Do You Know When to Request a Sidebar?

After a party objects to the admission of evidence, the proponent of the evidence can respond by arguing that the objection doesn’t apply or isn’t valid, or that the evidence is admissible because of an exception to the ground stated in the objection. Where that argument is made can make a big difference—should you argue in open court or in a sidebar conference? Continue reading

8 Ways to Make Calling Witnesses More Dramatic

As a trial attorney, never forget your role as director of the courtroom play. Consider these staging decisions when it comes to calling witnesses. Continue reading

Don’t Do These 4 Things During Your Closing Argument

The permissible scope of counsel’s closing arguments before a jury is broad, but there are limits. Here are 4 things that tread into improper territory. Continue reading

Keep This in Mind During Every Deposition

When taking or defending a deposition, always keep in mind that you’re making a record for the jury. Sometime later, perhaps years after the deposition took place, a jury may hear parts of the deposition and you want everything to be there and be clear. Continue reading

How to Rehab Your Witness

What can you do if your witness’s truthfulness has been challenged? Use evidence of the witness’s prior consistent statement to rehabilitate your witness. Here’s how it’s done. Continue reading

7 Questions to Answer Before Using Opinion Character Evidence

There are situations in which you may want to introduce opinion character evidence at trial. But before you use a character witness in a civil case, ask yourself the following questions. 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

Have You Considered a Motion in Limine to ADMIT Evidence?

young lawyer considering whether to use a motion in limine to include evidenceMany lawyers view motions in limine as tools used only to exclude or limit particular evidence.  But the experts know that a motion in limine is also a useful tool to admit evidence. 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

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