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What Expert Attorneys Do During Direct Examination

How the attorney and witness appear to the jury can be as important as the words that are spoken. Here are four tips from expert trial attorneys that will make your direct examination more effective regardless of what you ask the witness. Continue reading

Do You Need an Expert Witness, and If So, What Type?

Retaining an expert witness is expensive and may not be necessary in every case. Don’t try to keep up with the Jones & Jones firm: Just because the other side has an expert or because experts have traditionally been used in similar cases doesn’t mean you need one. And if you decide you do need an expert, make sure it’s the best type for your case. Continue reading

4 Tips to Get the Jury Excited About Your Expert

thinkstockphotos-537972277Don’t treat the qualification of your expert as a mere formality. The expert’s qualifications should convince jurors that they’re fortunate to have someone as qualified as the expert to assist them in deciding the case and that your expert is better qualified than the opposing one. Continue reading

Don’t Let Your Witness Look Like a Liar

noseJurors have been bombarded with information about “body language.” This information is joined by common folklore about tell-tale signs of falsehood. Here are five things to practice with your witnesses to keep their body language consistent with their truthful testimony.

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Don’t Bore the Jury!

Much to the chagrin of trial attorneys, jurors don’t always give their full attention to the trial. It’s trial counsel’s job to keep things interesting. Depending on the case, this can be a tall order. Here are some tips for making your questioning of a witness as compelling as possible. Continue reading

Questioning a Witness: Poor Questions Versus Good Ones

185496686When conducting direct examination, you generally can’t ask leading questions, i.e., ones that suggest a particular answer. Evid C §§764, 767(a)(2). And, of course, you can’t ask objectionable questions. For inexperienced practitioners, it can be hard to craft acceptable and effective questions while in the stressful moment. Practicing your questions in advance will be a great help, as will reviewing both positive and negative examples. Continue reading

The “Opening the Door” Fallacy

200368976-001It is a popular fallacy that if testimony is given on a subject during direct examination, this will “open the door” to unrestricted cross-examination about that matter; making evidence admissible that would otherwise be inadmissible. This is actually only true in certain limited circumstances. Continue reading

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