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

The Best Way to Start a Cross-Examination

The key to a successful cross-examination is to start strong. The beginning of your cross is the time to go for the jugular. Here’s an example of how it’s done. 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

8 Tips to Maximize Interpreter Effectiveness

Once you find a qualified interpreter, apply these eight tips to maximize the interpreter’s usefulness in court or at trial. 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

Should You Discuss Damages During Opening and Closing?

thinkstockphotos-465858366Whether and how you discuss damages in your opening statement and closing argument is a strategic consideration. A plaintiff discussing damages in the opening may turn jurors off, but not doing so can be a tactical mistake. Defendants usually want to steer clear of damages in the opening if possible. And both sides should discuss damages in the closing, but maybe in a different order. Continue reading

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