Using the “Black Box” in a Car Accident Case

One of the key parts of liability testimony in a car accident case is the chronology of the accident: the parties’ conduct before the impact, the impact, and conditions after impact. The parties are most likely to dispute the first part, making the car’s “black box” a potentially helpful source of evidence (but with its own pitfalls). Continue reading

Get Your Expert Involved with the Evidence

Despite the political rhetoric, public confidence in scientists has “remained stable for decades.” You can bring this confidence into the courtroom through expert testimony based on the scientific method, i.e., physical observation and testing, not just untested hypotheses. Experts should be “hands on” when it comes to collecting and investigating physical evidence. Continue reading

3 Ways to Prove Former Testimony at Trial

There are times you want to offer former testimony against a party to a former proceeding or against a party at the current trial who wasn’t a party to the former proceeding. There’s a hearsay exception for that, and here’s how you use it. Continue reading

4 Ways to Help Witnesses Maintain Credibility

When it comes to testifying, the first and most fundamental rule is to tell the truth. In addition to the obvious reasons, it’s hard to trick or trap someone who’s telling the truth about everything. But sometimes witnesses are afraid to admit to mistakes or biases and inadvertently appear less than honest.  Continue reading

Warn Your Expert Against Writing

Although in the “real world” scientists changing their minds may be the badge of intellectual honesty, in litigation the expert who backs away from a position or changes an opinion is supplying the opposition with a source of impeachment. Any time the expert makes a written record of his or her thoughts or opinions, the opposition gets a “paper trail” of potential impeachment material. To avoid this, tell your expert to keep writing to a minimum. Continue reading

8 Ways to Combat Objections

A proponent of evidence can counter anticipated objections with a motion in limine before trial starts, but usually counsel counters objections to evidence after the opponent objects at trial. Here are eight ways to do it. Continue reading

13 Routinely Helpful Cross-Examination Questions

thinkstockphotos-471597352 There are some questions that are virtually always safe to ask during cross-examination and often elicit pleasantly surprising answers. Consider asking these questions on your next cross—they could make all the difference. Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: