Part of preparing your witnesses for trial testimony includes preparing them to be cross-examined. Witnesses often worry that trick questions will make them say the wrong thing or that they’ll be made to look foolish. Tell them the following and they’ll be ready to handle any cross-examination.
You’re 30 days from your trial date. Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve gotten this close, or maybe it’s your first time. Don’t worry—here’s a handy chart setting out what you need to do. Continue reading
When it comes to preparing a child to testify at trial, there are at least three things that differ from preparing an adult witness. Continue reading
“The toughest part of being a trial attorney, whether criminal or civil, is pulling off an excellent cross,” says Toni Messina in her article for Above the Law. So, if you’re a new trial attorney, or it’s been a while, it’s natural to be nervous about an upcoming cross-examination. An excellent way to calm your nerves and set yourself up for success is to write down virtually all of your questions and related information in advance. Here’s what to write. Continue reading
Heading to trial? Start your planning by preparing a trial outline. Here are the key things to include and a sample outline to give you an idea how it looks. Continue reading
If properly prepared, your testifying client will be relaxed, confident, natural—and a master of pertinent facts. But no one can behave naturally on the stand while trying to keep in mind 50 different facts. When you’re preparing your client to testify, your job is to narrow the case to a few important facts and then fix them in your client’s mind. Continue reading
Not sure where to begin on your trial notebook? Start with your office files. Continue reading
For discovery to be useful in a case, it must be organized. One effective way to organize discovery is with an issue table. Issue tables are a way to keep track of the main issues, the elements of the claims and defenses, and the relevant evidence. Continue reading
One of the most important tasks when preparing a case for trial is to prepare a trial notebook with everything you’ll need or want during trial. Don’t create your trial notebook to impress a client, an adversary, or another lawyer in your office (although it may do so!); your notebook should reflect your personal style and the particular requirements of the case.
The following should be included in the preparation of your trial notebook: Continue reading