be incompetent because he or she can’t understand or speak English can be made effectively competent by using an interpreter. But what happens when the interpreter is accused of being incompetent? Continue reading

Mmmm…Donuts! But Can You Bring Them to the Courtroom Staff or Jury?

84521465Seasoned litigators know how important it can be to have a good relationship with courtroom staff. Bringing holiday treats or morning coffee can certainly bolster that relationship, but is it ok to do?

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Don’t Irritate the Jury

 

85449976 Your carefully planned cross-examination will be worthless if you manage to irritate the jury. Keep in mind that the jury often focuses more on counsel than the witness. Before your next cross-examination, check out these common irritants and how to avoid them. Continue reading

Don’t Let Your Argument Get Personal

arbitration_104240128Although the permissible scope of counsel’s discussion and argument before a jury is broad, personal attacks on opposing parties or their counsel is never ok. Doing so opens you up to successful objections, makes you look like a jerk to the jury, and may lead to you losing your case. Continue reading

Object with Care During Closing

57280160Attorneys have a lot of latitude in making their closing argument, but there are nonetheless impermissible arguments during closing and thus openings for opposing counsel to object. Even if you’re right, objecting during a closing may not be a smart move. Continue reading

Telling the Jury a Compelling Story

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The general rule in organizing statements presented to the jury is the same used by teachers with children: Tell them what you’re going to tell them; tell them; and then tell them what you’ve told them.

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Do’s and Don’ts on Direct

witness_57277895Direct examination can look deceptively easy when all of the effort has gone into the preparation. Here are some ways to make your carefully-planned direct even better. Continue reading

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