How to Control an Expert Witness

As with all witnesses, you must be able to control an expert witness during cross-examination. But many experts with experience in testifying treat cross-examiners like presidential candidates deal with the press: they ignore the question asked and answer the question they prefer. Here’s how to keep experts under your control. Continue reading

List of Trial Objections

Before heading into trial, review this list of trial objections. And keep it handy during trial. Continue reading

7 Tips for Using Demonstrative Evidence at Trial

jury viewing demontration in courtroomThe technology used for showing evidence at trial has changed greatly over the years, but the purpose of demonstrative evidence remains unchanged: it breaks the pattern of the trial, clarifies issues, maintains jury interest, and persuades. The challenge for attorneys is to capitalize on new technological resources without causing juror distraction, confusion, and frustration. Here are seven expert tips for meeting this challenge. Continue reading

How to Get a Witness to Start with the Basis for Opinion

lawyer asking judge to voir dire adverse witness on basis for her opinionCan the adverse party require that a witness on direct examination testify to the basis of his or her opinion before stating that opinion? Short answer, no. But there still may be a way to do it. Continue reading

Don’t Do This on Cross Examination

cross examining a witness

Many attorneys work through their nervousness by beginning their cross examination with taking the witness step by step through previous direct examination testimony. Then they turn to the hard job of true cross-examination. Here’s why you shouldn’t do this. Continue reading

3 Tips for Plaintiff’s Closing Argument

plaintiff's lawyer talking to jury during closing argumentA plaintiff‘s closing argument must focus on linking the plaintiff’s claims to the evidence. However when a jury is involved, you’ll need to do more than that. Here are three tips from expert trial attorneys for an effective closing argument. Continue reading

5 Direct Examination Techniques You Should Be Using

When conducting direct examination of a party or witness, how you ask the questions can be as important as what you ask. Review and apply these five direct examination techniques every time. Continue reading

Are You Showing Enough in an Offer of Proof?

attorney making offer of proof to judge at trialWhen the opposing side objects to your evidence or the judge rules your evidence inadmissible, it’s time to make an offer of proof to encourage the court to admit the evidence or reconsider its ruling. Here’s a handy table illustrating how much of a showing is necessary in an offer of proof. Continue reading

What You Can’t Ask a Juror During Voir Dire

potential jurors waiting to be questioned by the attorneys and the judgeWhen selecting a jury for a civil trial, counsel has pretty wide latitude in terms of the scope of voir dire questions. But there are limits. Continue reading

Begin and End with Your Strongest Questions

use strong question to open and close your cross-examination of a trial witnessWhen cross-examining a witness, almost always begin and end with your strongest questions. Except in a couple of situations. Continue reading